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.
Beck and Call
Making friends with a teacher may offer me some extra protection. I wait for the other students to leave before approaching Mr. Bennett’s desk. The sweat rolls down his face. He tugs his necktie like it’s a noose. His heartbeat sounds like it’s auditioning for the marching band.
Born this way, changed with puberty, or just happened one day? I spin my finger as I think with volume.
“Puberty. About your age.” He scratches at his desk with a ruined fingernail.
No need to be verbal. I can hear you. The bell rings, emptying the hallway.
“You’re going to be late to your next class.” He eyes the door.
“Stop averting your gaze. Do you seriously think that eye contact has anything to do with this?”
He holds his head in his hands. I’ve never made a teacher nervous before. Then again, I’ve never had a teacher who was like me. Okay, saying he’s like me is pushing the boundaries of accuracy. He has a small taste, a sampler plate, of the abilities. I’m the Thanksgiving Feast with leftovers for days. He has what the government knows about; I have what they most fear.
Now that I know about you, your mind is at my beck and call. You could be sound asleep and on the other side of the world, and I would still be able to communicate with you.
Is that a one-way relationship? You’re the first one I’ve known to hear inside my head.
He thinks about pain as a splinter from the desk slides under his broken fingernail.
“Funny, isn’t it?” I grin. Having listened to so many thoughts, and now knowing someone can hear yours.
Tears spill down his cheeks. “Funny isn’t the word. This isn’t appropriate. I’m your teacher. You shouldn’t be in my head. I can’t always censor my thoughts.”
Think it, don’t speak it. Seems like we’re both going to be teachers. I drop my bag and balance myself on a desk in the front row. You aren’t as gifted as I am. Your power developed at puberty; that’s what we call an Eve Two. That means you are what you are. You won’t expand what you can do. The part of your brain that gives you this ability is fully formed.
He nods as he mulls over what I’ve told him. He’s debating if this is good news or bad news.
If I had millions of dollars, I’d fly to Brazil and get one of those doctors who can correct minds to fix me. His eyes widen a second after the honest thought. “Not that you need to be fixed. I mean… I’m sorry.”
Mr. Bennett is genuine about his apology, as well as his guilt and fear. He hates himself.
That happens when you grow up feeling like the only one of your kind. I hand him my sticker sheet, which only has one fat cat under a flower left on it.
If you had $10 million dollars, what’s the first way you’d use a large chunk of it?
by J Lenni Dorner
Reference and Speculative Fiction Author
A to Z Challenge Co-Host
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