When his little brother scooped his own eyes out, Danny didn’t feel guilty. It wasn’t his fault little brothers are naturally stupid. Danny was just doing what big brothers had always done; he was playing a trick. They’d been lying flat on the grass and tossing tennis balls up and down when Jacob had asked him a dumb question:
“Danny, what are those things in the sky? If I stay still, I can see them moving around.”
Danny knew about eye floaters. Everybody knew about eye floaters. But his little brother didn’t. Danny immediately saw his opportunity. “Oh my god, you can see ghosts, too? I thought I was the only one!” From then on, it was easy. Once Jacob got good at seeing “ghosts” in the blue sky, Danny trained him to sit very, very still and practice until he could see ghosts in the walls, or drifting in front of the window. Danny would point one out, and Jacob was convinced he could see it, too.
He’d given his brother plenty of time to catch on, hadn’t he? But after a couple weeks, Jacob freaked out and had to be rushed to the hospital when he maimed himself. Danny felt a little guilty at first. Then they let him in to talk to his brother for a while. “Why did you put your eyes out, idiot?” Danny asked him softly. Jacob turned his head, as if he could see right through the bandages, and Danny felt a chill.
“I didn’t,” Jacob whispered. “Ghosts don’t like to be seen, Danny. They can’t stand it. And Danny…” he reached out to grip Danny’s arm, “…be careful. They know you can see them, too.”