The Youngest RecruitA Chapter by Truman S. Booth
Dr. Alaman investigates a supposedly telekinetic child.
“Can you move things,” asked Dr. Alaman, “using only your mind?”
The patient’s unfocused eyes rested eerily on Alaman’s graying hairline. “No,” he replied in a still, airy voice, like a whisper in a cave. “I have to use my hands.”
Dr. Alaman dropped his dull pencil tiresomely onto the table, leaning back in his chair while he rubbed his eyes vigorously behind his glasses. “So you have to pick things up, just like everybody else? They told me you were different, the men in the green room. They said you could make things…”
As he lowered his hand from his eyes, his voice quavered to silence. The boy had extended his hand, holding it a foot above the tabletop with outstretched fingers. His eyelids were closed calmly, as if in slumber, but his fingers twitched and squirmed at the knuckles. Dr. Alaman’s yellow pencil was rising rigidly from the table; not smoothly, as the doctor had imagined, but irregularly. The eraser end lifted first, followed by the end with lead, which quickly surpassed its slow-rising counterpart, making the whole pencil flip over.
Though his eyes were closed, the boy seemed to know of the object’s instability. His brow furrowed, and his fingers became more strained. The pencil began to stabilize, hovering evenly three inches above the table, but rotating like a sausage on a skewer.
Dr. Alaman pushed his chair back, kneeling on the ground for a better angle. He watched the pencil turn with enraptured fascination and flinched when it suddenly crashed back to the plastic table. The child’s eyes flew open as he drew in an enormous gasp of air, hanging his head in exhaustion.
After resuming his place in the chair, and allowing the boy a moment to rest, Dr. Alaman placed the tips of his fingers together at his chest. “Is it very difficult for you?”
The boy shook his head. “It isn’t too hard,” he said softly, “but I forget to breathe.”
Something about the statement tickled Dr. Alaman, who began to laugh heartily. He wiped a tear from his eye, wondering what brought upon the surge of joy. Perhaps it was the success of finally finding another one"two and a half years was an unprecedented dry spell"or because of the boy’s remarkable control of his ability despite his age: barely eleven years old. He would be the youngest of the group, by far; the next up was twenty-four. But from the forty minutes he had spent with the boy, Dr. Alaman knew he was ready for the program.
I have another question for you, Cameron," he said, leaning forward across the table and donning a sincere smile. "How would you like to meet your father?"
© 2011 Truman S. Booth
Truman S. Booth
the Bubble, UT
AboutI am a young writer, but I believe that talent knows no age--although they tend to increase together. There are a few things I love, and a few things I hate. I love language, piano, animated movie.. more..