's 2018 Horror Write-off:

A Collection of Remarkable and Anomalous Field Notes (Entry 1)

Submitted by Chris Gleason (email)

April 29, 1998 Liberia

An elderly man, accompanied by his three children, appeared at a Médecins Sans Frontières clinic in Robertsport requesting the evaluation and removal of his left eye. Speaking a largely forgotten dialect of Gola, the man claimed to be from a small fishing village on the Mafa River and kept his left eye always concealed under a leather eye patch. After a long scuffle in which the man attempted to steal a scalpel and cut out his “demon eye” himself, the doctors were able to calm him and ask for more information. According to the man, who referred to himself as Duma, over the course of the previous two years his eye had gradually and painfully degraded and eventually vanished, only to begin miraculously growing back. Within the previous four months, sight had been regained in the eye, however the vision was primitive, discerning only vague shapes and the difference between light and dark. It was because of this that Duma kept the eye covered, for the poor vision left him with crippling headaches and disturbing thoughts.

The doctors were perplexed by Duma’s story, no account of a human eye regenerating existed in any medical literature. When they lifted the patch, what they saw gently pulsating in the man’s eye socket was far from human. The roughly spherical mass was dark green with reddish mottling. In the center of it was a rough approximation of a human iris and pupil, a depression partially concealed by a constrictive ring. This iris facsimile, an almost glowing yellow, contracted abruptly as it was illuminated by the sun.  The mass was clearly alive and regularly wiped its “eye” with a mucous-secreting tentacle to avoid desiccation. The skin around Duma’s eye socket was severely bruised; this was later determined to be the result of the creature’s feeding, extracting blood from dozens of facial capillaries by way of extremely thin invasive tentacles. The doctors decided removal of the mass was the only option available, despite the potential risks. The surgery was more complicated than expected as the parasite had attached itself to numerous blood vessels and nerves, most remarkable being its seamless attachment to the optic nerve.

A parasitologist on duty went on record claiming nothing like the parasite had ever been seen before, but noting that its lack of a through-gut reminded him of a flatworm. Duma claimed that as much as a third of his village possessed “demon eyes” and that the condition was associated with the consumption of cursed, one-eyed fish.