The teacher Mr. Hanes asked, "So what is the answer ... Danny?"
It got very quiet in the class room. Some students turned around to look at me, though I didn't notice. I was busy looking out the window lost in thought.
Mr. Hanes yelled, "Danny!"
I woke up out of my reverie and looked at him without saying anything. His eyes shot pure contempt at me. "Why do I even bother with you? You'll never amount to anything. I hope you like flipping burgers, cause you'll be doing it for a long time."
I scowled at his remark about my future, but realized that he might be right. I really was headed straight towards a menial job. It wasn't because I wasn't smart enough, I was just lazy and a dreamer. I paid attention to the lesson again now, but it ended soon.
Just as I wanted to get out of the class room, Mr. Hanes called me back. "Danny, wait! Come here for a minute please."
Hesitantly I went over to his desk. "Yes, Mr. Hanes?"
"Danny, I know you're smart enough. Why don't you use it? If you put your mind to it, you can do anything."
I bowed my head in shame. He was so right, but I couldn't help it. "I'll try Mr. Hanes."
"Fine than, dismissed."
Quickly I got out and walked through the deserted halls to the exit. As I neared the exit I noticed a group of boys doing something. I got closer and saw that they were torturing a small rodent hybrid boy. He was being punched, thrown around and even kicked. With a few speedy paces I was in the middle of the group shielding the hybrid boy with my body. I snarled, "Stop it or try doing that to me."
The mob of kids stepped back in surprise and fear. Then a big black guy from the football team, I think his name is Ephraim, came running. Looking right at me, he growled, "Stop fucking with my little Bro." He turned to one of boys, "You okay Lenny?"
One of the black boys nodded but then said, "He threatened us Eph."
Ephraim turned back towards me, "You rotten..." as he stopped speaking, his fist was already swinging towards my head. It impacted solidly with left near the eye and the impact slammed me against the wall. I saw stars before my eyes for a while and heard laughter and other noises. When my sight had cleared again, everyone, including the hybrid boy were gone.
I was all alone, sitting against the wall with a splitting headache and an emerging black eye. I heard footsteps coming my way and a voice said, "Dreaming again Danny?"
I scrambled to my feet and mumbled, "Sorry, won't happen again Mr. Hanes," before I ran outside.
As I walked home, I heard someone saying, "Pssst. Over here!"
I looked around and in the bushes saw the hybrid rodent boy. "Thank you for the intervention, but I think it will make things worse." Then he quickly disappeared from sight.
My dad saw my black eye when arrived home. I told him what had transpired and he started, "In my day I would have made them sorry. Why are you such a sissy?"
I knew better than try to tell him that I hadn't been given a chance. I was very much afraid that he would try to spank his views into me. He did take care of me well enough, but he could get abusive at times. I always wondered what it would be like to have a Mom. I asked my Dad a few times where Mom was and one time he said that she had died in childbirth.
I had checked hospital records one time, but couldn't find anything. The next time I asked, Dad said that she had enough of us and left us for parts unknown. Well, what ever had happened to her, it was just Dad and me. That meant that I was taking the heat if he was pissed or if something happened to me that made me look bad.
The next day at school was worse, as everyone could see my black eye and rumors started to go around that some freshmen had beat me up. I heard snickers everywhere I went and I had nobody to talk to. This was also partly because I was relatively new here. We had moved to this town about 7 months ago and I still hadn't made any friends. The MORFS survivors had their own little group, while the pures had their group. As I hadn't had MORFS, and didn't support the Pures line of reasoning, I wasn't welcome in either one and the other groups didn't invite me either. Since I wasn't actively looking for friends, I guess I was to blame for the situation as well.
The day dragged on and on, relentlessly boring and tedious. Then just before the last lesson I was walking through the hall when a group of freshmen blocked my way. I recognized them from yesterday, they were the ones that assaulted that hybrid kid. The black kid haughtily said, "You can't go this way. It's blocked for you and your kind."
