Submitted by user “Adventures of Van Hanlon.” Note: some paragraphs contain light swearing in the context of the story; reader discretion advised.
Living in one of the more well off neighborhoods in Des Moines, Jason Taylor was one of the “rich brats”.
At least that’s what people thought.
To the outside world Jason had everything he could ever want (touch pad phone, top of the line laptop, MP3 player, etc.), but if you took a closer look there was something missing. Jason’s parents were always off on some business trip and he was always at home alone.
Well, almost alone. There was the nanny, but Jason never really counted her because she never interacted with him. Jason needed someone to pay attention to him, and the only one he could ever turn too was his Uncle Ferdy. Uncle Ferdy, full name Lord Ferdinand Horatio Wiffleton of Brookshire, was a crazy character, someone that your parents would tell you to stay away from because he was a “bad influence.”
This was precisely why Jason loved him. Every day after school he would sneak away to his Uncle Ferdy’s. Now Uncle Ferdy had a special skill. He was able to look at someone and could tell you anything and everything about them. Jason was fascinated by his Uncle’s unique skill. Finally, the day of his thirteenth birthday he asked him to teach him his craft.
“Now concentrate,” Uncle Ferdinand said, digging through a box of old polaroid photos. Jason’s eyes were squeezed shut and his lips were pursed. “Now when you open your eyes I want you to look at this picture in front of your face and tell me everything you know about it.”
Uncle Ferdinand held a picture of a young woman in her twenties in front of the young teenager’s face.
“One….Two….Open your eyes.”
Jason opened his eyes and a stream of facts came to his mind:
“The woman is in her twenties by the look of her modern clothing. She has no wedding ring so she has a boyfriend-no she doesn’t have a boyfriend; Business suit, expensive shoes, both suggest high levels of independence. Cut is modern but two years out of fashion, suggesting a devotion to work and not appearance. Shoes have heels, two inches, suggesting an pragmatic personality. Hair is neatly wrapped up in a bun-no, wait, two strands , curling, overall brown with blonde highlights. Professional job, very professional, must have been expensive, meaning that she must make a lot of money. Lots of money translates to a profession as a lawyer, executive, or banker, probably a lawyer, pragmatism would suggest walking and standing suggesting activity. Executives and bankers don’t walk much, must be a lawyer.
In summary, this person is a high class business woman of youngish age, probably a lawyer.
Jason flopped down into his chair trying to catch a breath. Uncle Ferdy smiled and gave his young nephew a slow clap.
“Fantastic job, old chap,” Ferdinand said handing his nephew a can of soda-pop. “Smashing good work.”
Jason smiled. “Thanks Uncle Ferdy. I really love doing this. The mind map thing you taught me was really useful.”
Ferdinand smiled and sat across from Jason. “Oh I should hope so. I developed it while fighting off eighteen revolutionary buggers while down in the Falklands. But I think it’s been long enough for the night. It’s time to take you home before your mummy gets back.” As they pulled up to the front of his parents mansion the expression on Jason’s face turned grim.
“Stop looking like a penguin who just lost its lunch to a whale. It’s just a couple of hours on your own. Then you’ll be off to school again in the morning.” Ferdinand said clapping his nephew on the shoulder. Smiling ruefully, Jason shouldered his backpack and exited the Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé.
“I’m home!” Jason yelled, pushing open the door and hoping someone would come down to meet him with a smile and a warm hug. But no, of course not—he was only greeted with the empty silence.
Sighing, he trudged up the stairs and to his room. Closing the door behind him, he observed the mess.
“What’s the use of having a nanny when she doesn’t even pick up after you?” he muttered, laying on his bed. Still in his school uniform he stared up at the many posters on his ceiling. The empty eyes of the characters stared back. Rolling to his side he stared at his favorite picture on the wall. The time him and his uncle, his uncle in his long grey coat and messy hair and then him, young, gangly, and a teen. That had been their first trip together. Sighing, he undressed and pulled the blankets over himself, drifting off into sweet dreams and-
Jason rolled over.
“Five thirty. Really?” he muttered and pulled the blankets over his head, trying to get a couple more minutes of sle-SLAM.
At 6am the sound of the front door slamming woke him up.
Oh that’s just my parents leaving again without saying good bye, whopee, Jason thought to himself, rolling out of bed and onto his feet. A quick shower and into his school uniform, then breakfast; premade and with not a person in sight. Sitting at the island in the middle of the kitchen he read the form copy note his parents always leave him trying to make do for what they can’t give him. Attention. Throwing the note in disgust he stomped out of the kitchen, grabbed his bag, and headed out the door to his bus stop. It was surprisingly sunny for a day in Des Moines, making Jason smile. He stood at the corner, the stop sign above his head, the sound of the cars rushing by the sounds of the city. The same old yellow bus pulled up. Climbing onto the bus Jason sighed and placed his headphones into his ears, blocking out the world around him until they finally arrived in front of the school.
