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.
The story started with All Intents and Purposes.
Nip it in the Bud
I am most grateful for Mr. Bennett’s class. It’s not that English is my favorite subject, that’d be physics, it’s that he’s the only person who is nice to me. Or maybe it’s because he’s the only person I’m not related to who knows my secret.
“Today’s journal prompt is nip it in the bud.”
Nathan, the least interesting thinker among all the students, laughs. “You said butt.”
“No. It’s a figure of speech we’ve taken from horticulture. It means to take care of or to end a problem before it grows.” Mr. Bennett sets the timer. He motions for everyone to put pen to page, then presses the button.
For some reason, the reporter stripping on the news comes to mind. Did she nip the problem in the bud by changing the controversy? If the problem was that people cared more about her bra strap than about the news, did taking off more clothing change their attitudes? They tried to shame her, but she claims she didn’t feel ashamed, and then she said they should be ashamed. I agree with her. Hearing people’s thoughts all the time, I know exactly how often people think about bodies and clothing and stuff that doesn’t change lives for the better. I never hear my classmates thinking of ways to help people, to improve the world, or to do something good for our future. Not unless a teacher brings it up. Okay, there are a handful of angry students who think about how unfair it is that they aren’t treated equally. Sometimes they make petitions or something to try to get that changed.
The one problem I’ll face for the rest of my life is the risk of being caught by the Homeland Security Mind Task Force. What ways could I nip that in the bud? How could I get them shut down, get my people freed, and get us treated as equals?
We aren’t equals. That’s the problem. Maybe it’s right for those without our powers to fear us. Not that we’re all bad, just like normal people aren’t all bad. I suppose one of us engaged in criminal behavior would be far more dangerous than a normal villain.
I find myself still thinking about the prompt as I walk home from school. I don’t know who is the most powerful among my kind. I don’t know if any of my kind use their mind powers for bad purposes.
Three more seconds.
I drop my bag and get into a defensive pose. The thinker jumps out.
What are you most grateful for today?
by J Lenni Dorner
Reference and Speculative Fiction Author
A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight Organizer