Essie Jemmen was a rather nice girl, who grew up in a small town in Oklahoma, and was rather tall and slim in stature.
She lived happily on a ranch with her father and sister.
Usually, every weekend, Essie, her father, John, and sister, Carina, would go out for ice cream.
One evening that they went, Essie was carrying her ice cream back to the truck, when she heard some arguing back at the ice cream stand.
John and Carina, seemed to notice it, but tune it out. Essie, though, listened to the argument.
“Please!” The middle-aged woman begged at the clerk, clasping her dirty, bony hands. “Just a little!”
“Go away.” The clerk retorted, showing agitation.
“But I’m starving!” The woman cried out, and Essie began to notice how deathly-skinny the woman was. Her cheeks were sunken in, along with some skin around her eyes, and the bones in her arms and hands were very defined, along with veins.
“Essie, girl!” John called. “Come on, hon! We gotta go!”
Essie didn’t respond at first, as she was watching the starved (and, not that she noticed it, rather dirty-looking) woman walking away from the stand.
Essie debated what to do. She probably shouldn’t have, but her gut said to go for it. So she did.
“Ma’am?” Essie called out to the woman as she jogged up to her, careful not to drop her chocolate ice cream.
“Go away! I don’t need to be made fun o--” The woman began to protest, only to notice the girl holding the chocolate ice cream cone out to her.
“Here.” Essie said, gesturing for the woman to take the ice cream.
The woman looked at Essie with disbelief, then hesitantly reached for the ice cream. She made one last glance at Essie before gently taking the ice cream from Essie, who began smiling.
The woman lit up like a Christmas tree, almost, as if Essie had handed her a million dollars.
“...Th-thank you, little girl.” The woman said, happiness and disbelief apparent in her shaky voice. She seemed like she was about to cry.
“You’re welcome.” Essie said, then ran back to the truck and hopped in, buckling her seatbelt giddily, only to look up to see both John and Carina staring at her in bewilderment.
“Did I see you do what I think you did?” John asked, slightly smiling.
“The woman was starving.” Essie said. “I didn’t mind giving her my food.”
John looked like he was about to cry. “...That’s my girl.” He said, turning back around to face the steering wheel. He then pulled out of the parking lot and went home.
That night, Essie laid in bed and thought on her actions. She thought about not only how that woman was starving, but how many other people out there were also starving.
This saddened Essie greatly, and she began to cry as she thought about it, eventually falling asleep.
Time passed, and things got out of hand for the Jemmens.
John lost his job working for the chicken plant in town, as the company shut down.
The family began running short on money. It came to a point where John was frantically job searching online, and putting in applications for the local stores.
It came to a point, where, the family was living off of sandwiches, milk, and some cans of soup.
John couldn’t catch up on his bills, and this took a bad turn.
John became very depressed from this, despite his children telling him it was ‘alright’.
Due to this, John began to drink. It started with a beer a day, then turned into a case a day. Then it escalated from there.
One day, as John went to pick up his children from school, he had drank a good five beers before he left and on the way there.
As he drove home, kids in tow, he failed to see a deer in the middle of the road.
Essie and Catrina both alerted him, and in the heat of the moment, John swerved.
He ran off the side of the road, making the truck roll a few times until coming to a stop.
The police showed up a while after the crash, since they crashed on a backroad where people rarely drove.
Essie awoke in the hospital. At least, she thought she awoke.
She wasn’t quite sure, actually. She could hear everything, but see nothing.
“...Dad? Cat?” Essie called out softly.
She heard the chatter of people, and a beeping sound beside her. Then panic set in.
“Dad?” She called. “Daddy?!”
Essie’s heart filled with fear, and she felt panic flood over her.
“Miss?” She heard a feminine voice say, somewhere in the room with her.
“Where’s daddy? Where’s Cat?” She asked, her voice shaky. “Are they okay? Where am I?”
“Miss Jemmen, you were in a car accident.” The woman said. “Please, stay calm.” The woman sounded closer, and her voice was very soft. She gently laid Essie back down.
“Is my dad okay? Is my sister okay?”
“...I...” The nurse was quiet. “You don’t need to worry about them right now, honey.”
