Once a week, the local priest delivered her a box of long life groceries and junk mail that she could enjoy the pictures of. Monthly, there was a cheque from England; a remittance to stay away lest she embarrass her aristocratic family. She had no need of paper with writing on it so she played a game of swap: one box of groceries for me, one piece of paper with writing on for you.
Sometimes she didn’t play. Sometimes her third eye warned her that the church was up to no good, that the church was hurting black children again, like they did in the time when she was sent out here. Sometimes she didn’t play because she was happy and wanted to talk with the pig man who lived in the old ammunition shelter down the hill. The priest took up too much time trying to find out her life story and write in down in his black journal. The pig man knew his life story. He used to tell her and she listened, fascinated at what he knew about himself.
The pig man killed black hairy pigs because black was a bad colour. Not on people but on animals and things. The eye house had no black because the eye house was safe. A lighthouse is a beacon of warning. That’s why she lived there. It was an eye that warned of danger. She had an eye like that too. That’s why she was banished. Nobody wanted to know bad stuff.
In the evening when the light of the defunct eye house was supposed to be shining out, her own eye took over. Bare foot on the gravel and through the steep scrub she trod. Descending through snakes, feral pigs and poison spiders, she would third eye the edge of the cliff and stand on its edge. Her toes used to digging in, she would take the assault of the wind and balance between reality and insanity.
In the windy black she protected the ships from running aground the coral reefs, and, she called to her family. They never answered. She just wanted to know who she was and why she was sent there so that she no longer had to pretend to be crazy.
Her third eye never saw them. Her third eye was unable to tell her anything about who they were. She reasoned that her family must have been very good for her third eye only warned of trouble. Her family must have sent her to Cooktown to protect the souls of ship and shore. She had no memory of her family so her third eye had blocked all her good history to concentrate on the important job of saving others.
If only she didn’t have to pretend to be crazy to get sent to the eye atop the hill so that she was closer to the wind who promised to carry her grief and loneliness home to her family. If only her family would answer her calls. They must have been busy too, in an eye house very far away. For they were good and so was she.