It took two weeks to make any headway. Every few days I would have to knock myself out so they could bring more food and supplies from my little compound. Sleeping wasn’t good enough. They didn’t want to wake me on accident and be caught in my influence. The animals along the way didn’t need to be cared for; my influence kept them perfectly preserved. They never needed food or water or even air for that matter. It seemed I was my own airtight, vacuumed sealed, preservative. Just what I’ve always wanted to be.
I talked to my wife daily; she kept me up on the family, and conditions where she was. She kept telling me I was running out of time. Talk about being under pressure to find answers and not knowing where to look. It was the most frustrating thing I’ve ever been up against. The memory thing wasn’t working well at all. I had remembered everything I could with no effect. All the way back to my earliest memories of sitting in front of a small record player listening to “C is for cookie” by the cookie monster from Sesame Street. That was around age two or three. I couldn’t go back further than that.
If this influence was coming from the same area of my brain as those memories it was something different entirely, I had yet to figure it out. I began thinking differently. Instead of memories I had, I changed them to different possibilities of what could have been if I had made different decisions. It basically became daydreaming and searching for something I didn’t know the location of. Very maddening.
Two weeks and one day since I woke up in the desert, I was thinking about when I saw Star Wars for the first time and how cool it was. To this day I still love that movie, wishing I had the ‘force’ all the time to turn off lights or pick up something when my hands were already occupied. Just for fun I joke with my wife about turning off the light in our bedroom with the force without getting up. It never works and she always laughs at me.
I still like to try though. I stare at objects and try to move them with my mind. Just for kicks. Nothing ever moves but nothing ever will unless you try. So after that memory I was lying in my bed ready for the night and didn’t want to get up. I stretched out my hand, like in the movies, staring at the light switch, squinting my eyes. Of course the light switch stayed on. I laughed and got up and turned it off. Before I made it to the bed the phone rang.
“Blaine! What did you just do?” Dr. Dalton’s assistant Angela asked.
“What do you mean? I just turned off the light for bed. Why?”
“Two animals just woke up! For about thirty seconds and then went back asleep! What were you thinking about, just a minute ago?”
“Umm… Star Wars… the force actually.”
“Really, well do it again. Whatever you thought about, do it again!” she exclaimed very excited.
“Okay, let me know what happens.”
I looked across the room at my Chap Stick on the hospital tray and tried to move it with my mind. It never budged but Angela was going nuts on the other end of the phone.
“You’re doing it again! One animal is awake!” she screamed.
I thought harder, gritted my teeth and really willed the Chap Stick to move. I imagined it moving, Angela was really getting excited now.
“Whatever you are doing keep it up! You are down to three quarters of a mile now!”
My heart was racing; I was getting excited with her. I focused on the tray with wheels on it and imagined it rolling across the floor to me. She was almost livid with her shouts and screams. I could barley understand her but I got some of what she said. I was down to half a mile now and still going. That was even better than when I was doped up. I was in complete control now. My heart was pounding, feeling the rush of excitement charging through me.
The only problem was I was getting weak. It didn’t make sense, all I was doing was imagining but it was taking a toll on my energy. I started feeling hungry, thirsty and tired like my legs wanted to give in. I finally had to stop before I fell over. Angela told me I had it down to a quarter mile when I stopped. She said it jumped back to a mile as soon as I did.
“Wow, I can’t believe it! This is awesome news!” I said sitting down on my bed.
“Dr. Dalton’s going to totally freak out when he hears this!” Angela said.
“So is Ann! This is what we have been working toward! Can you find her?”
“Absolutely! I’ll have her call you in a second,” she said and hung up.
I was really weak. It felt like I had just ridden my bike one hundred miles, hard. I needed a drink, then some food. I got to the water before Ann called and drank as much as I could.
“I did it Ann! I took the circle of influence down to a quarter mile!” I shouted.
“Blaine, that is wonderful! How did you do it?”
“You know how I like to pretend to use the force? Well that’s what I did, that’s all I did. I tried to move stuff with my head and imagined it moving to me. Whatever the influence is, it was affected by me trying,” I gushed.
“I know! It really made me tired though. I think that is the missing clue we have been waiting for. I think with practice I can get it all the way down!”
“That will be the best day ever!”
“Let the kids know. They wanted to know when something changed. Well this is huge, honey! I think I can whip this thing. But not tonight, I’m really worn out.”
“Okay, you rest. I’ll call the kids. I’m so happy Blaine. I can’t wait to hold you again.”
“Same here. We’re going to get through this. I know it now.”
“I love you. Talk to you tomorrow,” she said and hung up.
The next morning Dr. Dalton didn’t wait until I was up. The phone rang as soon as he got in around seven A.M.
“This is incredible Blaine! Angela told me all about it. What did you do to get this result?” he asked.
I explained to him about the force and imaging things moving and he listened intently.
“That’s it. I should have thought of that before. I don’t think it really has anything to do with Star Wars. I think it is using your imagination more than anything. They say when people think outside the box and use imagination the mind is the most awake and active. That’s why our dreams are so vivid and memorable. Our minds are not asleep but imagining what we dream. Angela also said what you did made you tired quickly. That is interesting… hopefully you will adjust to the strain.”
“Yes, it really wore me out. I’m feeling better now. Hungry but better. So you think it is imagination more than concentrating on moving something?”
“Yes I do, but we can test that theory when you are ready.”
“I’m ready now. Yesterday was amazing. Angela was ecstatic, she got me all excited.”
“I’m sorry I missed that. You would have a breakthrough when I wasn’t around. That’s always the case,” he said sarcastically.
“Yeah, sorry Doc but at least something finally happened.”
“Yes, finally. You should eat first, sounds like you’ll need all your strength to do this again.”
“Okay if I must.”
I was anxious to learn, and to figure out more about what I did. I was looking forward to see my wife and kids. To get out of this little room and go somewhere else for a change. I practically inhaled my food, getting ready for the day in record time. He called back laughing.
“Okay, it seems you are excited and ready. So why don’t you show me what you did last night first of all. Then we can tweak it later.”
I looked around the room and found something I could imagine moving. I was sitting in the computer chair. The one I’ve grown accustomed to spending hours in lately. Across the room was my small refrigerator so I focused on that. I tried to open the door with my mind and imagined it opening.
“Ah, excellent this is wonderful,” Dr. Dalton said. “The electrodes on your head are signifying your mind is awake and active. What I’m looking at tells me you are accessing many parts of the cortex with whatever you are thinking about.”
“How far is the influence down?” I asked.
“Only a quarter of a mile,” he replied.
I learned quickly the more things I tried to move or imagined moving the farther the influence would come down. So not only did I try and open the fridge but also I imagined opening my dresser, the closet and some food cupboards all at the same time. Dr. Dalton kept me up to date with what my mind was showing as well as how far the influence was dropping. I got it down to a quarter of a mile again but became bored trying to just open things or moving things, my mind wandered away and the influence went back up.
“Okay, very good. Now that was with you thinking about using the ‘force’ right? You didn’t think of anything else?”
“No nothing else. It became kind of dumb because nothing was really moving and my mind drifted away from the idea.”
“Right, and then the influence strengthened again. Okay, instead of trying to move things I want you to imagine something fantastic happening where you are. Don’t think about Star Wars or the force but think of something more amazing,” he suggested.
“Okay, give me a minute to think of something.”
Looking around the room I couldn’t think of anything really amazing happening here. It was very boring, quiet and non-exciting. What I did see was that I hadn’t cleaned up after myself. My dishes were still unwashed, lying around. My clothing was in piles around the room and the hospital bed in the other room was unmade. I don’t know why but the untidiness reminded me of the movie Mary Poppins where she and the kids used magic or imagination to clean their room, putting all their toys away. It was worth a try.
I remembered in the movie how the things came to life, moving on their own to there proper place. How the bed made itself, the toys put themselves away and so forth. While I imagined that I added the memory of the dishes cleaning themselves from Sleeping Beauty. In my head it was happening, all around the room I imagined activity and movement. I smiled, even the music of the films came into my mind, humming as I pretended.
Dr. Dalton was getting most excited on the phone. He told me that if I looked outside right then I would be able to see the animals near by awake for the first time. I had stopped the influence within feet of my exact location. I knew what this meant. I could see my wife again, my kids, anyone. I can’t tell you how excited and thrilled I was. I got up, remembering to imagine things still happening around me and went to the door. The first cage with the rabbit was right outside the door. Outside it was harder to make things up with nothing but sand and sagebrush, but I made due. When I got to the cage the rabbit was awake and looking at me! I was so excited I lost my concentrating and forgot what I was imagining. The poor rabbit froze and fell back over before I could stop it.
Concentrating I looked into the cage and pretended the rabbit was awake and talking to me like Thumper from Bambi. The rabbit woke up and looked at me again. It said, “My father says, if you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say nothing at all.” Then it winked at me, sprouted wings, and began to fly around its cage. The crazier my imagination became the easier it was to control the influence.
