Excerpt from Intangible
by J. Meyers
Marc ran outside, looked up and down the street for them, opened his mind up to find the man’s distinct thoughts again, but they were gone. Out of range. He could have used more information, could have listened further for more details. But he grinned suddenly, as realization hit, and felt like jumping around like a squealing toddler in a kiddie pool.
It was them.
He knew it was them. He’d finally found them after months of trespassing into people’s heads, fingering their thoughts. Using his gift.
There had always been voices—thoughts—he could hear. For as long as he could remember. The slight hum of people’s thoughts in the background of his mind was normal for him—nothing he would pay attention to, nothing standing out. When he wanted to know what someone was thinking, he could tune in to that one person. Like a radio, each individual was a different frequency in his mind. A little focus and he was in.
Truth be told, he’d used it to his advantage. Usually a little foray into a girl’s mind to find out what would impress her, make her happy, make her want him. Man, he got to be good at that. Very good. If a girl was worrying about her new haircut, he’d compliment her on it. If she was berating herself for saying something stupid, he’d tell her how intelligent she was. It was so easy. And so effective. Whatever the worry, all it took was a small comment to make her feel good and he was in.
It had seemed like a gift.
Two years ago something had changed. He didn’t know what had happened or when exactly it had started because he hadn’t even noticed it at first. It had snuck up on him. Bit by bit he had to work harder—focus more intensely—to keep the background thoughts to a hum. Random thoughts would stand out loud in his mind whenever he let down his guard. It was only after he found himself struggling continually to keep people’s thoughts out of his head that he realized something was wrong.
And then one day he couldn’t keep them out. His mind was overrun by everyone’s thoughts all at the same time. As if his radio was tuned to every station simultaneously. With the volume up loud.
He couldn’t make sense of what anyone said to him—couldn’t filter out their words from the overwhelming racket in his head. And with it came pain. Deep, debilitating pain. Migraines like he’d never known. A constant deep ache, sharpened with every sound, every shard of light, every small movement of his eyes. And vomiting.
The doctors were useless. Every test came back negative. It was all in his head, they said. Well, yeah, it was. But not in the way they meant. He couldn’t tell them what was really going on. He could already hear their skeptical thoughts about the migraines. They’d never have believed him about the voices, the thoughts he could hear. Besides, he’d already learned that lesson. The hard way. He couldn’t tell anyone the truth.
So on paper he was fine.
In reality he was tortured.
And that was how they’d found him. The Shadows.
He had been curled up as tight as possible, whimpering from the pain and noise wracking his head. They’d whispered to him from their dark corner, offering relief. He hadn’t wondered how the hell they’d gotten into his home, what they were doing in his bedroom. He hadn’t had the good sense to be scared. He hadn’t even wondered how he was able to hear their words through all the noise in his mind. He’d just forced his arm to reach out and open up his hand.
He would have done anything to make it stop.
A big thanks to J. for this tantalizing little teaser! I'm really glad I have this sitting on my shelf waiting for me to pick it up because this excerpt has really got me wanting to read it even more than before. What did you think? Has this excerpt got you wanting more? Well then...
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