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Misdirection

What's on your mind?

By Mark GagnonPublished about a month ago 4 min read
1
Misdirection
Photo by petr sidorov on Unsplash

How would you like to live in a world where everyone who chooses to can read your mind and you theirs? Now, just to make it more interesting, what if you have lost the ability to read everyone else’s mind? Every thought, every emotion, every subconscious urge you have is laid bare for the world to ogle at while you have no idea what’s really behind their smile or friendly nod. Is your imagination vivid enough to grasp what such an existence would be like? I don’t have to imagine because it’s my reality.

Apparently, humans have always been able to read minds, but only a rare few figured out how to access the trait. Throughout history, these individuals were labeled witches and sorcerers. As time passed, people with this talent set up shop as fortune tellers and mentalists. It wasn’t until a primordial virus was released from the thawing tundra that the dormant talent of mind reading became a common trait. Now, the only way to have a truly private thought is to seal oneself in a room away from others.

Mind reading has limitations. A person can’t read the thoughts of someone across town, or even on the next street. The closer you are to a person, the clearer their thoughts become. Physical contact, even as brief as brushing against someone in a crowd, opens their mind to scrutiny. There are some exceptions to this rule. Speaking to someone on the phone or via live texting creates a mental connection.

It took time, but people developed mental shields against an eavesdropping world. If a prying mind was detected, the targeted person immediately blocked the intruder. Some people possessed stronger abilities than others, but everyone had some protection. Everyone that is except me. A person needs to sense an interloper to shield against them.

I was infected with the mind-reading virus at the same time the rest of humanity was. The trait was so strong in me, I could detect buried memories from a person’s past. Law enforcement, governments, and even financial institutions sought me out as a consultant. I could find where all the bodies were buried. No one had a shield my mind couldn’t penetrate. I pictured myself as a superhero fighting crime and injustice around the globe. Unfortunately for me, crime and injustice can fight back.

It happened late one evening. I was walking home from a local pub when I sensed a presence unlike any I had ever encountered before. This mind was cloaked in shadows, revealing very little about the person or their intent. By the time I realized there were actually three people, it was too late. They moved as one, their minds joined in some form of a symbiotic link. I was held by two of the men while a third injected a foreign substance directly into my forehead.

When the police found me, I was wandering along an empty street, my mind completely silent. The only thoughts I could hear were my own. After reporting the incident to the authorities, I returned home and slept for twenty-four hours. Now it was time for me to find out who did this to me and how it could be reversed.

Making use of my friends in law enforcement, I learned about a criminal organization that developed a mind-blocking drug. Not much was known about them or the drug, but I had recently caused them to suffer a large financial setback. My attack was to insure I would never interfere in their operations again. It was also a warning to anyone else who might try.

My life had just undergone a radical shift. I was no longer connected to the world around me, even though the world was still connected to me. I moved from the city to a small cabin in the wilderness as a means of protection. Now it was time to find an antidote. It didn’t happen right away, but I finally recovered from the attack. Not only did I recover, but my ability was stronger than before.

I returned to the city pretending to still be under the influence of the drug. Because of my new ability, I could now send out thoughts I wanted people to read while camouflaging my actual intent. Misdirection is the weapon I will use to find my attackers and bring down their organization. It’s the only effective defense in a world full of mind-readers.

Short Story
1

About the Creator

Mark Gagnon

I have spent most of my life traveling around the US and the globe. Now it's time to draw on these experiences and create what I hope are interesting fictional stories. Only you, the reader, can tell me if I've achieved my goal.

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Comments (1)

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  • Tina D'Angeloabout a month ago

    OK, tell me what I'm thinking about this story.

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