I just wanted to push my way through, but he continued, "Or do you want to get beaten up by us freshmen again." I stopped in my tracks and looked at him, I was getting quite angry already. Then I saw Ephraim standing just of the side smiling smugly at me. Something inside me snapped. I dropped my books and went for him. I got him good with the first punch square on his jaw. He went down, and I was all over him immediately.
Before I could get in more punches the freshmen kids assaulted me, led by Ephraim's little brother. I tried to defend myself as best I could against both Ephraim and the kids, but got hammered a lot. Then people shouted and we all got pulled apart. The teachers and some seniors led us all away from each other. It wasn't long before we were all sitting in the waiting room of the Principal's office.
She saved me for last and the other guys walked past me looking very smug and content as they left.
Then I got called in. "Daniel Montro, come in please." Hesitantly I shuffled myself into the office. At Principle Shodding's invite I sat down on a hard wooden chair. She started, "Well Mr. Montro, what do you have to say for yourself? As I have come to understand it, you started the fight with Ephraim Banks."
I was about to tell her all about what happened, but decided not to. It wouldn't make any difference anyway. So I just kept sitting and looked down to the floor. She spoke again, "Danny? Why don't you tell me what really happened?"
This time I got mad enough to talk, "What's the point? It'll still be all their words against only mine. It doesn't matter that yesterday Banks sucker punched me. And that his little brother is usually looking for a fight, at which point he calls in his big brother. You know what? I have had enough already. Fuck them and fuck you."
With that I shut up and just realized what I had said. Principle Shodding scowled at me now and I saw that she had to compose herself for a moment. In a soft low voice she growled, "Never say something like that here ever again, or you will be very sorry young man. Now since you are such an ill-mannered boy I'll suspend you for two days. Any last words to say before I throw your sorry ass out?"
I swallowed, "I'm sorry Mrs. Shodding. I got carried away."
"Leave my office Mr. Montro. I don't want to see you till Friday."
Dejected I left her office and walked straight out of school, the last lesson was already over anyway. I walked straight home and went to my room. Later I heard my dad come in, so I was about to go down for dinner when I heard the phone ring. I couldn't quite overhear what was being said, but just to be safe I waited in my room.
A little while later I heard my Dad come up to my room and he kicked the door open. "What the hell did you do today, boy? I never told you to go out fighting, and if you do fight, make sure that the blame is on the other guy." He quickly caught me in his big hands and started to hit me on my behind, my shoulders and everywhere else that wouldn't leave any obvious marks.
About 15 minutes later I was left as a pile of misery in my room and was told to stay there. I wasn't welcome to have any dinner as well. I didn't feel like eating in any case, and certainly not in the presence of my father. I played a bit with my old computer and when I got really hungry, I opened a small bag of potato chips that I had hidden for emergencies like this.
The next morning I slept in late, did some homework as I didn't have anything else to do and played some old games on my computer. But somewhere between 2 and 3 o'clock I started to feel sick. I held it in for about a quarter of an hour, but then I had to run to the toilet to throw up. Feverish, I went to bed and when dad came home and called me down for dinner I didn't even have the power to react. He came stamping up to my room and glowered at me lying on my bed. His face changed when he saw that I was really sick.
I think he got worried that I might be sick from his beating, but he called a doctor in any case. The doctor was apprehensive about all my bruises, but Dad managed to ease the suspicion saying that I had been in a fight at school. Anyway, the doctor's diagnosis was quite clear and short. I had contracted MORFS.
Hearing the diagnosis, Dad scowled as if all he needed to do was look after his sick kid. Yet he was pleasant enough to the doctor when he prescribed the usual sleeping pills and IV kit. The doctor started the IV with a starter canister before he left. Dad got the prescriptions filled the same day even. I took the sleeping pill and almost immediately began to feel drowsy. The next morning I barely heard dad grumble, "I'm going to work, someone has to earn the money around here." The next couple of days were a blur. I vaguely remember getting up to take care of my urgent needs and changing the canisters, but eventually I began to hear whispers. You know the type; loud enough to be annoying, but too soft to be understood.
