- Author:Courtney May
- Series:Psychic Hunters
- Word Count:1,072
- Edited by:Damien Taylor
Chapter 2Psychic Hunters
Stumbling down the hall, still half asleep, I wondered whether Travis was really telling me the truth. He had promised this one wouldn’t be another pyro... but then again Travis was, if nothing else, a liar.
A head shake sent the cobwebs and accusations against my brother spiraling out of my thoughts where they belonged. My first class of the day was math. Not my favorite, but not the worst either. I slipped inside as inconspicuously as possible and crept over to my chair in the back. Nothing but empty seats surrounded me, with a few kids sitting up front. Small class, big room—you get the deal. I slumped in my chair, waiting for the teacher to arrive as I let my mind drift—my usual custom.
I think I might have always been this way. I wasn’t a great student. I did enough to pass but never really put in the time or effort that Travis did. School wasn’t really my thing, well… except for drawing.
Putting pen to paper was the same as breathing for me, effortless, natural, and almost instinctual. Sometimes I thought of new things to draw, or I’d work on old pieces for practice. Other times though, inspiration would come out of nowhere like the picture wanted to be drawn—inking itself into existence. Anyway, when you have so many things in your mind needing to come out, it can be a little hard to focus on school. Drawing just made everything else feel so trivial.
It was all I needed.
Of course, since we had started hunting, those drawings became more than my simple fancy. I was drawing more frequently, and with increasingly disturbing inspirations. Travis wanted better weapons. Me? I was just an artist with an infinite canvas and infinite creations to sketch upon it.
My gift is a little hard to explain. Travis, he’s the dreaming type. He can see things that haven’t happened yet when he sleeps, but my thing is drawing. Drawing and imagining until the line between doodle and reality gets kind of blurred.
I was still having trouble, though. It wasn’t like I could just pull anything I drew from the page. There was a process—a spark, and a little bit of willpower. The picture had to have the longing to be born.
I looked up from my page and saw Mr. Rolland staring at me. My face burned with the slow realization of impending and inescapable embarrassment. I slowly nodded, just a beat late.
He smiled a little—that warm sympathetic look people give cancer patients and childhood trauma survivors. “Morgan. Would you like to come up and solve the problem on page 38?”
I quickly flipped my book open and pushed my notepad away. But as I did, I noticed what I had been scribbling across it. A quick jolt of panic filled me and then I snatched it from the desk quickly, grabbed my math book and went up to the board.
“That’s right.” He nodded his pity-support nod.
And so began the day. It was long, drawn out and tortuous, the kind of day that dragged and dragged and had no intentions of ever letting you go. I combated the monotony the only way I knew how, with sketchbook and pencil in hand.
I liked to think I had come a long way from my humble beginnings. I still had trouble turning it off and on but at least knew what was happening when my powers decided to stop sitting on their lazy butt and do what I wanted them to do. In the beginning it seemed as if I had absolutely no control over whether the drawings came into existence or not. Actually the whole thing was completely terrifying.
I still remember the first drawing. The one that turned out to be so much more than just a drawing. I had been trying to draw a fan, a seemingly innocent thing at the time, using a Google image as my guide. It wasn’t going the way I wanted and I had been so focused on willing the furious pencil strokes to become what I so desperately wanted them to be—willing the drawing to simply, be.
That wasn’t the smartest of ideas apparently. Imagine my terror when the tranquility of my bedroom was suddenly disrupted by the loud whirring of an industrial fan. In one brief moment, I accepted the simple reality… I had gone insane, driven myself mad by staring at reference images of fans for too long. What a lame way to go, I had thought.
But then I looked at it, really looked at the impossible thing, making some of the loudest racket I had ever heard in my life. I touched it, felt its frame vibrate with power, and saw there was no cord connecting it to anything. I watched it work mysteriously of its own volition for at least a good twenty minutes before I felt myself get faint with the weight of what I had just done. I could feel myself losing grip of the here and now and by the time I came back to my senses the offensive object was back where it belonged, on the pages of my sketch book.
Looking back on it, it’s a bit surprising that I’d ever want to try it again. At first, I was sure I was crazy. But I soon realized I wasn’t alone. I mean there was my brother with his dreams. That was hardly normal. I started to think it made sense that I wasn’t quite normal either.
Mainly, what kept me at it was the curiosity. I started trying to replicate the occurrence, but with much safer things; household appliances that you could find in any kitchen became a craze of mine. Toasters, can openers, kitchen shears, anything really, lined the floor of my bedroom.
I remember the times Travis had come in to check on me—just standing there in the doorway shaking his head. “Just make sure they don’t see you,” he had said.
I knew implicitly that ‘they’ referred to our parents. I had nodded in response.
And so, as I sat there, wanting to be anywhere other than in the confines of that drab classroom, practicing my craft—not enough to will anything into reality, just sketches to pass the time, to keep me sane.