It was taking its toll on me again, I felt thirsty and tired already but I was too excited to care. I reached into the cage and picked up the talking flying bunny, it was one of the most wonderful moments in my life. To actually feel something else move and living in my arms again was wonderful.
The rabbit was telling me a knock knock joke now, “Knock knock,” it said.
“Who’s there?” I replied out loud.
“I eep,” the rabbit replied.
“I eep who,” I responded.
The rabbit busted up and couldn’t believe that I said I eat poo. I laughed with him and began telling him a joke of my own as I walked toward the next cage in the long line. Inside was a guinea pig, wide-awake and listening to my joke.
“A pirate walked into the bar and went up to the bartender to order some rum. The bartender looked at him strangely, because the pirate had a paper towel on his head. After giving the pirate his rum he had to know what the paper towel was for. So he asked the pirate. The pirate replied “Arrrrgh, I’ve a Bounty on mi head,” I told the rabbit and the guinea pig.
Of course they both erupted in hilarious laughter and the guinea pig even passed gas he was laughing so hard. I opened the cage and took it out, together the three of us returned back into my huge mansion painted bright yellow with blue polka dots covering the outside. Back inside the dishes were still washing themselves. Both the rabbit and the guinea pig began talking once we were inside. I let them down onto the floor to walk around. The rabbit liked to fly more than walk; I had to duck, as it would veer at me dive-bombing.
The guinea pig warned me of raining rabbit droppings and I laughed at that thought. I picked up the phone and told Dr. Dalton he should come and visit because we were having a great time in my luxurious mansion filled with talking animals and the flying ‘poop shooting’ rabbit.
“I see well that’s quite the imagination,” he said.
“And that’s exactly the key. It was just like you said… it had nothing to do with Star Wars, and everything to do with imagination.”
“Well done Blaine, you’ve kept the influence down for about 10 minutes now.
“Sweet! Does my wife know?” I asked as I dodged another wave of rabbit attacks.
“She does. We are having a hard time keeping her from running out the door toward you,” he said excited.
“Tell her I’ll meet her half way!” I was serious.
“Let’s not get too excited, this is only the first time you’ve been able to do this.”
“I know, but I really miss her.”
“Oh isn’t that sweet,” the guinea pig mocked me.
“Listen pal, another remark like that and I’ll imagine you as bacon,” I said. “I love bacon.”
The guinea pigs mouth zipped shut and Dr. Dalton was trying not to laugh at my pretending. I was doing all the voices out loud. A high-pitched screech for the pig and a low English accent for the rabbit that kept repeating ‘bombs away’ as it buzzed my head.
I didn’t know how ridiculous I had to be to keep the influence from returning. It would take time to figure that out. But at the moment I kept it funny and as imaginative as I could. My little house had become an enormous mansion, with multiple rooms, all more wild than the last. The rabbit and the guinea pig continued to talk and explore each room I imagined.
In reality they just explored the room and I was sitting in my chair behind the computer. Fantasy was much more fun than reality.
“This is incredible progress Blaine. We need to see how long you can maintain this. Those in charge will want to be assured you are safe and under control for long periods before they will allow you to see others,” Dr. Dalton said.
“I understand. I’ll keep it up.”
Not only did I keep it up, I was learning as I went. I found that I could control my range of influence by how imaginative I was at the moment. I found that if I let the rabbit just be a normal rabbit my influence would extend out from me a few feet. If the animals came too close they would fall over and go stiff. All I would have to do was pretend again and they would wake up as my influence came back to me.
I kept practicing, making sure I ate and drank throughout the day. I had to make my imagination as natural as breathing. I knew it would be easier if I weren’t locked up in the same room all day. If I could do it here I could do it anywhere, so this was a good test for me.
Whatever I saw around me became something different then it actually was. Inanimate objects broke out into song, or dance. Food begged for mercy before I ate it, screaming as I chomped down. Water became apple juice; rice cakes became the most succulent steak I’ve ever eaten. It didn’t matter what I imagined anything seemed to work to keep the rabbit and guinea pig moving and breathing in the same room. If I could do it with them I could do it with people. My biggest desire was to see my wife and hold her again. I had to prove I was ready to do this by keeping my imagination wide open.
I pretended the entire day, and the animals stayed awake with me as we joked, sang, danced, and had a wonderful time together in fantastical adventures.
I fell asleep still imagining. I was told that while I slept the influence was always gone. That was the time the animals were all active. It was the hours when I had to knock myself unconscious for good that the workers would check on the animals. Replace any eaten food and water during the nights, withdrawing before I woke up. But now I could keep the influence away without having to take a sedative. The only time I had issues was first thing in the morning as I was just waking up.
The first morning the rabbit woke me up by knocking over the garbage can. Before I could begin to imagine something, my influence left my mind, traveling quickly from the house out to the line of awake animals, knocking them all out. Dr. Dalton said it went a full quarter mile before I reined it in and brought it back.
These small lapses in my pretending were the problem. It was just hard to remember as soon as I woke up to begin pretending again. I knew the more I became accustomed to it the easier it would become.
I proved my point. The next few days, I didn’t have any slip-ups and the powers that be agreed to let my wife and Dr. Dalton drive out to me. I was so excited to see real people I could hardly sit still. I was making up very lavish things in my head. The rabbit was pulling himself out of a hat as the guinea pig waved a wand. I was sitting in a pool, sun bathing and splashing the two performers as they preformed magic for me.
I kept it as wild as I could because I knew they were on their way. Dr. Dalton was talking to me on the phone and telling me how close he was. He drove slow incase I messed up and he fell unconscious. It seemed like forever until I heard the vehicle outside. I went to the door, seeing my wife’s face inside the Hummer for the first time in many weeks. She jumped out of the door before Dr. Dalton came to a stop, running toward me. I ran to her and she jumped into my arms. I can’t tell you how wonderful I felt. It made all my work and struggle worth it to be able to hold and hug my wife again.
I had to keep my imagination up though. So she had bright pink hair instead of the brown that is natural. Dr. Dalton had a clown nose on his face and hair that looked like Ronald McDonald, but only in my imagination. He was really just a normal guy with glasses on and a white shirt and jeans.
I kissed and hugged my pink haired wife. She was crying and kissing me back. She had really missed me. It was a glorious reunion, taking awhile before we broke apart so I could shake Dr. Dalton’s hand. I honked his nose and called him Ronald so he would know what I was imagining.
“Better than me being some sort of animal,” he said laughing.
“Oh, I can think of better than that,” I said.
“I’m sure you can.”
“Please come inside, out of this rain.”
They looked up at the sunny, cloudless sky and then figured out what I was doing. In my mind it was cold and a rainy downpour. In reality it was a hot and cloudless sunny day. They both smiled, following me into my pink and yellow polka dotted mansion.
“Do you like what I’ve done with the place? This is the living room, now the dining room. Or if you would like we can go swimming out back,” I said standing next to my wife holding her hand.
“A swim sounds great,” she said.
“Well jump in, you’re already in your swimming suit,” I said smiling.
“Oh really and how do I look,” she asked.
“I don’t need to imagine that. You look better than anything I’ve ever laid eyes on,” I said giving her another big kiss.
“Hey doc, its great to finally meet you. I wanted to thank you in person for all that you have done for me. I couldn’t have done it without your help and patience,” I said.
“I’m just glad we were able to figure it out. We still don’t know what is causing it or how it happened in the first place. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you there are many people very anxious to meet you. Some see your influence as a gift; some see it as a dangerous weapon. You’re going to get both sides I’m afraid.”
“I’ll deal with that. I’m just thrilled to actually have someone talking to me in person. This is a dream come true!” I said squeezing Ann’s hand.
The rabbit and the guinea pig made an appearance as we were talking and I introduced them to my guests. I started laughing, both Ann and the doctor wanted to know what was funny.
“Barkley, the guinea pig commented on your pink hair Ann and the rabbit just dive bombed the doctor, pooping on his head. He’s a dang good shot,” I said still laughing.
“I’m glad you like my hair Barkley. I’ve been working on this color for a while now,” Ann said adding to the fantasy.
Dr. Dalton wiped his head off and wiggled his finger at the flying rabbit.
“So tell me… when are they going to let me leave?” I asked.
“I’m working on that. This is the first step with us visiting you. In the days ahead you will be allowed to travel with us back to the main monitoring facility where you’ll meet many others involved with your case. Unfortunately you will have to convince quite a few that you are safe enough to be allowed off the base. It’s going to take some time.”
“I understand. After what I caused, I can see why they are a little skeptical of me. I’m sure they realize how cooperative I have been though. I mean if I wanted to I could just walk away and no one could stop me.”
“They realize that, and both your wife and I have mentioned that several times,” he said looking at Ann.
“Good, I don’t know what else to do to convince them I’m not going to purposely hurt people. I’ve done everything I have been told for weeks now. I think I have this pretty well under control.”