The whispers of people talking were getting louder, but I couldn't hear it clearly enough. There were a lot of people as well and even more started speaking to me. Soon I was getting very annoyed at all the people speaking to me, and yelled as loud as I could, "Stop it already. Be quiet."
The noise died down for a moment, but others kept talking as if they didn't hear it. And soon everyone else was talking as well. I thought I was going mad with all those people talking, till I thought by myself, 'What if I try to single out just one voice. Maybe I can hear it clearly enough.' I listened to the loudest and clearest voice around. Ah there it was, a man going on about his business. How successful he was and such. I homed in on him and soon heard only him, and quite clearly. I quickly grew bored though with his talking. Though some parts about doing business was quite interesting, not only did I feel bored listening to him, but he also kind of moved out of range, and it became difficult to hear him. So I let him slip away and the cacophony of voices was once more in my head.
That's when I woke up from my induced sleep. I thought that I would be fine once I woke up, but the voices kept talking to me in my head. 'What the hell is going on? Do I have supersensitive hearing now or something?' I quickly went to the bathroom and washed my self a bit. As I looked into the mirror, my face looked a bit different, and my hair, which previously had been quite dark had lightened to a dirty blond.
I quickly dispatched the idea of looking for further changes and swallowed two pills this time, as I wanted to sleep without being bothered by all those voices.
For some time I slept without dreaming, dead to the world, but then some of the whispers got into my head again. I ignored them for a while and just rested. I don't know how long I had rested normally, as the voices kept on coming and got louder all the time. I concentrated on not hearing them trying to focus on my just own thoughts. For a time that worked and I didn't hear the voices so much anymore. They were still there though, like the murmur of water from a creek or waterfall in the backdrop of your hearing.
I looked up scared out of my wits at the lights of an oncoming car. It was headed straight for me. I screamed and tried to get out of the way, but my little body didn't move. I closed my eyes as the car slammed into me and I felt and heard my bones crunch before it all became black.
The blackness didn't seem to last long though, and then I was happily driving along in my car, when a big truck started coming at me. I yelled again and swerved out of the way to ... whistling while hanging up the clothes on a washing line. I bent down to get another shirt out of the basket and saw that I was wearing a dress and had a lot of cleavage from my big breasts.
I was about to yell again, when I was kicking a football through the poles and being cheered with my teammates for making the field goal. Then I was falling down into the arms of my fellow cheerleaders and I wondered why I had such great looking legs sticking out from my skirt. I didn't have time to wonder long though, because I was eating a hotdog while looking at the game from the bleachers.
My mind kept switching scene's faster and faster, as if I had a really good remote control and changed channels rapidly. I was a police officer shooting some kid, I was the kid getting shot. Then a little girl seeing the kid get shot. An airline pilot seeing dials going haywire, a sewer maintenance man smelling the foul odor in the sewers. It kept changing so fast and it was so real lifelike that I couldn't take it anymore.
Once I skipped past someone seeing myself lying on the bed. 'Is that me lying on the bed? Why do I look so bad, and is my hair even lighter than before. Wait a minute if I'm looking at myself, does that mean I'm dead?'
The images kept coming stronger and faster, until sometimes two visions overlapped. Then more overlaps happened and I found myself watching several real life TV soaps all together at the same time.
One time I had quite a strong sight of examining myself and saying, "You need to have an expert get a look at him. This isn't normal. Did you watch him as I asked?"
I lost that sight again and saw loads of others, but somehow I did manage to get a faint, "I've been busy and didn't watch him 24/7. But he'll still be okay, right?" I thought it was my father asking that, but I couldn't be sure, I was really out of it, all seeing all those images shooting past. I just knew I was going crazy.
A strong voice tried to bring some sense in my thoughts and images. For a moment things cleared up, and I could hear the voice clearly. I even saw myself on the bed with my eyes wide open and my hair very blond now. The voice said, "Danny, can you hear me? I'm talking telepathically to you. Can you say something?"
I tried my best to respond, but the person couldn't hear me. I became frantic, trying harder and harder, but other images began to blur the person's image and other voices obscured the voice. Soon everything blurred together again.