Jason’s classes passed by in a blur of light and sound. Soon, PE came around. Jason made his way to the locker room and changed into his PE clothes, dodging a few bullies and pushing off a stoner. He could hear the obnoxious chatter throughout the locker room. Slipping out the front door of the locker room and out the door onto the track, he began to jog laps around the track, observing the people around him. Hates her weight; Hates his mom; Has too much homework; Never does their homework. He loved exercising his mind map, to the point that he always did so no matter where he was. Soon the piercing whistle of the gym teacher called all the students to him like a dog to bacon.
“Today we’re playing baseball. Mr. Gibbons and Mrs. Garcia, you’re captains. Gibbon’s team up to bat, Garcia’s team in the field. Now I want you to play CLEAN! Does everyone agree?”
The unanimous murmur of “yes sir” echoed throughout the crowd.
The unanimous agreement to punch, kick, and bite echoed without sound.
“Good. Now I want the people with birthdays that are in June through December in the front of the batting line and January through May in the back. Now I have to make a call,” he said retrieving his cell phone from his pocket walking off.
The Batting line was in total chaos, with Jason ending up second in line. The first was a tall senior boy who has played on the school baseball team every year he has been in high school. He hit the ball with finesse and got the team its very first home run. Now it was Jason’s turn. He stepped up to the plate and swung the bat around in his hand. The pitcher pulled his arm back and pitched the first ball. Jason swung.
The pitcher retrieved another ball. Jason shook it off.
Come on Jason it’s a BALL HIT IT. He brought the bat back up to swing. Giving a nod to the pitcher he braced himself for the next pitch.
Jason ran his fingers through his hair. Alright, Jason. You can do this. For the last time Jason brought the bat up into position. He gave a curt nod to the pitcher telling him to pitch the ball. Time slowed as Jason’s eyes followed the ball.
Too late, he realized that the ball wasn’t aimed across the plate.
Time rushed back in an instant as Jason felt the baseball hit him in the side of the head, knocking him unconscious.
Waking up in the Hospital is never a pleasant thing, especially when you don’t even remember how you get there. Rolling onto his side, Jason groaned loudly, holding his head. Luckily, a nurse was nearby checking on some equipment.
“Well hello Mr. Taylor. How are you feeling?” she asked cheerily.
Jason gave the nurse a dazed look. “Like eight gallons of amphetamines. What happened?”
“Well, you were playing baseball at school and took a fastball to the temple. Normally, a hit like that would give you a bump and a headache, but for some reason you started to have a seizure. We couldn’t find anything wrong with you when you got here, but we’re keeping you under observation for the next twenty four hours just in case.”
Jason closed his eyes. Great.
“Could you go get me something to eat.” Jason asked struggling to sit up and becoming aware of the IV in his arm.
“Sure Jason. I’ll be back shortly.”
Jason looked out the window. It was a beautiful view of the forest and the small lawn that surrounded the building. He had an almost clear view out the window except for an empty vase on the sill. Frowning, Jason tried to walk over and move it, but the IV wasn’t long enough. Slumping back down, he glared at the vase blocking his only source of entertainment. In a spurt of childish rage, he made strangling gestures at the vase.
Suddenly, Pool Cue!!
Startled Jason dropped the pool cue. It dissolved into dust, which then faded away.
“That… was amazing,” he blinked. “…How the HELL did I do that.” He made more strangling motions. This time he got a hot pink feather boa. Confusion reigned. How had he triggered the event last time? With an audible click, a series of nine screens, in a grid, appeared before him, displaying the last nine actions he had taken in the last three minutes.
“Well,” said Jason, slowly placing his hands on the screens. “This is odd.” The screens pulsed slightly as his hands came into contact with them, then exploded in motion. Jason jerked back, and the screens became still again. Curiosity overriding caution, he placed on finger on a single screen. Suddenly, it began to play back a video loop.
“Wait, is that… that’s me…” Jason said to himself, the screen in front of him displaying himself, sitting on the bed, rubbing absently at the bump on his head and trying to see out the window. He tapped the next one, which played back his frustration then the strangling motions, followed by the pool cue event. A small speaker-symbol appeared next to the screen. Jason tapped it, and suddenly could here a voice over of himself: Grr, stupid vase, I can’t see out the window. Maybe I can- DAMN THIS IV. Rgggghhhhh, if I just had a pool cue or- GAH!!!
The video ended, and looped back.
Jason stared at it, blinking.
Holy crap. He had Mind Powers.
Okay, so I wanted a pool cue before, but that would knock the vase over and shatter it. If I had some sort of gripping tool.. like one of those litter grabber arm things…. Jason mimed picking something up out of thin air. The grabber arm appeared.
