Voices Out of Nowhere

Add Chapter
Stories List
Viewing Options:
Table of Contents | Full Text
addition are allowed originator allows additions

Chapter 1: Introduction
(by Jonathon, added on 11 February 2009 03:31 AM)

Nobody believes what I am about to say. At least, nobody believes it right away. What I am about to tell you is bizarre, impossible, and absolutely true.

I can make anyone say whatever I like. But I can do it to each person only once, and it lasts for only a moment.

I don't know how or why I have this ability. There is nothing else at all remarkable about me, and my mother has emphatically denied that we are descended from elves.

Over the course of this story I shall tell you many things: how I discovered my strange talent; how I have used and abused it; and what I have learned about the nature of truth.

I regret many of the following incidents, but please do not judge me too harshly. I was only a child when this all began. The ability came to me long before I had the maturity to wield it responsibly. And as for the incidents that have occurred as lately as this past weekend, I can say only that some opportunites are simply irresistible.

Chapter 2: The First Time
(by Jonathon, added on 11 February 2009 04:09 AM)

As I have already said, this began when I was still quite young.

I cannot say with any certainty when the first incident occurred, but I suspect it may have been wasted on something trivial. Perhaps it was a dusky summer evening when Mom was calling me inside. "Can't I play for just five more minutes, Mom?" Yes, it was probably something like that.

The first incident that I clearly recall is at Jeff's birthday party. We were five years old, I think. Jeff's dad had hung up a pinata on a tree in his backyard. As the birthday boy, Jeff was blindfolded, and given a stick with which to whack the thing to pieces. "Have fun," his dad said, as he went back into the house How lucky Jeff was! I hoped I'd get a pinata for my birthday.

Jeff wasn't particularly athletic, and frankly, he also wasn't very bright. The more he swung that stick around, the more foolish it all seemed. It took forever! Sometimes he would stray a bit too close to the other kids, who would dart back for fear of losing an eye.

My only thought as he whacked the picnic table for the umpteenth time was "What are you doing? It's hanging in a tree, you fool! Why are you swinging at the ground?"

I began to resent the fact that Jeff was still swinging that stick. How long would it be before we could have that candy? Just let someone else take a crack at it. Come on, Jeff, say ...

"Jonathon, you do it. Here, take the stick."

What luck! I couldn't believe he'd actually said that. He didn't actually hold out the stick to me, but he did stop swinging it and stand still. So I walked over, took the stick, and smashed the pinata to bits.

The other kids were thrilled. All of a sudden there was candy everywhere, and we all pounced on it. There were peppermints, butterscotch, gumballs, ... this was great.

Then everyone got quiet because Jeff was crying. Why was he upset?

When his dad returned to see what had happened, Jeff said "Johnny stole the stick and broke the pinata and stole the candy and it's all gone now and I didn't get any and ...."

I was sent home early, and Jeff stayed angry at me for over a week, which is a long time when you're five.

Chapter 3: Figuring it Out
(by Jonathon, added on 11 February 2009 04:30 AM)

When Jeff finally did speak to me again, I asked him why he told me to take the stick if he didn't really want me to.

"I don't know," he said. "The words just came out of nowhere."

"They came out of your mouth," I pointed out.

"But I didn't say them. I mean, I didn't try to say them. They just said themselves," he explained.

It didn't make any sense to me. Why would words just come out on their own? But when I thought back on it, I realized that Jeff had said exactly what I had wanted him to say, exactly when I had wanted him to say it. Could it have been my fault?

As an experiment, I tried to make Jeff say something else, but it didn't work. All afternoon I tried to make him say stuff, and all afternoon he kept not saying it. Once in a while he would begin to say something similar, but it never ended up being right.

After he went home, I turned my attention to Erin, who was playing in the sandbox. "Potatoes are my best friends," she said. Then she started to cry.

This was great! It had worked. I tried to tell her what had happened, but she didn't want to listen. Looking back on it, I suppose that must have been disconcerting for her. I mean ... potatoes? Why potatoes?

The next day at school, I experimented and figured out the basic rules. I did it to everyone in my class, and what a fun class that was! When Billy said that Steven was picking his nose, Steven confirmed it! Sarah answered that seven and three were 842.

Some of my classmates cried, but everyone was happy when Mrs. Herschel said we could end class early and go outside to play.

This was going to be fun.

