My THEME for the A to Z challenge 2017 is an ongoing speculative fiction story featuring telepathy.
Each letter post is titled and inspired by a commonly misused word or phrase.
All Intents and Purposes
I hope I’ll survive high school without being hauled off by the government’s newest task force. In freshman English class, Mr. Bennett gives us each a notebook. He says there is value to putting an actual pen to paper. He says we should decorate them, make them our own, and carry them with us everywhere. The first topic to write about is would what keep us from being fully honest when writing in the journal.
I think it is obvious. My pen glides over the blue lines of the crisp paper.
Someone might read it.
I feel this covers the answer. Grabbing my bag, I dig around to figure out how I’ll kill the rest of the time. A sheet of shiny stickers featuring fat cats under ridiculously over-sized fantasy flowers seems perfect for decorating. I stick one on my pen and another on the inside cover of the journal.
“Anah, why aren’t you writing?” Mr. Bennett crouches beside my desk. “The journaling time lasts for fifteen minutes.”
I point to what I have written. Seriously, what more is there to this topic?
Mr. Bennett takes my pen. The sticker wrinkles. I inhale his cardamom cologne as he writes.
Why do you care? Why does it matter if someone knows more about you? Why is privacy important? What are you most afraid to share with others and why? Is our society better off when we keep secrets?
I see where he’s going with this. Then he writes something unexpected.
People who read minds can’t avoid knowing all that you might write in a journal. They know how often people keep from being honest. What do you suppose life is like for them, being journals of truth for people who fear being read?
He drops my pen on the desk and walks away. I’ve never thought about it this way. The HSMTF hunts down people who can read minds. They are taken to a holding area somewhere near Hawaii. I’ve seen it on the news. Is just hearing really dangerous?
I look at Mr. Bennett. He’s walking around the room, checking on other students. I press my pen to the page, drawing only a spiral.
I know what it’s like for people who can’t help but hear the thoughts of others. Do you?
He snaps up and spins around.
Am I the only one you hear?
Mr. Bennett shakes his head. I watch the beads of sweat forming on his brow. He looks to the door while scratching a red blotch behind his left ear.
The Homeland Security Mind Task Force isn’t coming. They know about people like you, but they don’t know about people like me yet.
I drop the pen and cross my arms. For all intents and purposes, he and I should be friends because we share a common secret. Time will tell.
Has anything ever kept you from being fully honest when journaling?
by J Lenni Dorner
Reference and Speculative Fiction Author
A to Z Challenge Co-Host
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