Thursday, July 28, 2011


"I should tell you--"

I paused. Pat and I sat in the meadow together-- what we'd later on come to think of as our meadow. But right then it was nothing but a new place that I'd convinced her to go, sneaking off with me in the middle of the afternoon when she was supposed to be pulling the weeds from her mother's plants. She still wore the gloves even though it was pretty warm, and she sat far enough away from me that we could have fit a third person comfortably between us.

She glanced over her shoulder, her long lashes shielding her eyes. "What?"

I'd always felt a little guilty for those who didn't know about my power, but never that guilty. Sitting there with Pat, I realized the unfair advantage I had, and I was embarrassed by it. "I, uh, hear other people's thoughts."

Pat stiffened and her thoughts went blank so that even the buzzing little aura of bright thoughts disappeared. "What?" She turned towards me, her eyes wide open, and before I could answer, she had a hand to her mouth. "Oh god. How much have you heard?"

It was not an appropriate time to laugh, but I did. "If it makes you feel better, I think you're cute too."

She dropped to the grass throwing one gloved hand over her face. I was sure she'd get up and just walk away.

Then to my surprise, and her own, she started to laugh. She pressed her hand to her mouth and tried her best to be serious. "Well stop it. That's..." She was going to say weird, but it would be rude. "That's not right."

I gave a shrug. "I can't. I don't have any control over it." I stretched a foot out and leaned back. "It's not every thought I pick up. Just the really clear ones that rise over the rest. I call 'em strays."

She still looked shocked with wide eyes and her lips smashed under her fingers. I'd hoped that away from the house she'd loosen up, and it seemed she had but my need to be honest with her had put her on guard again.

I scratched at my head. "Look, I don't usually-- I mean, it's just that--" I looked at her, expecting the same shocked face, but she'd moved her hand. Though her smile hadn't reappeared, her eyes folded gently as if she could understand. I gave a sigh. "Most people don't know. It's not something I want everyone knowing."

"Why not? Doesn't that seem like something they should know?"

A blade of grass tickled my hand. I gave thought very carefully to my next words. "It's a good idea to be able to hold some things back. You never know what will be to your advantage. It's something my brother and Henri have taught me."

Her thoughts were back, and I could hear her thinking out loud to herself. "Why would he tell me that? Is there something else he's telling me? Who's Henri?" Of all those questions, she went with the last one. "Who's Henri?"

I'd been waiting for it. Something else she should know. It was something everyone already knew, but always forgot, and I was sure Pat knew it too. "Henri's my dad."

Pat knew right away. She nearly brought her hand up to the side of her head when she remembered. She took a sharp breath and then gave me a smile. "You're just gift wrapped trouble."

Next Chapter -->


  1. That'd be rather awkward, having someone come out and reveal that they can hear others thoughts (especially if they were thinking those thoughts ;)

    An unfair advantage indeed... Um, can I borrow your powers Brandon?


  2. Gift-wrapped trouble! Probably a fairly apt description of Brandon, unfortunately. I liked this little exchange.

    I'm torn over whether ignorance is bliss or not, when you're hanging around a mind reader. It doesn't seem "right" (to use Pat's word) for the mind reader to keep it from the other person, I guess but maybe they'd rather not know that someone could read their private thoughts. I wonder if you would naturally start to temper your thoughts, if your brain would start anticipating that the mind reader would know what you were thinking. I wonder if that's even possible. It's interesting to think about, at least for me, lol!

  3. For some reason, this conversation made me wonder about whether Brandon had many friends, other than Jimmy.

    It's nice that he can still be surprised by people, even though he catches some of their stronger thoughts. I'm glad she didn't walk away from him and that she took it in stride, for the most part.

  4. poida, lol! You'd have to take the good with the bad though. I don't think I'd want to hear anyone's thoughts. (I have clearly given this some thought.)

    It is awkward, I imagine, to come clean like this, but better earlier than later I'd bet!

    Carla, thanks.

    I'm not sure either in this case. You'd certainly try to be more aware of your thoughts, but who knows if that will hurt or help in the long run?

    I think that's part of why I need to test out this story with Brandon and Pat, to see where it goes and how it gets there.

    Rachel, ooh, good question. It is complicated of course.

    Thoughts are such tricky things. I think louder thoughts can be misleading, so it probably isn't too difficult to surprise Brandon at times. (I'd bet as he grows older though, it gets a lot harder to surprise him just because of the understanding he gets of people and the ways they lie to themselves and others.)

    Thanks for reading you guys. :)

  5. Well, as for his mind reading, I can completely understand keeping it a secret from most people. I imagine if someone was skilled enough, they could get him to read thoughts they wanted him to and send him into a trap of some kind. Especially knowing he can only read "stray thoughts"; which probably makes it easier to accept to some extent.

  6. Oh, I love the line giftwrapped trouble, it'll stick in my mind. It's so cool to see them all young and the innocence of youth covering the fact that they all have to grow up so much faster than they should.

    You can sense that Pat really has grown to trust him more, or she'd be much more frightened of his power I think. Their's is an interesting relationship. Just thinking that Brandon started to care about her so early.

  7. Migy, long time no see! Exactly what I've thought. It would be very easy to distract Brandon in some way with some loud thought. A person probably wouldn't have to be very skilled even, at least, not when Brandon is younger. It has to be hard to tell whether a thought yelled out is truthful or not.

    Hey, Willow Weeds. Thank you. It's fun to look back and see how they got to the point we're at in the story.

    Pat is a strange character. I think she's extending her trust to him though her father has tried to teach her not to. And Brandon, well, he does make snap decisions about people. I think he figures out if he'll like someone right away. It's also how he "bonds" easily to some people.

  8. Yeah, It's been a crazy last two months or so. Also wasn't quite sure what to say for the last chapter. What's new for you?

  9. You're just gift wrapped trouble Love it, prefect ending sentence.