Mason Boudrie stood up from kneeling next to the bed of the young boy. He addressed the boy father, "Mister Montro, I'm sorry, but I can't get through to him now. Maybe it's because he's still not finished with his MORFS, or it may be something else. I almost could reach inside his head with my telepathic powers but I wasn't strong enough to break through his barriers. He has to come out of it by himself, but he could use some help doing it. What Danny really needs is someone talking to him and thinking of him all the time. I do realize that it is not feasible for you to do so. I can recommend having him institutionalized. But I doubt that it is the best course of action. It would be better if you hired someone to take care of him 24/7."
Danny's father looked at the man, his poker face showing nothing of his inner thoughts, though Mason Boudrie could read his mind like it was written on his forehead. "Thank you Mr. Boudrie could you provide me the address of the institution?"
Mason felt bad for recommending it to the boy's father. He had a bad feeling about this. None the less he gave a flyer to the father and got out of the house. He was getting a bad headache from trying to read that kid. Either that boy was going to be a high level telepath, or he would end up as a drooling idiot.
I kept seeing all kinds of images all the time, but sometimes there was a moment of clarity and I had only a few images running before me. During those moments I tried to isolate just one and once, I succeeded. I was sneaking out of the house, climbing out of my bedroom window. For a moment I was scared that I would rip my skirt on the windowsill, but then I was out on the porch roof and quietly went over to the ladder-like trellis my dad had put up for the ivy. I climbed down and stepped onto the floor just as the lights went on. Another image overlapped the clear image and for a moment I saw quite a beautiful girl standing in her short skirt and tank top scowling at me. Then other images began to overlap that too, and I fell into chaos again.
I felt myself being lifted and put on some kind of hard bed. Then in a moment of clarity I heard someone familiar, 'My dad?' say, "Take this worthless piece of shit with you and lock him up for good. I don't ever want to see his sorry ass ever again."
I was angry as I had never been before. 'I'm his son, and he's throwing me away like an animal? No, worse than an animal, like I'm some piece of garbage.' I tried to say something or do something but I couldn't do anything. I did hear just as I got moved somewhere, "Shit, he's even giving me a headache, when he's going."
I was faintly aware that I was being driven somewhere judging from being tossed with the gurney that I was strapped on. All new kinds of images appeared before me in my mind and I reveled in seeing new things, however brief those images were. At one time I heard a very powerful voice say to me, "Who are you? I can sense your power as a telepath."
I tried to speak and to say, "I'm Danny, can you help me?" But no sound passed my lips. The voice boomed, "Yes I can hear you Danny, where are you? I want to help you to become free from being locked up in your mind."
I tried to tell him that I wasn't sure, except that I was in some kind of van or ambulance. But the voice grew dimmer and soon I couldn't hear it anymore. I felt so awful that I wanted to cry. I think I managed to get one tear out of one of my eyes, but nothing else happened.
I arrived at a place that I immediately didn't like. There was an air of fatality and mental death hanging around it. I did see a lot of images and heard a lot of voices. But they were muted and garbled. I was unstrapped at a some point and heard someone say, "Well, well. What do we have here? Another drooling moron ready for some games?"
I didn't like the man who said it, but couldn't do anything about it. All I could do was lie on some soft padded floor or crawl aimlessly on all fours. I still couldn't see a thing with my eyes and was blind and deaf to the outside world. Eating and drinking was something I did automatically, like on autopilot. Someone fed me a sort of baby food. At the other end I was on automatic as well, I wore a big diaper though I was only dimly aware of it.
I don't know how long I was in that vegetative state, but it seemed like decades to me. I tried to sort out my mind and to block all the other voices out. But it was so hard. Several times I just wanted to quit and give up. But I couldn't commit suicide even if I wanted. I even tried to let my mind go and just be a mindless vegetable, but even that didn't work.
It also didn't help that the orderlies, you couldn't really call them nurses anyway, had some perverted sense of fun. They would pick me and another poor lost soul and let us run around in what might be best described as a maze. I got prodded along sometimes and bumped into walls several times. Another thing they thought was fun, was washing me. They'd strip me and put me in some tiled cell and turn the pressurized fire hose on me.
