Sunday, May 30, 2010

Voices, hats, and superpowers

“So you can't hear the voices when you have a hat on?”
“Nope.” She shook her head, wincing as she took her hat off. “I line them with tinfoil. That's what does it.”
He took the hat from her hand and examined it. “Wait, you have the shiny side on the inside.”
“Is that that that unusual?” She took the hat back from him, placing it on her head.
“I thought the shiny side was supposed to be out.” He shook his head. “Something about it deflecting mind control waves or something.”
“Huh.” She narrowed her eyes in thought. “It definitely has no effect on mind control waves. From what I've heard mind control is really difficult to block—you need an interfering circuit, and...”
“It's alright, nevermind.” Seth glanced up at the web of twine and newspaper strewn across the ceiling. “So, assuming you're not crazy...”
“I'm not,” she said defensively.
“Then where are the voices coming from?” he finished. “They can't just be coming from nowhere.”
“I... I used to think they were trying to talk to me.” She glanced over at him. “But half the time they're ignoring me, or talking about something else. I think they're something natural that I just happen to be able to hear.”
He thought for a moment. “So you're psychic or something?”
“I guess.” She wrapped her arms around her knees.
“So that would make the voices other people's thoughts.”
“That's one theory.” She nodded. “I've thought about it sometimes. It would make a lot of sense if it's true.”
“Can you control what voices you hear?”
“No.” She shook her head. “I told you, it's a sea of noise. I can barely pick out one over the other.”
“What about when you have the hat on?”
“...I can't hear anything when I have the hat on.” Sam looked at him skeptically. “I just told you that.”
“Have you tried?”
“Why would I want to?” She flopped back on the bed, staring upwards. “The hat makes the voices be quiet. It's the only time I can hear myself think. If I try to hear them, maybe it'll make a way for them to get in, and then where would I be?”
“You could just make a new hat.”
“That's not what I mean. I mean, if I open that door in my head, I don't know if I can close it.”
“No, you could. It's not a door.” Seth rubbed the back of his neck nervously. “I told you I can see energy fields if I want to. That includes mental energy, and well... You've got one heck of a field.” He looked away, out the tiny window and across the street. “That hat contains it.”
“Really?” Sam sat up again, torn between skepticism and hope. “Is that how it works?”
“I think so. But there are still edges getting out. I think if you tried to control it, you could focus that small amount enough to hear someone's thoughts.”
“So what, I can control what I hear?”
“I guess.” He shrugged. “I don't know. All I know about powers like this are from a couple of self-help books my mom made me read. But it seems like it'd be a good thing to try, right?”
“Sure.” She stared at her hands. “I just don't know where to start.” She paused for a moment, realizing what he'd said. “Wait, powers?”
“Sure. Telepathy. You read people's minds.” He nodded. “It's a superpower.”
“...Huh.” She looked thoughtful. “I'd... never thought of it that way.”
“Sheesh, it's either superpowers or insanity. And you keep saying you're not insane, so...”
“I'm not!”
“So it's superpowers.” Seth shrugged. “Question is, how do you control it?”
“I... have no idea.” Sam looked away again. “Tinfoil?”
“Well, other than that. I mean, can you like, do some kind of insane yoga concentration thing, or...” he gestured vaguely around his head. “Something with your hands, I guess?” She laughed, and he pouted. “I'm serious! There's always hand signals in the movies.”
“I really don't know.” She shook her head. “I've never tried it.”
He shook his head. “I just don't understand how you didn't think of this before.”
Sam smiled a little. “You try sharing your head with a million voices and see how well you do.”

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