“I agree, I can’t imagine what you have to be doing just to have this conversation with us,” he said.
“Well I’ve practiced with Barkley and Thumper endlessly so it’s beginning to become second nature.”
“How quickly could you incapacitate Ann and I if you wanted too?” he asked.
“Is that your question or some military guys question,” I asked.
“Both, I’m a military doctor after all.”
“I see, well before you could cross the room and get to me at a full run. I’ve figured out with the animals how quickly my influence can spread and how much of an imagination I have to keep. It’s weird but I can feel the influence now. I can control how far it extends from my body and how quick it can go.”
“Please demonstrate,” Dr. Dalton said.
“Okay. Ann you and Dr. Dalton stay where you are and I’ll take Barkley and walk over to the other side of the room.”
I did so and set Barkley down. He was jabbering away in my mind and making funny faces at me with big goofy eyes.
“Okay, now watch Barkley. I’ll let him waddle away from me and then I’ll freeze him.” I said.
They watched, very curious, I let Barkley get about ten feet away before letting my imagination lessen until my influence fell over Barkley. He fell paralyzed onto his side.
“Now with just more pretending I can wake him up.”
Barkley jumped back to his feet and looked around. He called me a showoff and I smiled to myself.
“Very impressive, Blaine. I want you to do it to me now,” Dr. Dalton said.
“What? Are you sure that is a good idea?” I asked.
“Maybe, maybe not, but I want to experience it for myself and watch you do it,” he said.
“Well, okay, but you should probably sit down first.”
“Good point,” he said and walked to the chair behind the desk.
He was closer to me than Ann. She stood very still watching me with interest and wings. She looked really good as an angel.
“Okay, you ready?” I asked the doctor.
“Yep, hit me,” he said.
Dr. Dalton lost his rubber nose and red curly hair. My influence took hold of him; he passed out cold in the chair. I looked at Ann and she smiled at me.
“We’re alone at last,” I said.
“Yep but I can’t get closer can I?” she asked.
“Unfortunately not, but we can talk without him hearing us.”
“True. I’m worried Blaine. I don’t know what they intend to do with you. Before you figured this out I overheard them talking about keeping you locked up forever or worse. Now that you can control it they are talking of using your ability for military use or law enforcement. You have to admit honey, with what you can do you are very powerful,” she said.
“I know. I just don’t want to be taken advantage of and used for the wrong thing.”
“Well, don’t let them do that. But you might have to go along with them so you can get free.”
“I know. Whatever I have to do to get back to you and the kids will be worth it. I’m getting sick of this little space. I think he’s been out long enough,” I said looking at Dr. Dalton.
His Ronald McDonald appearance returned and he jumped awake again.
“Wow! How long was I out?” he asked.
“Not too long. What was it like?”
“Like nothing, I didn’t feel it happen at all. It was instant. One second I was upright and waiting for something and the next I was relaxed with my head down. When you come out of it is a shock because you are in a different position than you think you should be. You know what I mean?” he asked.
“Yeah, I think so. I’m sure it is a huge shock for people that were walking or running when it happened and then finding themselves flat on their faces for no reason.”
“I want to try it,” Ann said.
I walked over to her and took her by the waist, imagining her as herself. No swimsuit, no pink hair. She collapsed in my arms and I kept her from falling by picking her up in my arms. The doctor watched me with interest as I held my comatose wife.
“Set her here so she can get the true effect,” he said moving out of the chair.
He gave me a wide berth as I carried her, setting her down in the chair. I backed away from her and she jumped awake with a shocked look on her face.
“Okay, that was way too weird. How did I get over here?” she asked.
“I carried you while you were out,” I said with a smile.
“That was very bizarre. I thought I was still standing. Talk about a surprise,” she said.
She got up and walked back over to me. I imagined her with pink hair again and a blue bird on her shoulder. It was getting easier to keep imagining. The effect didn’t drain me as quickly either. I was evolving to my new way of life and trying to have fun with it.
Ann and Dr. Dalton stayed for two hours but they wouldn’t let me leave with them today. I felt I could control my influence indefinitely now but the others wanted to be confident I could control it before I was allowed to leave. After they left I considered following the tire tracks and just showing up unannounced. I imagined what that would be like, deciding against it. I would stay put and do as I was told… for now anyway.
In the meantime I just hung out with my two best buddies Barkley and Thumper. We kept each other entertained. They made a huge mess of the place that had to be cleaned up by the military. Dr. Dalton convinced them to take the rest of the animals away and to restock and clean my compound without knocking me out. He told them it was a good test for me, proving to the others that I was capable of controlling this for long periods of time.
When the people came they were very leery of me, staying as far away from me as they could in this little building. They brought more food and cleaned up after my two animal friends, who made fun of them the entire time they were here. I found myself laughing and pretending much more when they were around. They probably thought I was nuts and really tried to avoid me then.
Barkley made names up for each worker and Thumper tried to make more messes as soon as they cleaned one up. The workers wanted to put them back in cages but I assured them that was not going to happen. You can’t keep talking guinea pigs and flying rabbits in cages. It’s just not right.
To pass the time we played games. Hide and seek was Barkley’s favorite, he seemed to disappear very well and fast. Thumper liked tag, especially when he was it and I had his carrots. With nothing else to do but sit around and pretend I had to be pretty creative to get through the day. I began telling them stories I would make up of fantastic adventures and far away places. They wanted to be characters in the stories, helping me make them up as we went. A story usually lasted one day, unless it was really good and then it went longer. I think the space saga of Captain Thumper and his side kick Barkley the shape shifting guinea pig lasted the longest. Three whole days of fighting against the evil Veterinarian Empire who had imprisoned all furry creatures big and small. It turned out really good with Barkley impersonating one of the Imperil vet’s and gaining access to their secret base. Once inside he opened a secret back door allowing Captain Thumper and his band of flying warrior rabbits to infiltrate the evil lair and destroy the Empire forever. All the furry creatures big and small were saved and Captain Thumper and shape shifter Barkley were heroes.
Ann and Dr. Dalton would visit often but never stayed longer than half the day so I had a lot of free time. Too much actually, I really needed a change in venue to keep my imagination fresh. Dr. Dalton said he was working on the others and had a tentative time to meet with them set up in a few days. I didn’t like the word tentative but it was better than no meeting at all. I was getting restless and the idea of just showing up became more appealing each passing day.
No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of the copyright holder.
Imagination is more important than knowledge Albert Einstein
Emie, this one’s for you. Your enthusiasm and exuberance kept me writing.
It was just a normal March morning. My alarm woke me at 5:45 A.M. for my morning exercise routine. My wife, Ann, got up with me but shortly after, left for the gym, while I stayed home with the kids. Two daughters, ten and six, slept through my music and exercise. After lifting I ate my breakfast and rode my six miles to work. Ann was home before I left and everything was as it should be with the world. Crisp morning air, below freezing temperatures, the road rolling under my thin bicycling racing tires, was my normal daily commute.
Work appeared normal, I usually get there early when I ride so I have time to change and cool down before work. I fired up my computer, checked emails, voice messages, settling into another Thursday workday.
The first sign of any change in my routine life was the sound of a vacuum down the hall, and then a man from maintenance walked into my office to look at my heating vent. He didn’t say a word until I asked him what was up.
“Yours appears clean,” he said.
“That’s good right?” I asked.
“Yep, others are complaining of a lot of dust this morning. All over their offices, even the vents are covered. I think the new cleaning crew was trying out a new vacuum and it exploded or something,” he told me.
He didn’t say anymore, walking out. I didn’t think anything of it, returning to work. The vacuum down the hall in someone’s office was still going; I assumed they were cleaning this mess the guy had mentioned.
About fifteen minutes later my coworker was walking by my office with the vacuum, as he passed he fell to the ground like he had fainted. I jumped from my chair, quickly moving out into the hall to see if he was okay. He wasn’t moving. I heard another person in the office next to me fall to the floor.
I had no idea what was going on, calling out to anyone for help with Jeff lying at my feet. But no one came out of their office when I shouted. I ran to the next office, Steve was unconscious sitting in his chair. The next two offices had similar comatose people either in chairs or on the ground.
My mind went to possible conclusions like gas leak, carbon monoxide, chemical attack, but none of it made any sense if I was still walking around. I didn’t know what to do, running back into the hall. People down at the end had collapsed as well. It was all over the building. The office became very quiet. I was freaking out. Running back to my office I picked up the phone to dial 911. The dispatcher answered quickly and I told her what was going on.
“Everyone! They’re all unconscious!” I screamed.
“Okay sir, I need you to try and calm down. Is anyone breathing?” she asked.
“I don’t know, I didn’t check. Hold on,” I said having to put the corded phone down to check Jeff, the closest unconscious person.
