Mind Reader

Prompt: If you had the power to read minds for one day before you went crazy from all the chatter, how would you use your mind-reading powers for good?

Days pass when the chatter of people carrying on inane conversations make me want to flip the off switch.

The 24/7 technological connectedness amplifies this condition and I imagine that reading minds would be yet a further amplification.  Except that while so-called “good” thoughts would be added to the mix, so too would the lies, the untruths and harsh realities.

I admit this would require growing an extra layer (or layers) of my already thick skin as a buffer against vitriol. However, I prefer to think I’d  take the high road as a clairvoyant and offer advice to those with negative proclivities.

photo courtesy: Huffington Post
photo courtesy: Huffington Post

People, in my experience, can often be their own worst critics. I imagine someone with plenty of talent but low on self-esteem pondering thoughts like: “I’ll never be good enough to make a living as an artist (or baker, or chauffeur, or deputy sheriff…)”

I’d inquire first as to the source of this belief. I have found that with reasonably regular frequency, when questioned on nearly any topic about why they believe what they believe, people come to realize that their basis is neither logical nor sound.  It’s as if they formed an opinion early in the thought process either because someone  told them things are a certain way, or they alone came to a quick conclusion without doing real research.

Can I be an artist? Who am I comparing myself to? Why am I comparing myself to them? Do I need formalized education to achieve my goal? What skills do I possess that can help me? What or who stands in my way? How do I want to live? Am I high maintenance? Do I live in an area where I can be successful? Does geography matter? Am I a night owl or an early bird? How does that affect my ability to become who I want to be? Who can help me?

Reading another’s mind, catching and pointing out the negative and analyzing those thoughts by asking a myriad of questions can easily clear a path to the positive.  If I could read people’s minds and help them improve upon themselves, I’d consider that as “using my powers for good.”

I know what you’re thinking…

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A Mazing End

PART IV the final chapter Continued from Maze Escape

Like a swimmer breaching the water’s surface after copious time spent searching for treasure, a spontaneous gasp forces her lungs to expand. Eyes closed, fingers extended she reaches to feel any recognizable object.

She lies comfortably, a firm cottony pillow supports the weight of her head. She’s aware of ambient sounds, a pendulum ticks, a diesel engine grumbles, and a gentle breeze moves the blinds tapping the edges of the window frames. She grasps something malleable like an old hacky sack. Gradually she musters courage to open her eyes.

Blinking in the bright light she realizes she is in a bedroom.

Centered on a Damask bulletin board, a single sign reads, “Fresh Paint. Do not touch the walls for one hour.”

fresh paint1

Stick Chick contemplates her immediate surroundings.

“It must have been a dream,” she thinks.

*** THE END ***

Maze Escape

PART III Continued from MAZE ENIGMA

Unlike the paths she has traveled, the widening one before her becomes smooth beneath her feet. The ivy thins, choked by an invisible entity that exposes the stone walls. While she remains cautious, her pace quickens. Her leg continues to ache as she picks up speed. The sound of her breathing swells nearly drowning the footfalls on the dirt beneath her feet.

She hears a humming. Glancing back over her left shoulder a drone approaches, a glowing red display shows a countdown. A robotic voice echoes, sound bouncing off the uneven face of the rocky walls: “Three minutes until detonation.”

A whirring and a breeze overtake her and the drone like a flash of lighting against a dark sky disappears as a blinding sun obscures her forward view. Brighter and brighter into the light she runs, agonizing over each step but terrified to stop.

Without warning, the ground beneath her vaporizes. She hears a disembodied, deafening scream and realizes it is her own. But like a voice encapsulated inside a steel vault, no audible noise emits into the atmosphere.

She falls, appendages flailing at first until she resigns herself to imminent death, and surrenders to the air that forces bits of hair away from her face. She stretches out her arms, abandoning any attempt to stop the inevitable until, unexpectedly, she slows. Time seems to stop.

jelloIn slow-motion she passes into an unfamiliar gelatinous realm, neither air nor water. She can barely breathe, the cold blueness in her lungs.

TO BE CONTINUED…