I felt miserable undergoing all the humiliations without being able to utter a word about it. Every once in a while a doctor would visit and examine me. I could read his mind slightly as he was doing it, but I couldn't talk to him either with sound or in his mind.
There was also a woman who cleaned the room I was locked up in. She was nice, but didn't speak. I thought she was just a simple soul, and could only do simple jobs like these. In my mind I always smiled at her when she came near me. Maybe she picked it up though, because she always stroked my head when she passed by.
Eventually something in my mind changed. There was a slight tingle and I realized something was happening outside my room. Then I heard the orderlies yell and scream, both in sound and mind.
They were things like:
"Watch out for that fork."
"Damn now the fucking table is starting to move."
"Let's get out of here till we can determine what's happening."
Some time later a new doctor was near me and I could understand from her thoughts that I had been, and still was the cause of objects moving by themselves. Apparently I was telekinetically gifted. But they believed me to be a threat, so they installed something, a machine of some kind to suppress my power. I immediately felt its effect. Something heavy seemed to be leaning on me in my mind. It was so depressing and bothersome that I was forced to defend myself. I pushed back at the field or whatever the contraption was.
I kept it up most of the time, though it was hard. I almost gave up once, but the pressure was relentless. If I didn't push back it gave me a headache. But I got better at doing it though. I could manage it more easily in time, and got back to sorting out my thoughts as I hadn't been able to when battling the pressure field.
Slowly I got my thoughts back in order and I even managed to read the thoughts of everyone else in the building. At first, doing that, scared me a little, but I persisted and found some of my fellow patients had really lovely thoughts. Though it didn't come out due to mental illnesses or being drugged.
I'm sure that if I hadn't been so docile, I would have been drugged constantly. But I kept to myself, appearing to the outside world as still catatonic. I almost betrayed myself when I was used for one of their sick maze games again. I knew from the thoughts of the orderlies that my handler Steve had high hopes of me winning. My opponent really was a vegetable. I couldn't sense any discernable thought left in him. But I wouldn't give Steve the satisfaction of winning the bet, so I let my opponent win in the maze, much to the Steve's chagrin. The other orderly, a real bully by the name of Herb, didn't waste any time and wanted his money immediately.
Later Steve started talking to me, "So you think you were funny? Well you weren't, freak. I'll show you what happens to people that think they are funny." He started to beat and kick me, though he tried to make sure the beating wouldn't have any lasting effects that would've been hard to explain to a doctor. Still, it hurt and I vowed to get even with him, even if it was the last thing I would ever do.
My power of Telepathy and Telekinesis grew every day, though it wasn't much help as long as I was in the room. The machine that kept the pressure on me really dampened my power and range. I couldn't do very much. I didn't try to talk to the orderlies, as I read from their minds that if I did, they would drug me down to the vegetative state. They got paid very well in the facility, and didn't want it to come out that they used the patients for their own fun and pleasure.
Besides, I still wasn't able to control most of my muscles. I could see now, but not focus on anything. So I was trapped. I couldn't say that I wanted to leave. I couldn't bust out of there because of the machine, and nobody cared if I lived in here in these pitiful circumstances. What can I say, I was pretty much fucked. I really hated my father now. He had been so callous in throwing me out. Maybe that was why Mom left him. 'Maybe he had her killed?' I got even angrier, thinking that.
As I was contemplating my predicament and trying to find a way out of this place, the cleaning lady visited again. She hadn't been in for some time. As soon as she entered my room, I read from her mind that she had been sick. Her mind was not that easy to read though. I had to push to get in, and it wasn't easy with the machine clamping down my power all the time.
As I managed to get into her thoughts, I got a big shock. She wasn't a simple soul as I'd initially thought. In fact, she was solving math and quantum mechanics problems in her mind. She just had a speech impairment and was dyslectic. That was why she had such a menial job. As I thought about it, I found that I might be able to rectify her condition. I'm not really a biology expert, but I somehow I could identify the parts of the mind that weren't functioning properly.