As I did, I heard a loud noise above me outside. It sounded like a small plane landing at the airport nearby but it was much louder. I screamed in horror as I saw the plane plummet out of the air, crashing into the parking lot outside my window. The explosion shattered the glass, throwing me back into the hall. The pain was excruciating. I felt it in my chest, forehead and legs. Glass from the window was imbedded in my body; my head hit the wall when I fell to the ground.
Dazed and bleeding I regained some sort of coherence and looked up. Hot blood was in my eyes, my entire body hurt. The plane outside was engulfed in flames; nothing was recognizable as an airplane. Just twisted metal, flames and black putrid smoke.
My office was on fire, with computer, phone and monitors strewn around the room. I tried to get up, but screamed in pain as I felt the large piece of glass in my right leg. The fire was spreading. I had to put it out or everyone would die if they weren’t already dead.
Gritting my teeth I pulled the shard of glass from my thigh, struggling to stand. I tested my leg, hobbling over to the fire extinguisher mounted on the wall. Pulling the pin I doused the fire. Moving as fast as I could, I checked the other offices up against the same wall. Two more fires were burning and I luckily got them out as well. Everyone was still out. I took the cell phone off the hip of the person closest to me to dial 911 again.
“A plane just crashed outside our offices!”
It was the same dispatcher. She told me emergency personnel were on their way and to stay on the line until they got there. I asked her if she knew what was going on. She said there were no others reporting any incidents. Just from me. I told her it was because everyone else was unconscious. I don’t know what she thought. She had to have heard the plane crash but probably had no idea what had happened or what it was.
I made my way to the front doors to wait for the authorities. I looked out the door and watched as a car on the highway drifted off the road as if the driver had gone to sleep, crashing into the barrier. It flipped, rolling into a field. Other cars were already wrecked; I didn’t see another person moving anywhere.
“Cars are crashing everywhere! The highway is a mess and no one else is moving.”
“Someone should be there soon, sir. Stay with me.” the dispatcher responded.
In the distance, I could hear sirens and looked in that direction. Red and blue lights were flashing; a police car was flying down the road about a mile away.
“I see a cop. They’re almost here.”
“Good they will be able to help you,” she said back.
“Oh no,” I said as the cop car veered off the road, plowing into another car. “The cop car just wrecked. I think whatever is doing this is spreading. You have to warn people. Something is killing them all around me.”
Another cop, who had seen his comrade crash, slowed way down. He stopped in the middle of the road about fifty yards from the crash. I could just see the officer get out of his car, running to help. He got halfway before falling forward like an invisible line had tripped him. He didn’t even put his hands out to catch himself.
Nothing was making any sense. I didn’t see any movement within one mile of me.
“They can’t get here. The same thing is happening to them when they get close to where I am.” I said into the phone.
“I’m warning people now; it sounds like some kind of gas in the air.”
“But why isn’t it hurting me?”
“I don’t know sir, just try and remain calm.”
“I’m hurt… my leg is bleeding badly… from broken glass. I have cuts… on my face… and chest.”
She started talking me through first aid after I located a kit back in the office. I wrapped gauze around my leg first. My face was a mess, with small cuts from shattered glass. Nothing looked too serious or deep. She talked with me the whole time, telling me they had set up a perimeter around my location and were sending men in with protective suits. She called them CDC.
I staggered back outside, favoring my leg, trying to see them coming. Barricades on the roads leading to me had been set up. Fire engines, ambulances, and cop cars were parked across the road. It would take a while for CDC to show up, since my work was about an hour away from a major city.
I saw a few more bodies lying on the roads where the people had come to close and dropped. It was strange, but the line held its position. The people outside the circle didn’t look affected in the least. Almost like an invisible barrier around me.
A fireman had a rope; he was trying to lasso a fallen person with it. It took him a few tries but he made it around the person’s leg. He and another guy pulled the person back toward them. As soon as they pulled the person to them I couldn’t believe my eyes. She woke up! She jumped right up like someone had splashed cold water on her. I started walking toward them to get a better look. As I approached all three people dropped to the ground. I froze. I walked backward with my eyes locked onto them. A few steps backwards and all three of them awoke, standing up, looking around for a cause.
It was me! I was the source of this whole mess. I didn’t know what to do, I was afraid to tell the dispatcher on the phone what I had discovered. It didn’t make any sense at all. I still didn’t believe it until I walked toward them again, knocking them all back to the ground. Backing up, they came alert, just like before. I sat down, bewildered, trying to think how this was possible.
It wasn’t possible. There had to be some other explanation. I sat still, sitting on a curb in the parking lot, afraid to move. The 911 dispatcher was still on the phone. I kept her up to date with what was going on but not much changed with the line until the CDC showed up.
Four people in blue suits, you see in the movies, got out of a large truck and headed toward the invisible line. All four of them fell on their faces just like the others. It wasn’t gas, or something in the air. I don’t know what the cops thought now. It looked like no one knew what to do.
“The guys in the chemical suits passed out too. What now?” I asked.
“I’m going to have to call you back, Sir,” she said and hung up.
I went back to my destroyed office and found my own cell phone. Luckily it was unscathed in the corner of my office. I called my wife to tell her what was going on. It was too early in the crisis for her to have heard about it. She panicked when I told her I was hurt and people around me all seemed dead. That was a mild explanation of what she really did.
“I think it is me that is causing this,” I said to her.
“You? How is that possible?”
“I have no idea but when I move closer to the people they fall over and when I move back they awaken again.”
“So their not dead then?”
“No, but the people in car accidents and the airplane probably are.” I said with remorse.
“And you think you caused all of this?”
“Well, not on purpose!”
The other phone in my pocket started to ring and I told her I had to go and would call her back.
“Hello,” I asked.
“Is this Blaine Stephens?” a man asked.
“This is Special Agent Bryant with the FBI. Can you tell me what is happening there?”
I went over everything with him, except the part about possibly being the cause. He listened, acknowledging me ever so often, letting me know he was listening.
“Okay sir, I want you to come outside and walk toward the east edge of the parking lot for me.”
I think I knew what he was doing. They had a hunch it was me causing this. Maybe this has happened before and the government has kept it quiet.
“Okay, on my way.”
I did as I was told, walking to the edge of the east parking lot, directly toward a group of cops and firefighters. Over ten people fell to the ground as I walked. Special Agent Bryant must have been watching because he told me to stop before I got to the end of the lot.
“Okay Mr. Stephens, now please turn around and walk back to the main doors.”
“It’s me isn’t it?” I asked.
“Possibly Sir, we’re going to get you help. I’ll call you back.”
I sat down again on the curb with my heart racing. My cuts and bruises hurt, the gauze around my leg was soaked through. Smoke from the smoldering aircraft hung in the air and stunk. I kept trying to figure out how this had suddenly happened to me but nothing came to mind. I also wondered how they were going to help me if no one could get within a mile of my location. I put the phone on the curb next to me.
About an hour later I started seeing military vehicles show up at the barricade and the phone began ringing.
“Mr. Stephens, we’ve contacted your wife. She’s with me now,” Bryant said.
“Is she okay?”
“Yes, she’s worried about you but doing well. We want to try something Mr. Stephens. We are going to launch a container toward you…”
“Your what? I don’t like the sound of that.”
Don’t be alarmed it is harmless. Inside the container will be a syringe. We need you to inject yourself. It’s just a sedative that will put you to sleep. Make sure you are sitting or lying down before the injection. We hope when you are unconscious we will be able to approach. Any questions?”
I’ve watched way too much television. The conspiracy plots all came to my mind. “How do I know it’s just a sedative and won’t kill me?” I asked without thinking. Not only was I worried about being shot at how was I to know they wouldn’t just kill me with some poison.
“Sir, were not here to hurt you. We don’t even know if this will work. You are just going to have to trust us and follow directions.”
That wasn’t very reassuring but I didn’t have much choice. If it did work it was the only way to get these other people the help they needed. I was just one among hundreds around me.
I watched as they moved some kind of military vehicle forward, got it all set up, and fired. I saw a flash. Seconds later I heard the cannon noise. Keeping still I waiting for the impact. Military guys are very accurate; the canister hit the lawn around the office and stuck into the soft soggy March ground. I got up and went to it. Bryant talked me through how to open it and get the syringe out. My heart was racing faster now. I had never given myself a shot before. Not knowing what was in this thing didn’t help either. It just looked like the syringes they use to give the flu shot every year, with a small thin needle. I figured it shouldn’t hurt too badly.
“Okay I’m going to do it,” I said putting the phone down.
I sat up against a tree, pulled up the sleeve of my shirt and did as Bryant had instructed. I cleaned the area with some alcohol they provided, stuck my arm with the needle, slowly pushing the liquid in. Thirty seconds later everything went black.
I woke up in a hospital bed with an empty IV bag connected to my arm. I was in a small room with no windows and no one was with me. I sat up in my bed and felt… good actually, a little groggy but not sore or in pain. I checked my leg; it was stitched up, and looked like it had been for a while. Around the room I saw a hospital-feeding tray next to the bed with food and a note. I picked the note up and read.
