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.
Conversing without speaking out loud freaks everyone out the first time. Mr. Bennett is no exception. Having been only on the hearing end all these years has really messed him.
We sit under the oak tree across from the high school. Most students have piled on buses or driven off in their vehicles. A few are still around since some after school activities started even before the first day of classes.
Mr. Bennett’s mind drifts to memories of his early teen years. That’s when his mind-reading developed. He didn’t know what was happening, of course. A girl named Cindy kept having sex dreams about him. She thought about the dreams when she saw him. Mr. Bennett thought this was a sign that she liked him. It turned out that wasn’t the case.
“She humiliated you at an assembly? In front of everyone? Wow. I’m so sorry.”
His eyes widen and he thinks a string of curse words.
“Beck and call, remember? Sorry, I guess. You can’t lock me out.” I’m actually #SorryNotSorry about this. It’s nice to have a friend I can honestly talk to. Or think to. “No,” I answer his next thought. “The journal assignment isn’t to blame.” I’d have figured out what you are as soon as you tried to read my thoughts.
I never try. It just happens. Why don’t I hear all your thoughts? You’re mostly just a dull buzz. It’s a nice break, don’t get me wrong, but it’s weird.
Weird? I laugh. He yanks up a blade of grass and shreds it while laughing along. You only hear what I allow you to hear because I think at different volumes.
“How did you learn to do that?”
I shrug. “Most of it is easy.” Even regular people can think VERY LOUD or very soft.
“Yeah, but none of them have a dull buzz in between.”
Can you hear me now? I hold up my finger. He nods. Can you still hear me? I rotate my finger.
“I could, but then it cut off at the end. I can’t now at all.”
“Yeah. Volume. I keep it off unless I’m trying to be heard. Picked that survival skill up when I was seven.”
Someone else could hear inside your head? Someone besides me?
Mr. Bennett, you have no idea how not alone we are.
Have you ever had an inappropriate dream about a classmate or co-worker?
by J Lenni Dorner
Reference and Speculative Fiction Author
A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight Organizer