Now that he was paying more attention, he saw that the appearance came with a small blip of light and that the grabber arm was slightly translucent. Grinning, Jason turned to the vase and extended the grabber arm. Carefully, he moved the grabbing end over the end of the vase and pulled the locking trigger, clamping onto the rim of the vase.
Quickly now, because he thought he heard the nurse coming back, Jason placed the vase on the floor.
He let go of the arm, the device instantly losing coherence and phasing through the vase and bed as it fell. There were definitely foot steps now. The screens, crap, how to turn off the screens. Jason swiped at the screens and was able to move them around, but not turn them off. The door was opening, craaaaaap. Jason slapped downward at the screens, which rotated about their central axis and disappeared JUST as the nurse walked in.
Clueless as to the things that just occurred, the nurse placed his tray in front of him and wrote several notes on his chart while Jason dug in, studiously ignoring the purple and orange paste that was supposed to be “blueberry pie”. As he ate he felt his eyelids begin to droop. Dang, that experimentation must have taken a lot out of him. Jason had barely finished the flavorless paste that was supposed to be mashed potatoes when he keeled over.
Luckily, the nurse was still around and quickly grabbed him before he face planted in the blueberry pie.
“Good Morning Jason, You have a visitor.” Jason rolled over onto his side. Looking at the source of the voice he saw the face of the person he had been wanting to see since the day he woke up in the hospital.
“UNCLE FERDY!” Jason said sittng up. Touching his arms he felt that the IV had been removed during the night. Looking to the nurse he sounded so hopeful “ Does this mean I get to go home?” Looking between the nurse and Uncle Ferdy his eyes pleading.
The nurse chuckled “Yes Mr. Taylor you were discharged hours ago but we wanted to let you sleep.” She handed Ferdy a stack of paperwork. Ferdy made a face as the nurse turned to Jason.
“Just take those papers to discharge and then you can leave,” the nurse said as she walked out of the room.
Uncle Ferdinand made a face at Jason handing him the papers. “Come on lets get out of this Quack House.” Jason grabbed the bag of his things sitting on the floor next to the door and walked out, Uncle Ferdinand following right behind him.
School was never pleasant for Jason. Getting a break was never easy. One of the worst times for Jason was for Lunch. There was only ever one person that sat with him at lunch and it was his friend Ali. Rumor had it that they were an item, something that Jason denied vigorously. He was a quiet child, born from a large family in the Middle East. Ali was an exchange student and he was the best friend Jason could have ever had.
“Hey Jason,” Ali said sliding into the lunch table. Jason smiled at the sight of his best friend. He frowned at the food on Ali’s tray, however.
“You know the stuff they’re feeding us here, it’s nasty,” said Jason, prodding what was apparently some sort of pudding. It rebounded gelatinously, like a silicon breast implant. Ali laughed, “At least it’s food. What did the nanny pack today?”
“Chicken and rice, want some?” Jason said pushing his plate over.
“Sure,” Ali said taking a chicken piece. “Did I mention what happened with Trova the day you had to go to the hospital?”
Jason had a piece of chicken in his mouth, choking it down he answered “No you didn’t. What happened?” He took another bite this time chewing his food.
“Well in short, you know how him and I have Chemistry together, well he spent the entire period talking about terrorists and then at the last five minutes he said: “Ali, when’s the next attack? Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone important.”
Jason choked on his mouthful of rice. “That bastard, I should have known he would try something like that.” Ali put his head down on the table. “He’s been spreading rumors too. About me and my family. It just hurts, you know?”
Jason wrapped a protective arm around Ali. “Ali you know that I’m always going to be here.”
Ali sniffled, “ I know, Jason, I hate letting him get to me .” Ali leaned his head onto Jason’s shoulder Jason sighed. The cafeteria was always in a hustle so a quiet corner was always a novelty. He squeezed Ali. Ali smiled, pulling from Jason’s grasp. “You always know how to make me smile.” “I try my best.” BRIIIINNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGG Stupid lunch bell. Why do you always have to ruin the most perfect moments? Ali scooped up his lunch and his bag and ran out of the cafeteria not turning to look behind him. Cleaning up his lunch Jason hurried to class. Mind still left churning about Ali and his situation. His final class of the day was English. Boring on the best of days, it typically was a hateful experience. The instructor lacked any capacity to make life interesting. Unfortunately, life became more interesting when the last person Jason ever wanted to see stepped in front of him outside the classroom.
“Mr. Taylor,” said Benjamin Trova. “How delightful to see you.” Benjamin Trova was captain of the chess club, heir to the Trova Fashion Enterprise, and the resident rich bastard. Rumor had it that this was literally true. Jason tried to get around Benjamin. It turned out that Benjamin was out to be a rich and annoying bastard today. “Trova. What do you want. I would like to get to class.”
“Don’t be so hostile my prickly little friend,” said Benjamin, voice remniscent of butter in its unctious oilyness. “I was just curious about your relationship with dear Ali.”