Mr. Stephens, by now you have realized the sedative worked. We have transferred you to a secure facility in the Nevada desert. You have been kept under sedation for a week now while we have tried to understand what has happened to you. Once you are awake, eat the food and call the number below.
I’ve been unconscious for a week! Nevada Desert? Area 51 came to mind. More television and movie memories. The food was hot so whoever left it wasn’t very far away. I didn’t bother eating, picking up the phone. I dialed the number.
“Blaine! It’s me,” my wife answered.
“Ann? What’s going on?” I asked.
“They’ve been trying to help you but can’t figure anything out. Now that you are awake we can’t approach again. Just like at home.”
“So that’s why I’m in the middle of nowhere? So I don’t hurt anyone else?”
“How many people did I kill?”
She hesitated. I knew it wasn’t going to be good, “Three in the plane and two others out on the roads. It’s not your fault, honey! You didn’t know this was going to happen.”
I felt sick to my stomach; glad I hadn’t touched the food. The smell wasn’t helping. I covered the trays and fought the urge to vomit.
“Do they know anything?” I finally was able to ask.
“Not much, just the fact that you don’t project while unconscious.”
“Project? Is that what they called it?”
“Yes, there’s a man here. He’s been trying to help you and told me all they know. He wants to talk to you now. I love you. The kids miss you.”
To me it seemed like the same day. I didn’t know what to say besides telling her I loved her and to tell the kids the same. She handed the phone over to this man as she started crying.
“Hello Mr. Stephens, my name is Doctor Dalton. You really should eat some solid food,” he said.
I looked up, seeing the camera in the corner of the room and waved to whoever was watching me.
“Yes, we are monitoring you now from a location far enough away from your influence. We don’t understand what it is or how you are projecting it. It has an affect on every living thing though. Animals and humans alike become catatonic and in a state of stasis until your influence is removed. We are experimenting, now that you are awake, with animals within your influence. Their bodies completely shut down. No breathing, heartbeats or brain activity whatsoever. The odd thing is they return to normal as soon as you are removed. We have found no side effects with the people you affected last week. It’s like it never happened. They don’t remember falling or anything from the experience.”
“Okay, do you have any theories to what is going on? Any educated guesses? I don’t feel any different than before this happened.”
“Actually no. We’ve tested the air, radio waves, microwaves, x-rays, and all known forms of neurological and scientific phenomenon to explain this. We can’t detect anything coming from you at all. It’s there though, as clear as the air we breathe. We’ve determined the radius around you is exactly 5,280 feet right down to the inch. It circles you in every direction.”
“One mile exactly? That’s really odd.”
“Yes it is. Almost like it was designed that way. It stays constant as well, never fluctuating unless you are unconscious.”
“How are you measuring this if you can’t detect it?
“Good question. We have animals in cages every one hundred yards from your location, which we are monitoring at all times. Only the animals more than a mile away from you are awake at the present time. So you see Mr. Stephens you have become quite the enigma. I intend to help you discover why and how.”
“Sounds good to me. How do we start?”
“First, tell me what if anything was different that first day, before you exhibited the behavior or manifested, if you will.”
“Nothing much. I just remember it as any other day except something about dust in the heating vents of others and a vacuum down the hall. The first one I saw collapse was Jeff taking the vacuum back to the supply closet.”
“Okay, it’s a long shot but we’ll check the vacuum out. What about how you felt? Any odd sensations, fatigue, anger, sadness anything that could help?”
“No, sorry. Nothing had me mad, sad, upset or even happier than normal. It was just a ordinary Thursday.”
“Your wife tells me you rode your bike to work. She says you do that most days. Do you remember anything odd on the way to work?”
“No. It was a typical chilly ride, I felt pretty good, made it to work in the same time as I usually do for this time of year.”
“Okay, sounds like a dead end for now. Let me know if you remember anything else. We are fabricating a lead box to see if it distorts your influence. Nothing else we have tried has worked. It even penetrates the ground. We assume a mile below the surface as well. I doubt the lead box will work. It wasn’t my idea,” he said. I heard a slight frustration to his voice.
“Yeah, probably not if it’s going through the earth now.”
“Okay, these next requests will seem odd but I want to rule things out. I want you to hold your breath for as long as you can.”
“Okay, starting when?”
“Now if you don’t mind.”
I wasn’t very good at holding my breath but I got a minute in before having to breathe.
“Anything happen,” I said after taking in air.
“No, the influence was still present.”
He took me through a series of odd requests from things to think about to positions he wanted my hands, head, and body. Nothing changed and we were no closer to figuring anything out. I was feeling hungry by the time he finished quizzing me so I opened the apple juice on the tray. It tasted really good, making me hungrier. I ate most the cold food, discovering a week without anything solid really made a man hungry. I also discovered I had an external catheter and the dual IV’s in my arms were starting to bug me.
I guess they noticed on the camera my discomfort, since I was fidgeting with all my tubes and wires. Dr. Dalton told me how to disconnect all of them. It hurt, but I was glad to be free. He told me I could walk around and even leave my room to explore the small secluded building they had put me in. I discovered only one other room. This one had windows and computer monitoring equipment. It was set up to relay all of my vitals to wherever Dr. Dalton was. He also told me where to find clothing and shoes. I removed the gown they had me in and dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, since that was the only option available. I looked out the window to see a typical Nevada desert scene. Nothing but sand, sagebrush and animal cages all in a line heading away from me. It was a bizarre sight. The animals were protected from the sun in individual cages. All of them appeared dead.
“Okay, Mr. Stephens lets try something new since you are up.”
“Okay, but call me Blaine.”
“Fine Blaine, please go outside and approach the first cage. Once you are there reach inside and pick up the rabbit. I want to see if direct contact with you changes anything.”
I did as I was told. It was hot outside for March with the sun high in the sky. The shorts made sense now. I picked up the comatose rabbit, nothing changed. It didn’t move, awake or appear alive in anyway. Dr. Dalton seemed disappointed. I was hoping for something myself. I realized, as I picked up the animal, that I wasn’t going to be able to touch my wife or kids if I remained the way I was now. That wasn’t an appealing realization. I put the rabbit back, looking around. The line of cages disappeared over a slight hill so I couldn’t see where it ended or any other buildings where they were monitoring me. I was completely alone. It felt weird.
I went back inside, with not much to look at or do. It was so quiet, I had never felt so alone before in my life. I was okay with being alone. Sometimes I preferred it, but now I wasn’t choosing to be alone. It was being forced on me by something I had no control over. I didn’t like it. I wanted to see my wife and kids.
“Any other experiments you want to try? We need to figure this out.”
“If you are up for it, I want to see what happens when you are inebriated or not fully in control of yourself. Drunk if you will, with limited mental faculties.”
“How do we go about doing that? I don’t drink.”
“That’s what your wife said. It involves another needle. It will make you feel like you are drunk. You’ll be unbalanced, your speech will be slurred and your reactions slower than normal. Drunk.”
“Oh wow, sounds like a good time,” I joked.
“It will help us determine if it is your brain that is causing the influence,” he replied not amused.
“Okay where’s this new shot? I’m willing to try anything to figure this out.”
He told me where to find the syringe. It was obvious he had planned this all in advance. Probably over the week I was out. I still couldn’t believe I lost a week of my life. The shot acted quickly, I felt dizzy and disoriented seconds later. My eyesight got blurry and I quickly decided it was time to sit down. If this was what drunk felt like I didn’t see the draw. I liked being in control and this was far from it.
“How are you feeling?”
“Woo-zy. My… arms are… heavy,” I slurred my words.
“Good, something is happening! The first animal within a mile has just woken up. This is what we hoped would happen.”
The effect was getting worse. I tried to walk over to a computer chair behind the desk with all the monitoring equipment. I fell on the way, laughing at myself. I don’t know what was funny but I was laughing anyway. I crawled to the chair and after some effort got into it.
“Blaine… Blaine? Are you there?” the doctor was asking once I got the phone back to my ear.
“I’mmmmm heeeaaar, sort oooof,” I said.
“Many more animals are awake, we estimate about a quarter mile of influence has disappeared. It’s working!”
“Gre…at, ecce…pt I caann’t fu…ct..ion,” I stumbled over every word.
“Yes… but at least we know it has something to do with your brain. If we can isolate the part of your brain where it’s coming from, we should be able to help you permanently.”
Whatever was in that syringe had me almost completely incapacitated; I could scarcely acknowledge him and hold onto the phone. By the time the full effect of the drug had taken its course my influence was down to a half mile. Still much too far to hold my wife and kiss my daughters. If I took anymore drug I would be completely out and what would be the point of that? Dr. Dalton continued to talk to me, keeping me up to date with what he was seeing. I grunted to let him know I was still listening but that was all I could offer. I fell asleep about a half hour later.
