A RELUCTANT PSYCHIC
ALEX is the story of an unwilling psychic. I’ve always been fascinated by the paranormal and wanted to create a character who, by his very nature, could suspend disbelief for the duration of a novel.
With ALEX, I wondered what extreme circumstances could lead to his ‘gift’. I decided it would have to start with his childhood. Alone and isolated, living with the anguish of abuse, perhaps a person’s mind would expand, seeking escape from the sadness and loneliness of life.
I believed his isolation would also make him hypersensitive to the people around him. He’d be empathetic to the point where he could sense and sometimes see the emotions of others. Their thoughts would leap to him in a wave of a sympathetic connection.
A survey of the beliefs of the general United States population about paranormal topics was conducted by The Gallup Organization in 2005. The survey found that 41 percent of those polled believed in extrasensory perception and 26 percent believed in clairvoyance. 31 percent of those surveyed indicated that they believe in telepathy or psychic communication.
Many believe that every human being is born with a certain level of psychic ability which remains dormant in most people but becomes quite active in others, even in their childhood. In the majority of people this dormant psychic ability manifests itself at the onslaught of puberty.
Others believe that psychic abilities can be learned through exercise and discipline. A calm and quiet state of mind is a first step. Remove all negative thoughts from your mind to make it a receptive repository of new information or new ability.
A very easy first step is to sit at a quiet place and try to relax your mind and body. Taking a few deep breaths can do this. Focus your attention on your breath as you inhale and exhale, as the air enters through your nose, travels into your lungs and exits your nose. This simple exercise will calm your mind, divert it from irrelevant thoughts, and help you to focus on developing your intuition.
The next step would be to focus all your thought and energy on a certain person. Try to visualize what they’re doing or thinking at that precise moment. With practice, you should receive an impression from them.
Basically, in order to be psychic, a person must first become a spiritual being. I have to argument with that. I’ve had a few unexplainable happenings in my life. There was a time several years back when I was out shopping with my sister. Right in the middle of the mall we stopped and looked at each other. For some inexplicable reason we were suddenly worried about our brother. A few days later we learned that he had been in a hospital in Mexico, deadly ill, and had returned home to convalesce.
So, do you believe a person can be psychic? I’m still on the fence. It’s not that I don’t believe a person can be psychic. I’ve just never had it proven to me.
It didn’t surprise Alex when a car pulled to the side of the road and he heard the crunch of boots. He didn’t even raise his head when he said, “Hi, Ben.”
The man sat beside him, his attention on the water. After a few minutes, he cleared his throat. “You understand that I had to ask those questions earlier. It’s my job? And I wanted to give you the heads-up about Kramer.”
“I didn’t understand at first, but then I started wondering. You know I couldn’t have hurt Kyle any more than I could hurt Jane. You want me to help you find him.”
“It could mean my job for asking, since Kramer has you pegged as a suspect, but, yes. It’s been three days and there’s been no sign of him. At first, we thought he’d simply left town, but his friends won’t accept that. I was hoping, since you were the last to see him …”
He kept his face averted. He didn’t want Ben to see his dismay; but more than that, he didn’t want to go through the horror of searching for another missing person. He saw Kyle’s face lying in the dirt, his hair matted with blood. Sickened, he covered his eyes.
Ben sighed. “I’m sorry; I shouldn’t have come. I won’t ask you again.”
“It’s too late.” He took a steadying breath. In his mind, Kyle had opened his eyes and called his name, beckoning him for help.
Ben hesitated as they went to his car. “Should we tell Jane?”
He shook his head and climbed into the passenger seat. “Better if we don’t.”
They rode in silence to Oakton. As they entered the town limits, Ben glanced at him. “I thought we’d start at his house.”
He didn’t respond.
“Are we too late?”
“No,” he whispered. “I can hear him breathing. Slow … steady. It’s hard. There’s so much pressure.” He put a hand to his chest. “I’m crushed.” His head drooped forward. He struggled for one more breath, though it cut through him like a knife. He took another but it didn’t fill his lungs. He became desperate for air.
He straightened from his slump against the car door. His heart pounded as he fought to clear his mind. Looking up, he met Ben’s wide eyes. “Stop,” he panted.
Ben pulled the car over, near the park. Alex threw the door open and sprinted across the nearly empty parking lot. The picnic bench drew him, and he found Kyle’s initials in the wood. He pressed his fingers against the inscribed letters. A strained smile formed on his face as Kyle’s last thoughts became his own. It had been a gorgeous morning and his lover had been coming.
He got to his feet and sauntered along the path, his hands in his pockets.
“Alex?” Ben called.
He gave Ben a startled look. “He was a mistake.” A smile played on his lips at the memory of a stolen kiss. Then a frown crossed his face. “My boyfriend didn’t like it.” His voice dropped low. “He hurt me when he found out.”
“Why are you here?” Ben asked carefully.
He flashed Ben a sly glance. “I’m meeting my lover. Hush, here he comes. He’ll probably be jealous of you, too.” He paused at a secluded corner of the path. Suddenly, his face went deathly white. “Who are you? Oh, God, don’t—please!”
In terror, he fell to his knees and raised his hands. “He’s killing me! Oh, God, stop!”
His anguished cry rang in the still air. Collapsing, he covered his head with his arms. Alex writhed in the dirt a second, then, with a strangled breath, he lay still. After an instant of lying motionless, he got up and darted into the forest.
“Wait!” Ben called after him.
He didn’t hear him. The blood roared in his ears. Kyle was alive, he was sure of it.
As he ran, he tripped and sprawled in a thatch of pine needles. Picking himself up, he ran on. A small hollow opened at his feet and he fell in. He struggled to his knees but froze when he saw that he wasn’t alone. Kyle lay beside him.
His heart constricted. “No.”
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