“Why can’t I see?” Essie wanted to cry. She couldn’t. Something was blocking the tears.
“...Your eyes were badly damaged in the accident.” The nurse said, softly.
“Will I see again?” Essie asked, worried.
“I don’t know.” The nurse said. “Just stay calm, okay? Lay down and take a deep breath. It’s okay.”
Essie grew older, and learned how to read braille, and she grew used to not using her eyes.
It turned out that one of Essie’s eyes was so badly damaged in the accident, it needed removed, while the other one had glass in it, which needed removed.
Since then, which was five years ago, Essie grew accustomed to this new form of life, though it wasn’t easy.
It was even harder, as she grieved for her deceased sister and father.
She currently resided in a small house in town, and was currently in search of a job.
This was not easy, as she was blind, and she sometimes cried about it.
One evening, as she sat on the porch swing in her backyard, she quietly uttered to herself. “Oh, what I’d give to see again.”
“I will allow you to see again.” A voice said nearby, and Essie flinched in response.
“Be calm, Essie. I am not here to harm you. I want to help you.” The voice said. Essie would’ve ran away, but she decided to not to provoke the person by doing so. And so, she complied as best as possible.
“I will help you, but you will be...very different when you can see.” He said. “Is this okay?”
Essie thought for a moment.
“I don’t care. As long as I can see.” She said.
“Are you sure?”
Essie then nodded. “Yes.”
“It shall be done.” She heard footsteps approach her, and she felt fingers on her forehead.
“Hey--!” She began to flinch away, until...everything went black.
When Essie awoke, she looked around.
Essie realized she was looking around. She could see!
She rose to her feet, noticing she was still on her porch. She looked around, taking in every sight with hungry eyes.
Essie’s hands raised to her face as she looked around, smiling.
She then noticed...something was wrong.
Essie lowered her hands. Then she gasped.
Her skin was a grey-blue color, and her fingers were long and bony. Her fingernails were now like claws, which were also grey in color.
Panicked, she ran into her home, looking around for a mirror.
She found none, so she went for the second best thing; a glass, which was full of orange juice.
She dashed up to it and lifted it up, inspecting her face.
She almost fainted at the sight in the glass.
Her face was a little longer and her cheekbones were more defined, and her eyes...they weren’t there. She had no eyes. How could she see?
She dropped the glass, horrified.
“Wh-wha...?” What had she gotten herself into?
She knew people would never want to see her this way.
And so, she knew what she needed to do.
She packed all of her valuables, including a picture of her old family, and stuffed it all into a black bookbag.
She then put on a black hoodie with a ZZ Top patch ironed onto one shoulder, and an AC/DC patch ironed onto the other. That hoodie belonged to her sister, she recalled.
She then went downstairs, into her cellar, and dug through some boxes.
Essie wanted no one to ever see her face. She didn’t want that at all.
She dug through a box labelled ‘Halloween’ and found something perfect; a mask that Essie had gotten at a craft sow around Halloween as a little girl.
The mask was yellow with two, big, black circles for eyes. There was white mesh behind the eyeholes, making it hard to see what was beyond the mask.
Other than that and being sort-of flat, those were the only feature on the mask.
Essie put it on, then made her way back upstairs. It was time to leave town.
She left town that evening.
She traveled far and wide for a long time, until one evening, she stumbled upon a homeless family in a large town on the outskirts of Kentucky.
Thinking back to the evening that she gave the starved woman her ice cream, a pang of warmth hit Essie’s heart.
And so, that evening, she broke into a nearby store and grabbed a bunch of food, taking it back to the homeless family. They awoke to the surprise the next morning, and the store owners watched the tapes of the break-in. Essie was not caught.
The family was very grateful, and Essie realized something; in this state, she could do good for people, due to her anonymity.
She would rob from the rich and give to the poor. She could give families something great. Should could save peoples’ lives.
Because she knew what it was like to be poor, and because she knew how it hurt, she decided she wanted no one to ever feel that way again. Even in her ‘hideous’ state, she would give people food and money, and no one would see her as a ‘monster’.
And that became her life purpose ever since.
So next time you hear news of a homeless person in your town suddenly getting better, you’ll know who did it.