I awoke with a headache, and dry mouth. I got up too fast and had to sit down again before trying to stand. It was dark outside by then, I had no idea what time it was. The computer monitor in front of me with a screen saver activated was the only thing lighting the room. Fake fish swam back and forth on the screen. I got up really slowly to find a drink of water and the bathroom. Inside the bathroom I looked in the mirror. My face was healing well. Most of the smaller cuts were gone with just a few scabs remaining. I noticed they had electrodes on my skull. It made it easy for them to apply since I’ve been shaving my head for over ten years now. The electrodes looked wireless, I think they had been monitoring my brain activity this whole time. The drunken test was probably very useful. I hoped so.
I found the main light switch after my drink and bathroom break. As I turned it on, the phone on the desk started ringing.
“Hi dad, it’s me Rachel,” my ten year-old daughter said.
“Hey Rach, how are you doing?”
“Okay, I miss you dad. Mom says they are working on getting you better, but don’t know when we can see you.”
“I hope soon sweetie. Are you being good and doing what your mother says?”
“Actually, Leslie and me are at grandma’s. They are watching us until you get better. I’m calling from her house.”
“Oh, well that’s good. You be good for Grandma too.”
“Leslie wants to say hi,” Rachel said.
“Okay, I love you.”
“Hi dad, what’s wrong with you?” Leslie, my six year-old asked.
“I don’t know kiddo, we’re trying to figure that out.”
“When are you coming home?”
“I don’t know that either. I’ll let you know when I know, okay?”
“Okay. Guess what?”
“I lost another tooth.”
“You did? That’s great. Did the tooth fairy come again?”
“Yep, I got another dollar,” Leslie said gleefully.
“Very cool. You’re getting rich.”
“Ahuh. Grandma wants to talk now. Here she is.”
“Okay, I love you, Leslie, be good,” I said but she already passed the phone off.
“Hello son. How are you holding up,” my mother asked.
“Fine. I mean I feel perfectly healthy. I just can’t be within a mile of anyone else or I knock them out. It’s really odd Mom.”
“That’s what we’ve been told. Are they getting any closer to figuring it out?”
“I think so. Yesterday or maybe today… What time is it?” I asked.
“It’s only nine at night, eight where you are.”
“Oh, I didn’t know. I took a drug and it made me seem inebriated so I had no idea. I think they learned some things from it though. Hopefully they will figure this out soon.”
“I hope so too. We are all praying for you.”
“Thanks I need it.”
“We need to go; they said we couldn’t talk long. I love you son. Figure this thing out and get back home.”
“I love you too, Mom. I’m working on it.”
“Okay. “We’ll call later, bye now.”
“Bye, tell everyone thanks.”
“I will,” she said and hung up.
I had scarcely put the phone down when it began ringing again. It was Dr. Dalton and he had some good news.
“We’ve isolated the part of your brain with the abnormality. It is in the same region that controls long-term memory. It’s called the cortex. The long-term memory we’ve isolated is called declarative which has two subdivisions. The one in question is Episodic and related to memories of specific events.”
“Okay, you lost me at cortex but I take it this means we have learned something.”
“Yes we have. There are two ways we can attempt to control your influence. One is much more evasive and will have side effects. The other will be entirely up to you.”
“The first way is surgery to remove part of the brain. Very risky and you will lose memory ability, and possibly additional functions. But we’re hopeful the influence will disappear and you can return to your life. The second is, we do nothing and you learn to control this memory portion and eliminate the influence on your own. Most of my colleagues do not believe you will be able to do this. Especially since you say you can’t recognize anything out of the ordinary happening.”
“Great, one option makes me a vegetable the other isn’t likely at all. You forgot option three and four. Option three I remain here for the rest of my life. Option four I run away and you are forced to kill me before I hurt others.”
“Right, well your wife said neither one of those seemed likely. You couldn’t stand being locked up for long. She also said you couldn’t stand hurting others without cause either.”
“She does know me pretty well. Okay so we have two options. Obviously I would like to try option two and learn to control this on my own. So what is the first step to accomplishing that goal?”
“Since we know now it is controlled by your higher brain functions, the first step is to locate the process. I don’t know how to explain doing that. I suggest dwelling on the past. Specific events as far back as you can remember. We will monitor your influence and if any change is found we’ll let you know immediately. That might clue you into a possible relationship between a memory and the projection.”
I listened, realizing he didn’t know what to tell me. This was obviously new to him, to everyone. I was thinking if this had happened to someone else they would have better answers. I was also concerned about what he told me to do. I had a terrible long-term memory. I usually forgot things that happened in the past, because I didn’t dwell on them very often unless they were very memorable. Maybe everyone is like that.
I wasn’t tired. Especially after sleeping for a week. I figured I’d start tonight. I found a good time to think about things was when I rode my bike or exercised. I didn’t see any equipment around here so I would have to improvise. A good workout sounded good after lying around for a week.
“Okay doctor, I’ll see what I can think of. This should be interesting.”
“Indeed… Good luck. I’ll put your wife on now. She would like a moment.”
Ann picked up a few seconds later and it was clear she was in the same building if not the same room as Dr. Dalton.
“Hi sweetie, how are you holding up,” she asked me.
“I’m great… it’s not like I feel sick. How are you?”
“As well as expected I guess. I talked to the kids. They said they called you.”
“Yeah, I didn’t talk to them long. They seem okay. Probably driving my mother crazy.”
“Probably, I didn’t know what else to do with them. Your mother suggested having them stay with her until we know more. I took her up on it.”
“She’ll be fine, I’ll figure this thing out and we’ll be back to normal soon,” I said convincingly.
“You get on that. I’m worried Blaine… there is a lot of military here. I’ve eased dropped on a few interesting conversations on what to do with you,” she said taking her voice down to a whisper.
“I can imagine. I don’t blame them, this influence I have could be a very dangerous thing. Already is. So tell me what happened after I lost consciousness back at home.”
“A lot of chaos. Everyone woke up about the same time you went under. As you can imagine people panicked especially with the burning plane outside and all the military and police surrounding your work. People outside the influence were afraid to venture in, not knowing it was safe. There were many people injured and the delay to get to them made things worse. It was the FBI, Special Agent Bryant that took control and finally got people to move and help. They wouldn’t let me see you, taking you away quickly. You were kept under this whole time until today. They flew you to a military base here in Nevada and then transferred you by truck to where you are now. I showed up a few days later after I got the kids situated and things at home arranged. No one really knows it was you that caused this. They just think you were hurt and taken to the hospital, then transferred somewhere else. Just your parents and family know what really happened. Things at work are taken care of. Family medical leave act is helping.”
“This is crazy! I feel terrible for hurting all those people. But what really makes me angry is I don’t know how or why it happened. You know how much I hate not knowing things I should. So frustrating. One minute all was fine and the next planes were falling from the sky!”
“I know, honey… you just need to concentrate and work this out. The sooner the better. Just figure something out. Give them some sign you can control this. I don’t know how long they will be patient. Dr. Dalton had a hard time convincing them to let you try option two. He’s a good guy. Your condition has him excited and he wants to understand your potential more than anyone here. Most of the others just want to control it by anyway they can.”
“Okay, I’ll try… no I’ll do it… I have too. I love you, Ann.”
“I love you too,” she said and hung up.
I got started that night. I thought about Ann and when I met her. Our first date, getting married, our first home and the birth of Rachel. All these memories were pretty easy to remember. I thought about all this while exercising. I did what I could around the room. Push-ups, sit-ups and then I started running around the small building outside.
The air was cooler now, feeling really good as I circled the building and thought about my past. I kept the phone on me incase one of my memories sparked a change. It never rang so I wasn’t getting anywhere.
I came back inside and showered in the small bathroom. Another great place to think. I started reminiscing about things further back. High school, friends, parties, dances, almost killing everyone on Prom night. It was stupid. I was racing my dad’s car up the canyon and lost control almost sending us off a shear cliff. I did a complete one-eighty in the middle of the road before coming to a stop. It was one of those memories you don’t soon forget.
Still no phone call. I had to go further back or do something different all together.
I wrote a very short story for a short story contest on lulu.com and thought I'd post it here for fun. Enjoy.
The day, Ronald considered one of his worst, began with him sleeping through his alarm ten minutes longer than he could afford. What he didn’t realize was what those ten minutes would mean in the end.
