Telekinetic Transport | Reddit Writing Prompt – 2
This Reddit writing prompt is from u/TheBeardedAntt
You never miss a pill ever since you were a kid and diagnosed with a deadly illness. One night while out, you’re kidnapped by human traffickers. You plea to be let go because you’ll die without your pills. Turns out, the pills were keeping your telekinesis at bay. It’s starting to come back.
Now I’m not normally the type who judges – I find “leaving well alone” is as good a mantra as any – I don’t get involved in divisive debates, I don’t argue the pros and cons of veganism, I enjoy British TV but don’t declare Coronation Street to be better than Eastenders. I’m not even bothered about Brexit – in, out or shake it all about – it’s all the same to me. The world will keep turning and we’ll all keep trundling along. And that to me has always been key – leave me alone and I’m happy – I’ll do my thing and you do your thing – and if neither of us interfere in each other’s thing then surely that respect for all things will lead to harmony and peace? Hence let’s agree to aim for that – then raise a glass and cheer a hearty hats-off to us all! I’m happy, you’re happy and life is good.
As long as I keep taking the pills.
But right now, I’m squashed into a refrigerated lorry and you’ve not really listened when I’ve tried to explain the error of your ways and the consequences that are likely to occur if Tuesday’s flap on my pill box organiser remains unopened. I will die. And your predicament prior to that won’t be particularly pretty. You laughed, you used coarse language, you punched my face and you kicked my testicles. You had the chance to desist but you didn’t.
Most people don’t understand too much about telekinesis. For example, it’s often also referred to as psycho-kinesis, which is much the better description really – it’s certainly more apt in my regard. They didn’t put me on the pills solely for my own good. And perhaps at this point it’s appropriate to offer a word to the wise for the criminally inclined – trying to traffic a telekinetic is not the cleverest connivance.
I can feel my fingertips tingle already and unlike my fellow squashees my digits are reacting to a heat rising within not to the cold seep of this icy container. My interior is readying to alter the exterior. The last time this happened I was five years old. My first day at school did not go well. But that’s another tale, suffice to say that when I returned, I was seven years old and on the very largest of the yellow pills. Pills that kept me alive and the power at bay.
There’s a chap in here with us from Eritrea, he’s managed to smuggle a GPS fitted phone onto the truck (I’ll spare you the details of how). It’s proven quite useful as for the last hour I have been asking my fellow ‘passengers’ exactly where they’d like to be dropped off. They laughed initially but then obviously decided to humour me – we had a vote and the consensus was anywhere at all once safely in the UK. So be it, I estimate that will be in 38 minutes time.
38 minutes can be a very long time. And it’s hard for me to adequately explain our circumstances. I’ve no desire to flood your head with all the minutiae of melodrama and see no point in causing vicarious distress – suffice to mention we’ve no water, no blankets and no toilet but you’ll have to imagine the full visceral yourself.
Our man from Eritrea points to his watch. I nod. The huddled look toward me – more hopeful than expectant. Fair enough. I take a deep breath, screw my eyes tight, then release. I’ve imagined the wheels of the truck locking. We stutter a bit; jolt twice then halt. There’s a gasp from my peers. I quickly suck more air in, shutter my lids down tight and imagine again. I see the cab doors lock on the bemused driver and his two accompanying thugs. I wipe a drop of blood from the corner of my left eye. I take two breaths this time and aim carefully. I don’t have to imagine the heavy doors encasing us. They fly open with an impressive crash. Gasps then cheers this time. We can see daylight. A country road. I wipe more blood, from both eyes, but I’m smiling like the rest.
My hand is shook and my back is clapped, I receive a bow from one, an offered prayer from another and then my friends are gone – scrabbling towards the woods in the hope of a better future. I manage a weak wave before I refocus my strength on getting to my feet then exiting the truck too.
Using the side of the truck for support I work my way round to the front. I want to see them close up. Three men sardined. I hope they can appreciate the irony and yet I have my doubts they will. No matter. I squeeze my innards further – chest and skull. It’s latent and rusty, partially subdued by the remnants of yesterday’s pill but the skill is still there. The power brazen and intoxicating.
Flashbacks now – the traumatic years between 5 and 7, formative years perhaps. Then the suppression of the anger and the dulling through medication. Pain too, pain that’s resurfacing now, excruciating pain. I remember one particular nurse describing one particular experiment as “A taste of your own medicine.” Even then I knew that was harsh. I hadn’t meant to hurt anyone.
I look toward the cab once more. Thug Number 1, nearest the wedged tight window, has produced a long knife and is brandishing it menacingly. I laugh, I remember his kick to my testicles. I refocus on the cab, breathe deep and release. The cab begins to close in on itself – steel crumpling like a trodden Coke can. Sides, back and front contracting to form a much smaller box. Three men squashed as one. Done Some Evil, Done Some Evil and Done Some Evil look at me differently now. Their eyes pleading not menacing, and for a moment I falter. Their panic is palpable. And it’s not completely unfamiliar. Perhaps I’m not incapable of empathy. There was the occasional nice nurse – not all of them called me Freak.
Weary now. Colossally. I could stop this. I could halt the crushing. There might still be enough time for them if the emergency teams arrived soon and were able to untangle the concertinaed metal. Maybe there’d be just enough oxygen left in the cab. Maybe…
I lose focus, then my grip on the side of the lorry and slowly slump to the tarmac. It’s the end for me. I’ve finally visited the UK but my stay has been brief. I half expect a man in a bowler hat to offer me a cup of tea. “One for the road sir?” A biscuit might be nice too and a famed cucumber sandwich. Thoughts of royals and corgis and palaces and carriages now, no tunnel emerging to direct my path. Not yet. No, wait. There it is. A light. A light and a cross a long way in the distance. A light and a cross and one simple word. ‘Pharmacy.’
The big yellows…
My legs won’t work, my bloodied eyes can barely open, but I’m able to crawl.
H. B. O’Neill is a London born writer inspired by the City and its myriad opportunity for comedy, pain, drama and adventure. He is a prize-winning poet and short story writer, a screenwriter, playwright and author.