Jason’s mouth thinned in distaste of Benjamin’s implications. “Ali is just my friend, Trova. Why do you care?”
Trova stared over his gold rimmed glasses, the frames sliding down slightly. “My dear fellow, I merely observed that he seemed rather upset when he headed to chemistry. Did you two have a -hun… what’s the phrase.. ah- a lover’s spat? I’m sure I can set up a meeting with the guidance counselor,” he said smirking and pushing his glasses back up with a well manicured index finger. Jason made to shove Benjamin into the wall.
“Shove off, Trova,” he snapped, before being yanked backwards. Benjamin wasn’t just a rich bastard. He happened to be a rich bastard that was highly capable at martial arts. Jason fought to keep his grimace off his face as Benjamin ground the bones of Jason’s wrist together.
“I’d cut ties with the terrorist if I were you, Taylor,” said Benjamin frostily, his oily exterior cast aside for cold hatred. “It’s unbecoming to see one of the upper class muck about with the common filth.”
“Ali is not a terrorist, bastard,” spat Jason. “Why don’t you take your elitist bullshit and go sit down. The teacher will be here soon.” Jason yanked his arm from Benjamin’s grip and walked into the classroom, Benjamin’s glare freezing two ice cubes onto Jason’s shirt. ———- English class, was always a joy with Trova. That was to say, English class with Benjamin Trova was the closest thing to tourture that the school district could allow. Slumping into his seat he kept his eyes glued to the back of Trova’s well groomed head. Groaning when he heard the assignment for the day.
“Class today we are going to read a short story called Logic of Empire, now please turn your literature books to page 233 and read independently.” The groan throughout the room was muffled by the sounds of the literary books hitting the desk and the rustle of thirty students flicking through pages and pages of literature textbook. Jason began to scan the pages and within the first moment was distracted by a paper ball bouncing off his head. The practically inebriated instructor failed to notice. Glancing back down to the pages a quote caught his eye. “You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity” grinning he jotted the quote down on a piece of paper remembering to come back to it later.
“Taylor.” Jason groaned to see the teacher standing above him.
“Yes Mrs. Bordinaro?”
“Please tell us what you think about the short story?”
Squirming Jason began to speak. “ Well the only part I really have liked is this quote,” Jason pulled the piece of paper onto his desk. “You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity” Jason read aloud Trova laughed.
“How ironic, Mr. Taylor.”
Jason glared “ Trova you better shut your mouth before I-” “Mr. Taylor, Mr. Trova, kindly keep your conflicts out of this classroom,” said Mrs. Bordinaro from over the top of her clipboard. Jerking his head back down Jason finished reading the short story muttering swears at Trova under his breath. The rest of the class past in a blur, it seemed as if time had stopped when BRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGG Jason smiled. —————————
“I understand how you feel, and I see no reason for you not to do what you want. I want to help you.”
“Thanks Uncle Ferdy. You said you had something for me?”
“I do.” Uncle Ferdy pulled over the case of gear that he had brought. “This is a Cena Technologies CMH09 Bluetooth Headset,” he said, pulling out his first item. It appeared to just be your standard Bluetooth Headset,it’s just rather larger than usual. “What’s so special about it?” asked Jason, turning it on and hooking it onto his ear. “Other than the fact that it can play music, function as a multi-channel radio, and transmit your calls with crystal clear clarity?” asked Uncle Ferdy. “I’ve had a guy customize it. Try using your powers.” With a gesture, Jason pulled up a chalkboard and scribbled on it briefly. “Huh. Much easier than before.” “Not just easier. Your head set has been modified to include a power amplifier. Not only will it make it easier to manifest anything you wish, the amp will also boost any projected manifestation that you make.” “So if I project a memory sequence…” “It’ll appear in 1080p HD,” said Uncle Ferdy. “And play crystal clear audio. It’s really quite excellent.” Jason grinned. “Thanks Uncle Ferdy, this is really cool.” “That’s not all I got you,” said Uncle Ferdy. “Here, take this.” He handed a small, wafer shaped device to Jason. “This is a Mark 1 Chip Phone. I had a guy put this together. It’s all the components of a high quality phone placed into a single package, bluetooth enabled, and synced to your powers. You can interact with it using your powers to accept calls and turn individual features on and off. It has an arm band that goes around your bicep. Try it out.” Jason strapped it on and flicked open what he imagined to be a decent interface for the phone. It was already charged and loaded with his contact information. Another flick of the fingers and Jason snapped off a phone call to Uncle Ferdy, who hadn’t quite followed the sequence of finger flicks. “Hello?” “Hi Uncle Ferdy,” said Jason, grinning cheekily. “How’s it going?” “Rapscallion,” chuckled Uncle Ferdy. “I’ve one last thing. “Your costume.”