He was immediately behind schedule and in a bad mood, rushing in the shower he didn’t completely rinse the shampoo out of his hair, a fact he discovered while drying it. His mood went from ornery to grouchy and he snipped at his wife, leaving the house without breakfast. He had only made up five of the ten minutes he lost. - Across town, Damon pulled his delivery truck into the gas station to fill the tank. The night previous he had stayed up partying with friends, drinking and the like. Now he was hung-over, extremely fatigued and drowsy, having no business being behind a large truck. He practically fell asleep leaning against the side while he waited for the tank to fill. The noise of the diesel fuel, overflowing onto the ground, snapped him out of his stupor. He cursed, trying to avoid the mess. Reeking of diesel, he climbed into his truck and merged into traffic toward his first delivery. - Ronald, sill five minutes behind, noticed traffic was surprisingly congested, causing him more angst and a few choice words as he waited for his turn to enter the freeway. He kept glancing at the radio for the time, working his way to the fast lane, trying to make up minutes. In his hurry, he chose the wrong lane, slowing his progress further. Cutting off another car, he swerved back to the lane moving faster, ignoring the honk and hand gesture from the driver behind him. - Damon entered the same freeway, going the opposite direction. He cranked up the radio, started chewing gum and opened the trucks windows to try and keep himself awake. His head pounded, the noise made it worse but it was the only thing keeping him focused on the road ahead. His eyes grew heavy, his mind tuned out the noise and his eyes closed. Jumping awake, he cursed and slapped himself across the face to avoid drifting again. The effect only lasted another couple of miles. - Ronald was making up time, taking his chances in the carpool lane even though he was alone in his vehicle. He was only behind schedule one minute now, feeling rather confident he would make it to work on time. The drifting truck, coming toward him from the opposite lanes, caught his eye. He expected the driver to correct his direction but it was becoming too late. To Ronald everything suddenly slowed down as the truck careened into the concrete barrier between them. The front of the truck veered off the barrier, whipping the trailer up and over, directly in front of Ronald’s car and taking out the two vehicles ahead of him. He slammed on his brakes, slowing rapidly as the trailer continued to roll toward him. Pieces of concrete, metal and glass showered his windshield as his car screeched to a stop. The truck trailer rolled one final time and landed on his hood, pressing against the glass. Ronald stared in unbelief at how close he had come to death. Just a few seconds further up the road and he would have been crushed like the cars ahead of him and killed.
Those ten minutes now meant everything. - Sometimes it’s the things you don’t see that mean the most. Sleeping through your alarm just might save your life someday. It did Ronald.
My latest fascination is with this seldom read (by me) genre of horror. With Dracula included I’ve only read three ‘Horror’ novels. The before mentioned Dracula, Let Me In and I Am Legend.Dracula did not start me on this horror quest. No, I read it a while ago just because it was free with an app on my iPod. But then I saw the movie Let Me In and really enjoyed it so I went to my local library and found the book. Creepy, superb, gut-wrenching, true burn in the sun vampires novel with a twist, well several but needless to say I loved it and want a sequel. For more of how I felt on this novel find the review I wrote. I don’t often write reviews unless I really like it or can’t understand why other people do. (I Am Number Four for instance or The Host though I couldn’t even stomach a review of the last so I just ‘liked’ someone else review that felt the same way. I mean I wasted enough time on the terrible excuse for a novel why waste more and write a review).
Anyway since now I was into horror I read one of the classic vampire books from the fifties in I Am Legend. It did not read like an older book. Surprisingly modern and though it was much shorter than Let Me In it took me longer to read. Not because I wasn’t in to it, I just didn’t have time to read. I was going to give it a 3 or 4 star rating until the last three words written therein. Just those three words and the impact in which they hit me and my understanding of them catapulted the small novel to five stars.
So now what? Steven King? Can you believe I’ve never read a novel from him? It’s true I haven’t. Or, what? I don’t even know any good horror novelists since it has never interested me. So if you read this and have one you just loved let me know, because I’m so digging creepy horror right now.
Switching gears now to TV I much enjoyed the first season of Being Human on Syfy. Great stories, acting and can’t wait till season two. Speaking of a second season… is it October yet??? Nope, not even summer and I’m already craving the next episode of The Walking Dead on AMC. Long time to wait but I have a feeling it’s going to be awesome.
Smallville is wrapping up. I have the last five episodes on my DVR and can’t find time to watch them. In between the sappy lame episodes there are always a few good ones. Let’s hope it wraps up in a good way.
I’m almost ashamed to say this but my guilty pleasure is The Vampire Diaries on the CW. That show never fails to shock me by killing off main characters and having twists I never saw coming. I know it’s a show for teenaged girls, and maybe I’m one in heart (my Amber Series books show that since I write in the first person tense of Amber an 18 year-old woman) but I don’t care. I love that show and I’m not ashamed anymore!
A guy at work hooked me on the small internet show Film Riot. It’s a group of people, family members and friends that teach budding film makers how to do special effects cheaply. The episodes are hilarious and very well done for such a small group. Check it out, just Google Film Riot or watch them on youtube.
'Till next time, I keep writing because I like to, not because anyone cares. Later.
Time sure does fly. Since last time I’ve updated the cover for my first novel Sunset. I’ve also revised the novel by adding several conversations from the ‘bad guys’ so the reader can get acquainted with them amid Amber’s first person narration. If you are interested is reading these updates without having to buy the book again let me know and I’ll email them to you.
My new project is coming along nicely. I’m probably halfway through. It’s completely different than anything I’ve done before and a great new experience. I hope to be finished with it before the end of the year.
I also wrote a short Christmas story about a little boy named Billy who saves Christmas by helping Santa. It’s in the editing process as we speak. So far it’s being received with kudos from those I’ve let read it. Here is the opening paragraph:
It’s common knowledge, or should be, that Santa Claus is allergic to nuts. Little boys and girls that leave cookies and milk for the jolly old elf all know this. They aren’t the problem. It’s the parents that have grown up and forgotten. Normally, Santa counts on the good boys and girls who he visits each year to take precautions, informing their parents to only supply nut free cookies, or they make them on their own. The following is a story where those precautions failed, resulting in the poisoning of the happy toy maker and the one child that could save him…
I had a lot of fun writing it. Short stories are much different than novels to write and something I haven’t done very much so it took a bit of adjustment to keep it concise and moving toward a much faster ending. I’m thinking it could become a children’s book with cool illustrations or a short pamphlet thing for Christmas time.
I’m really enjoying the new show ‘Being Human’ on Syfy. I thought the whole vampire/werewolf thing is becoming overdone but apparently as long as you have a good story the age-old battle between bloodsucker and wolf will never die. Might as well throw in a ghost as well to make things even more fun and then have them all try and live in the same house. It’s well done. Watching them each struggle to find their place in the world, as monsters, and their desire to be as normal as they can, is good TV.
It’s been awhile since I posted last, not that it matters, but I digress. So Amber Rising is out. I published it on Lulu.com and have it available as a Kindle version on Amazon.com. My two biggest fans helped with the editing. Thanks to them and all their suggestions and work. It’s not perfect of course but is what it is, a self-published novel by a so so author. The author still had plenty of fun writing it and experiencing what happened to his characters. I plan on writing a third and should wrap up the story in the third book, I think. I’ll just have to see what happens.
I started a new project, something totally different than any of my previous work. I wrote three chapters and have stalled now, due to working with Amber Rising to get it ready for release and converted into electronic versions. I mean to get back to it soon, but the holidays have hit and finding time is difficult right now.
As far as reading, I’ve been working through the 39 Clues series. I think I’m on the seventh book right now. They are fun and very easy reads, great for kids. Different authors take turns writing the separate editions. There will be ten in all, detailing the adventures of Dan and Amy, a brother and sister team, on their quest to find 39 clues. Once found the clues will make the finder the most powerful person in the world.
On to movies and TV. If you see one movie this season I suggest Tangled. It is Disney’s version of the Rapunzel story. I loved it, I loved Disney’s take on it. The slight changes to the original story were perfect. The characters were great, especially the horse Maximus, who pretty much steals every scene he’s in without saying a word. He’s superb. People have complained that it isn’t hand drawn like other Disney classics but I think times change and the computer generated images are getting so good now that it adds to the film rather than detracts. It’s still in the classic Disney look, only with computers. Tangled has everything, kids will love it, adults will love it. It’s funny, touching, action packed, and tugs at your heart strings, making you wipe your eyes in a few places if you’re not a cold unfeeling zombie.
Zombie! Yep, this leads me to my next rant. The Walking Dead debuted on Halloween on AMC. It’s actually a series, with six episodes in the first season. Wow and wow again. These guys have pulled no punches, giving the viewer a gut wrenching view at what it takes to survive a zombie apocalypse. Even the creators are shocked at what AMC has allowed to be seen. We’re talking head shots, blood and guts splattering on the camera and everything you can think of in a flesh eating zombie fest. But this is not what makes the series good. No not even close. It’s the writing, directing and acting. It’s directed by the same guy that did The Shawshank Redemption and Green Mile. It’s based on several years of graphic novels by the same name. It has morbid comedy, action and so much human emotions that your heart never beats under 120 bpm while you watch.
It has become such a huge success, overtaking then number one show on AMC, Mad Men easily. The creators were worried about how it would do and consequently only finished six episodes in case it got cancelled. Wow, the unexpected happened and it’s already a huge hit. AMC has picked it up for a second season with 13 episodes planned but the view has to wait until next October before a new episode. The last episode is this Sunday Dec. 5th and then the long wait for more. If you haven’t seen any, find them somewhere and get caught up.
