She shut her eyes and poured all of her concentration into her work. A curved structure encapsulating the back of each eye. Right now, that was all she needed. All she wanted.
Searing pain arrived, as expected. Tearing tissue, she figured. Something had to be moved in order to make room for the keratin. She’d forgotten to ask Chergoa to numb her beforehand, but the reaper must have been able to tell from Emiliana’s expression alone, because abruptly, the agony disappeared. Only a lingering shiver was left behind.
In her head, she completed the image of what she wanted half a dozen times before finally realizing that everything had settled. Her heartbeat, her breathing, even the panic, for the most part. She was still sweating, and her nerves were still putting her a little on edge, but at length, she decided that there was nothing left to do but open her eyes and see the results.
Slowly, her eyelids peeled back, letting light in again. And she was confused. And panic spiked through her chest another time when she saw how blurry everything was. Then a quick wash of relief as the world began to come back into focus. The mirror was still there in front of her.
There were, however, splotches. Great dark spots. Hovering in the middle of her vision. Quivering. And the light--it made her squint. It didn’t quite hurt, if only because she was numb, but she found it difficult to keep her eyes open now.
But she supposed that only made sense. She’d been a bit sensitive to light before, and now she’d added a structure that only increased the amount of light on her photoreceptors.
‘How’s it look?’ Chergoa asked. ‘Can you still see me?’
Emiliana blinked very slowly. ‘Yes... but I think I am going to need sunglasses from now on...’
Chergoa’s laugh was full of relief. ‘I’m sure we can manage that.’
Emiliana rubbed her face and washed it in the sink before putting her mask back on. It did dim the light in her eyes a little bit, but she would certainly be needing more than just this now.
They started back toward the Elroys’ room together as Chergoa offered reassurances and Emiliana only half-listened. She still had holes in her vision. Everywhere she looked, murky pits of black and gray seemed to swallow light or distort it, and she wasn’t sure if she should tell Chergoa. At length, though, she decided that she probably should.