I originally posted the following short story on r/nosleep:
It had me where it wanted, delivering its final test, or perhaps threat. “Blink and they will all be gone. Everyone you love. Everyone you care for. Stripped from your mind like they were never there.”
The following minutes were agonizing, feeling like an eternity. My eyes twitched repeatedly as I unnaturally pried them open. They streamed tears of both pain and misery, but soon those tears ran dry and dust began collecting. That’s when the burning started, like hot irons singeing my corneas. Despite the suffering, I cried out, “I must keep them open.” But I knew I wouldn’t be able to do this forever.
Soon, I regrettably freed my eyelids from their pry and let my lashes engage. Moisture returned. The pain ceased – not just the searing of my eyes, but the sadness within. I suddenly realized its plan was flawed. I raised my head with a cocky grin to let it know that it should have chosen someone, unlike me, who actually had others to love.
For whatever reason, it simply returned the very same grin.