Okay, so that’s what I’m into right now. Until next time remember this one piece of advice. Destroy the brain; it’s the only way to stop them.
I finished the most anticipated book of the year and was pleasantly surprised. I know I shouldn’t do it but I looked at a few reviews before reading it and talked to several people that didn’t particularly like the ending. So I went in expecting to be disappointed. I don’t know if it was because of my low expectations but I really like it. I would rate it lower than The Hunger Games but better than Catching Fire. I felt that Collins should have started the war and the major conflict with the Capitol in Catching Fire to give the war more time. This was the one thing I had issues with in Mockingjay, I felt it was a little rushed. I know she wanted to finish the series in three books, and to wrap it all up in just under 400 pages in Mockingjay was incredible.
People have been comparing this series with Twilight and Harry Potter. Both of which are completely different and I don't think should be compared to each other let alone The Hunger Games. The only similarity is they have all made a ton of money. Different authors, different everything, so who can you compare them?
Another thing people don’t seem to like is the conclusion of the love triangle between Katniss and her two boys. Maybe it was a guy thing but I didn't really care who Katniss ended up with. I thought the love triangle was very secondary to the plot and tone of the books.
What has me really upset are people comparing Katniss to Bella!!!! I can't think of a more repugnant thing to criticize Collins on. Katniss would hand Bella her butt every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Even when Bella was a stone vamp. People have said that Katniss became a whiner and a tool. Let's see anyone survive two hunger games, watch people she loves die and burn, and not have some mental issues! Judas, to even put Bella and Katniss in the same sentence is laughable. Oh wait I just did but you get my point.
I ate up every word, having loved the first two books I couldn’t wait to see how it ended. I personally didn't think the story dragged at all. I was hooked and read it as much as I could between interruptions from kids and life. The last half I stayed up late to finish with some peace and quiet.
All in all it was a great series, Collins got her point across and I got some serious entertainment.
So aside from that not much is new. Amber Rising is still being edited so I have yet to release it for purchase. This has got me bugged a bit but these things take time. I’ve had several people ask about it and when they can get a chance to read it. I updated Enigma and published it on Kindle, but no one knows about it. Might have to do some advertising I guess.
I thought I’d post part of the prologue to Amber Rising for the two people that have read the first book in the series. Anyway here it is.
Prologue: The Council
Aemilia paced back and forth across the marble floor. Her high heels making next to no noise as she waited for the immobile man, lying on a chaise lounge chair, to regain his faculties. She was alone, besides Erasmus, clutching her draknar in her right hand and seething with fury. Liviana’s blood was now dry on her blade. The traitor had escaped, leaving her draknar in her quarters and the council for good. Aemilia had already promised the weapon to the lilith who took Liviana’s head.
Each time she turned back toward Erasmus she ground her teeth, seeing the incapacitated incubus still not moving. She muttered to herself vocally, while spinning her draknar in her hand over and over.
“How is this possible? … lilith bones don’t break … Why John? Why must you show such impertinence?”
She strode over, looking down at Erasmus. His eyes were wide open, staring up at her, his neck bent in an awkward angle. She could see and feel his fear. Fear! She was use to people fearing her, but this fear was something new, having nothing to do with her. Erasmus blinked, rolled his eyes, trying to move any other part of his body with no avail. Aemilia cursed loudly, turned and continued her path across the room.
A knock sounded at the door before she reached her turning point. She stopped slowly, spun and spoke a single word to allow entrance. She was expecting good news. Liviana’s death and one unbound draknar better be the cause for the interruption.
“What news Varius?”
The beautiful man hesitated, bowing his head and speaking, “Liviana lives. Three more are as Erasmus and two have draknar wounds. She’s with ‘Him’ now.”
The inhuman scream woke everyone within a mile. Aemilia’s face contorted in anger, twisting her exquisite features into demonic repulsiveness. Her hand turned white from the force she exerted on the handle of her draknar. She wanted to kill something, someone. Varius feigned composure, expecting death with no way to defend himself. He stood motionless as the scream echoed through the halls. His face showed genuine surprise and relief when Aemilia collected herself.
“The decree still stands, Liviana’s blade in reward for her head.”
Aemilia’s eyes shot to Varius, she contemplated his query for a few seconds before she spoke.
“Yes, anyone tried or untried. Throw in her territory as well. That should get things done quickly.”
“Very well,” Varius said, preparing to leave.
“How goes the search?” Aemilia asked, stopping Varius before he reached the door.
He turned, exhaled and spoke, “Three confirmed, five more being prepared as we speak.”
“Good, keep searching for more.”
A sickening crunching noise, like a skull being crushed, sounded behind them. They looked toward the lounge chair. Erasmus’s neck was no longer skewed out of place. His legs moved, his hands reached for his neck and a small noise escaped his lips. Aemilia, followed by Varius, walked over to him.
“Can you speak?”
Pain contorted Erasmus’s handsome face, as the broken bones continued to fuse anew. He took his first deep breath in hours, looking up into their faces. His movements were imprecise, similar to when one regains feeling after a spinal block. He tried to sit up but his body disobeyed him, falling heavily back to the chair.
So how do you start a blog? Do you just start writing something and post it? Tell people about yourself and what you are doing? I have no clue but I am going to just start writing and decide later if I should post it.
My name is Jason B. Fisher. My pen name is hence J. B. Fisher and I started writing for fun about five or so years ago with an epic fantasy novel that I have never finished. I found it harder to write with all the different characters, vast landscape, details, older style of talk and the like. On a whim I began another book that was supposed to be a short story about a girl who had a crush on a boy. It became something much bigger than that. All of a sudden the story took a different turn and began to write itself into something completely unlike what I had in mind. When it was finally done I had over 130,000 words and my first completed novel, Sunset. Now what? What was the point of writing this? Well for me I wanted to see how it would end. I have a strange way of writing. Most authors know the ending and have an outline of their story before they start. I’m the exact opposite. The story has no ending until I write it and has no direction until I start typing. It’s like reading it as I write. Whatever comes to my mind at the time goes into the book. Of course it flows into a comprehendible story but nothing was planned out in stone before hand.
Before I even thought about an agent or publisher I wanted a copy of my book in print, with a cover and all that stuff. So I looked into places that did that kind of thing for anyone. The best place I found was lulu.com. You just upload you manuscript and cover and they bind it and ship it out like in three days! So a week later I had an actual copy of my first novel. Feeling pretty good about myself now, like I had accomplished something not many people bother with. The not many people thing was what I thought then. Now I know I was mistaken. The market is flooded with new authors, old authors, bad authors, great authors and so so authors. It’s ridiculous really. What chance does a new author have in getting published? Pretty much zero but that’s not why I write. Sure it would be crazy if it actually happened but it’s not like my life depends on it and it has been ‘my life’s dream’ to become a bestselling author. Talk about setting yourself up for disappointment if that’s the case. No I write because I like to write and I like the characters in my books and what to see what happens to them. If others enjoy it then all the better.
I recently finished the sequel to my first novel. It’s going to be titled Amber Rising. Right now it’s in the editing stage. By editing I mean I have girls at work read it and tell me what they think while finding major errors. My wife reads it on my notebook computer and fixes things as I write but we both miss tons of stuff. My sister started reading it and told me I need a real editor. Well no kidding Sis. Do you know any? And it’s not like I’m a bestselling author who has a huge publishing house behind me and will edit my stuff for me. It costs money, I don’t have, for an editor of repute.
I never imagined how difficult it would be and the hoops I would have to go through to get an agent let alone a publisher. Writing is fun; the stuff that comes later is not. So I’ll keep writing and not worry about the other stuff. Hopefully the few that read will enjoy the stories and not criticize to harshly the editing mistakes.
I also have a third novel entitled Enigma. It was written for my ten year-old daughter because her mother wouldn’t let her read Sunset. It was too provocative for a ten year-old apparently. Laugh. Anyway Enigma is about a small town man that goes to work one day only to discover everyone around him has become catatonic. He quickly learns he is the cause of the strange phenomenon. Chaos ensues as does his quest to understand what has happened to him and how to control his new influence.
Enigma was written in the early part of 2009. Soon after its completion I was in a movie theater and a commercial for ABC’s FlashForward came on the screen. It had very similar ideas as Enigma did with planes falling from the sky and everyone falling unconscious. I turned to my wife and shook my head; ABC had just stolen my idea. Not really but it seemed like it. I was glad to hear that the series has been canceled. Enigma is quite different but if you do happen to read it just know I wrote it before I knew anything about FlashForward.
I really need and want to finish the epic fantasy novel I first started writing. So that is my goal now. It’s probably half way done already. I say probably because I don’t know yet how it will end or how many twist and turns it will spontaneously create. But I’m excited to find out.
Anyway, I’ll think about posting this and if I do I’ll try and write more of what I’m doing for the zero people that are reading this. If you happen to stumble upon my ranting I would love to know about it.