Chapter 4: Arising questions
(by Amethyst Asheryn, added on 28 February 2009 08:32 PM)

I spent something like a month trying to figure out the idiosyncrasies and oddities of this ... this gift, if you will. There were things I still couldn't quite grasp, especially young as I was. For example, I couldn't understand why, once I'd made someone say something, I could never do it to them again. I tried it twice on everyone - on Erin and Steven and Billy and even Mrs. Herschel, but no matter what I tried, it didn't work.

I thought for a while that maybe I'd lost the little ability, that it had stayed with me just long enough to let me have some fun before it abandoned me again. I was disappointed, to be sure, but I didn't dwell; and in the way that children tend to do, I forgot about it eventually. It became a "oh, man, that was a cool couple of days" kind of thing, like the memory of an extra-fun birthday party, but that was all.

It was a couple months later when the gift resurfaced unexpectedly. I was out on the playground, and I'd pulled myself up to sit on top of the monkey bars. I was lounging there, feeling perfectly content with the height, and pretending to be oblivious to the other kids' cries of "Joooooooohnny, let us have a turn, too!"

I didn't notice the playground monitor approaching until she was standing below me, looking up. It was Mr. Benson, one of the sixth-grade teachers, who frightened nearly all the younger kids. For good reason, too: When you're three feet and six inches tall and walking down the hall, a tall, well-built six-foot-three man coming the other way can be slightly intimidating. Needless to say, Mr. Benson could have been a very effective loomer if he'd wanted to be. Still, he was one of the nicest teachers I knew, and he wasn't the looming type.

"Jonathon, get down from there," he called. "Before you fall!"

I didn't really want to. I liked being up above everybody else, balancing on top of the monkey bars instead of swinging beneath them like everybody else did.

Mr. Benson stood there and watched me, waiting expectantly for me to meekly climb down. I remember thinking, 'Aw, come on, I'll be careful!' And then, a split second later, fueled by annoyance, a picture popped into my head of Mr. Benson saying -

"... Never mind, Jonathon. I know you can handle yourself."

... Of course, the picture had been accompanied by Mr. Benson giving me a big smile and then turning and walking away. He did turn and leave, after a moment of bewildered bemusement, but there was no grin. His steps were slow as he walked away, and he cast several glances back at me. I wonder now whether he must have thought he was going crazy.

I spent the rest of that recess as king of the monkey bars, enjoying my perch and the thought that maybe I had my little power back after all. I couldn't help thinking about all the things I might be able to do (many of them involved letting other people talk my way out of school for me), and I was very unhappy when the bell rang to go inside.

But now I was curious too - how come I could use that power on Mr. Benson, but not on Mrs. Hersch? Why couldn't I use it on any of the kids in my class anymore?

That occupied my thoughts for the last three classes of the day (because that was more intriguing than math and science). I didn't come up with an answer right then, but it definitely reignited my curiosity

Chapter 5: trouble, and partial success.
(by Blake Tracy, added on 18 April 2012 11:52 PM)

That year, a few days after Christmas, was the next time I tried. Every year, my family makes a gingerbread house for christmas. That day, I was just in the kitchen to get a glass of milk, but the gingerbread house was just sitting there, taunting me. I had to get some. The rules of my house at that age were that I had to ask my mom before I took a snack out of the kitchen. I was about to eat dinner. I knew what she would say, but all I wanted was a hershies kiss off the gingerbread house. I carefully pealed one kiss off the house. I hadn't seen the fact that it was about to fall. Just as I turned away, the whole gingerbread house fell. Luckily none of it hit the floor, just the box, and a lot of crumbs. Not so luckily, Mom heard the crash. She came running to see what fell. She saw me picking up the house.

"Were you sneaking that?" she asked.

"N-N-no?" I lied.

"I see right through you. You were sneaking candy, and it's almost dinner time, and you knew it. And you didn't ask me."

Desperately, I tried to use the gift. I closed my eyes and concentrated with everything I had. I thought to myself over and over again: Say "I'll let you go."! "I'll let you go."!

Mom seemed confused. "I...I'll...I..." she stammered for a second, then I failed. "Time out." she said. I protested and tried again, as any seven-year-old might, but in the end, I got fifteen minutes. Well, it was worth a try, wasn't it?

Powered by 21st Century Scripts
Return To Tom Lorimer's Home Page.