Eye For Eye
by Orson Scott Card
Eye for Eye was published in 1990 as a Tor double novel, along with "Tunesmith"
by Lloyd Biggle, Jr. It is currently out of print, although it is available as an audiobook.
. . . continued from issue 18 . . .
No, I better tell the truth here, cause I wasn't that smart. It wasn't till I was halfway to the house
that I really wondered if he believed me, and it wasn't till Mama had me with a nice clean pair of
pajamas up in a nice clean room, and she was about to take my jeans and shirt and underwear
and make them nice and clean it occurred to me that maybe I was going to wish I had more
clothes on than pajamas that night. I really got kind of mad before she finally gave me back my
clothes -- she was scared that if she didn't do what I said, I'd do something to her. And then I
got to thinking that maybe I'd made things even worse by not giving her the clothes, because that
might make them think that I was planning to skip out, and so maybe they weren't planning to
kill me before but now they would , and so I probably just made things worse. Except when it
came down to it, I'd rather be wrong about the one thing and at least have my clothes, than be
wrong about the other and have to gallivant all over the country in pajamas. You don't get much
mileage on country roads barefoot in pajamas, even in the summer.
As soon as Mama left and went on downstairs, I got dressed again, including my shoes, and
climbed in under the covers. I'd slept out in the open, so I didn't mind sleeping in my clothes.
What drove me crazy was getting my shoes on the sheets. They would've yelled at me so bad at
the Children's Home.
I laid there in the dark, trying to think what I was going to do. I pretty much knew how to get
from this house out to the road, but what good would that do me? I didn't know where I was or
where the road led or how far to go, and you don't cut cross country in North Carolina -- if you
don't trip over something in the dark, you'll bump into some moonshine or marijuana operation
and they'll blast your head off, not to mention the danger of getting your throat bit out by some
tobacco farmer's mean old dog. So there I'd be running along a road that leads nowhere with
them on my tail and if they wanted to run me down, I don't think fear of cancer would slow
down your average four-wheeler.
I thought about maybe stealing a car, but I don't have the first idea how to hotwire anything. It
wasn't one of the skills you pick up at the Children's Home. I knew the idea of it, somewhat,
because I'd done some reading on electricity with the books Mr. Kaiser lent me so I could maybe
try getting ready for the GED, but there wasn't a chapter in there on how to get a Lincoln
running without a key. Didn't know how to drive, either. All the stuff you pick up from your
dad or from your friends at school, I just never picked up at all.