She stroked my head as she did usually when she had finished cleaning the room and this time I looked straight at her. I think she noticed something different. She stared back at me, looking straight into my eyes as if looking for recognition that I was really looking at her. I had been able to get a bit more control back over my body, but still, not that much. Then she gave me a sad smile and left my room. I think she noticed that I wasn't a vegetable anymore.
A short time later I heard someone cry out in distress in my mind. It recognized the telepathic voice. It was my cleaning woman. She was being beaten by the orderlies. I tried very hard to read her or any other mind, but the machine clamped me down again. I worried what might have happened to her. Then I remembered an old movie I had once seen. I think it was called, Kill Will or something like that. I could have smacked my head, if I were able to anyway. In that movie a woman woke up from a coma and didn't have the use of her muscles. By focusing her will on first her toe, then more and more muscles, she managed to get all her muscles back under control.
Why couldn't I do that? Maybe I could. Of course it would take a lot of time, but I wasn't going anywhere. Time enough for me to start trying then. As I was busy trying to get my right index finger to do what I wanted it to do, Herb came into my room. He looked suspiciously at me, and shone a sharp light from a small flashlight into my eyes. I still hadn't gotten them under control, so they just moved involuntary. Feeling satisfied, Herb prepared to leave and I quickly went into his mind to read what that was all about.
I almost gasped for a breath as I read from his memory that the cleaning woman had told her suspicions to the orderlies. They gave her a beating, telling her, "Stay the fuck away from the patients."
Herb had been especially nasty in the beating. I saw in his mind that he was a very cruel man. He liked to pull wings from insects, birds and even started dismembering any cats and dogs that had the misfortune to wander into his backyard. And he found it funny to do that while the animals were still alive, reveling in the pain and misery of those poor animals.
But Herb wasn't dumb, he suspected that the woman might have noticed something. That is why he checked up on me. They couldn't afford to have any patient getting better. If I even let them know that I was getting back to my right mind and would recover from what that disease MORFS had done to me, I would be doped up to the max or maybe even be given an overdose. One time I'd heard them say, "Dead men tell no tales."
For days I tried to get my finger to start working, while still battling the machine that clamped down my power. I was almost ready to give up trying, when my finger started moving like it should. From there, I slowly managed to get more fingers to work, then my feet, and about a month later I was fully mobile again. I even started to utter softly things with my mouth and I could hear things again with my ears, and see with my eyes very well. I was back to normal again. Well not exactly normal, I had these weird telepathic and telekinetic powers.
It was about time for me to get out of here. I couldn't very well ask the orderlies to release me. Maybe I could ask the doctor when he came to visit me. And still that damn machine was pressing in on my mind to suppress my power.
Finally the doctor came. I'd been getting worried that he wouldn't come. I was already exercising in secret to bring my muscles back into some shape. The doctor entered and I focused on his mind. He was easy to read, and I got a lot of medical things from him that I filed away for future reference. But I got a big shock as he only wanted to test me if I was healthy enough for to stand up for an inspection. He wasn't in the least concerned about whether I would get better. He just needed to fill out forms for state regulations. And he was being blackmailed by the orderlies.
Apparently he had a thing for young women. Very young women if you know what I mean. There was one patient in this facility that fit his fancy, and Steve & Herb let him have his way with her. I wanted to tear this guy apart, but I restrained myself. Better not let him know that I had all my marbles back together. He would without a doubt report me to the orderlies at which point I would either be doped back to a vegetable or just get killed. I just put on the catatonic show for him and he didn't notice a thing. Of course it helped that I nudged his mind a bit to get him not to notice it.
Soon the doctor left and I went back to doing nothing. How in the world was I ever going to get out of here? I wanted to be free again, feel fresh air and eat real normal food. I tried once more to push myself against the clamping effect of the machine. It strained to suppress my full power, while I pushed at it with all my might. I was almost there, but when I faltered, I came crashing down hard as the machine relentlessly pushed me into a very bad headache. I began wheezing for air, and tears started leaking from my eyes at my failed attempt. I didn't know if I could ever find the power or the courage to try that again.