Literature / The Man With The Terrible Eyes

He wears sunglasses at all times, even at night, because other people don't like his eyes.

People have never liked his eyes.

When he was younger and prone to forgetting his sunglasses, people would stare. Cashiers at grocery stores, at coffee shops, at movie rental places, and even at the one Chinese food takeout joint he went to on Tuesdays, would stammer and look away, or they would stare, gray-faced, with their mouths hanging open until he politely coughed and asked for the total.

"The Man with the Terrible Eyes" is an online serial novel starring a mostly-nameless man with inexplicably terrible eyes. He's employed in a nondescript but ominous office where his only duty is to occasionally stare at disloyal employees until they eventually break and give up their secrets. His life is nevertheless pretty dull, until the background weirdness of his life starts to overwhelm him, as he acquires a strange dog, a mysterious hole in the back yard, a couch full of bugs, and around-the-clock surveillance.

Who's behind all this strangeness? How awful is his awful boss? What's being stored in his office's basement? What's wrong with the man's eyes?

This series provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: The Man's parents beat him and abandoned him as a child. Until his future Supervisor found him and made them love him.
  • Bad Boss: The Supervisor makes a show of caring for the Man, but he sees him as something he can experiment with, spy on, and eventually kill if he needs to.
  • Big, Friendly Dog: The Man's dog, named Dog, is a very big and very friendly dog, as long as you're not a shadow monster or someone trying to hurt his master.
  • Casting a Shadow: The shadow monsters run on something called the Void that gives them powers over darkness. The Man has the same powers.
  • Dangerous Workplace: Aside from all the torture going on at Iotech, there are also shadow monsters in the basement.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Despite his terrifying powers, the Man is a good guy.
  • Deadly Gaze: Very few people like looking at the Man's eyes. Looking at them for too long tends to break them emotionally and mentally.
  • Desk Jockey: The Man's job. He mostly sits at his desk and naps.
  • Fake Memories: The Man has gotten his memory rewritten so many times, he's not even sure what his name is anymore.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The things in the office basement. The beetles. The dog. The Man with the Terrible Eyes.
  • Eye Scream: After giving the Man an extra eye in the back of his neck, the Supervisor decides he wants to cut it out with a scalpel, all while the Man watches it happen.
  • Heroic Dog: Dog is a very good dog.
  • Hive Mind: The beetles under the sofa.
  • Good People Bad Powers: The Man has the ability to drive those he stares at insane, but he genuinely has a excellent moral sense and tries not to hurt anyone
  • Living Shadow: The things stored in the basement of the Man's office, and the things that keep attacking his home.
  • Mugging the Monster: A bunch of demonic kids try to pick on the Man. They don't realize how overmatched they are 'til he takes off his sunglasses, breaks out his electrical powers, and introduces them to his supernaturally large dog and swarm of hive-mind beetles.
  • No Name Given: For most of the series, the Man doesn't know what his name is. He eventually learns that it's Alan.
  • No Such Thing as H.R.: Memory rewrites, torture, human experimentation, gunfire, explosions, releasing monstrous shadow monsters from the cells in the basement. No one ever gets in trouble for all this. Probably helps that the Supervisor has done worse.
  • Shock and Awe: Eventually, the Man acquires electrical powers.
  • Surreal Horror
  • The Swarm: The army of beetles that live inside the Man's sofa.
  • Third Eye: Late in the story, the Man discovers one on the back of his neck.
  • Van in Black: The surveillance vans that prowl around the Man's house.