Home > What If... (Psychic Visions #20)

What If... (Psychic Visions #20)
Author: Dale Mayer

 

 

Prologue

 

 

Seattle, Washington

Gertrude Milligan strode down the stairs, studying the empty amphitheater. She was ready for her class, but, as always, she was a few minutes early. She liked to settle into the space alone, before the doors opened. It helped. After all these years, teaching was getting longer and harder, and she just wanted to sit down, have a cup of tea. But this What If? philosophy class was a new one that she enjoyed teaching, and she was here, bright and early.

As she approached the main platform area, she walked to the podium and dumped her paperwork on top of it. She rolled her neck slightly and stretched her shoulders back. She was coming to the end of her reign. She wasn’t quite ready to retire, but, at sixty-five, she knew it was time. Giving up her research would bother her the most. She absolutely loved the research. She didn’t mind the kids. Some of them were even incredibly intelligent and kept her hopping. They kept her mind going.

And the rest of them were just here because they needed the credits, before they moved on to the rest of their dull, boring lives that had absolutely nothing to do with the what ifs in the world, and that was a damn shame.

She walked to the chalkboard, wincing, because of course, nobody had cleared off the last lecture. She quickly took the eraser and wiped down the board, wrote the name of her current lecture at the top, and underneath it wrote What If? in large bold lettering. Then, just as the doors opened, she turned toward the class. She walked back and forth on the platform, keeping her mind open, thinking about the million things in her day, until slowly the trickle of students came in.

After a glance at her watch, she called out, “Two minutes.” And it always seemed like, in that last minute, about half of the class poured in. She frowned at the noisy group. All of them knew her by now. They’d been in her class for at least three months, were reaching the end of the term, and exams were coming up. She was ready, but she didn’t think they were.

A class like this was supposed to make them think, to keep them on their toes, and to keep their brains nimble. Instead it seemed to have the opposite effect and put so many of these kids to sleep. As Gertrude looked at some of the older students, they were hardly kids anymore. A couple were under twenty, but most of them were in their early twenties, midtwenties, late twenties. She knew at least one was in her midforties. She even had a couple in their sixties here.

“Time,” she called out.

The two students closest to the doors got up, let in a few scrambling students, and then closed and locked the doors. She was strict on that. There were to be no interruptions. If a student couldn’t be here on time, they couldn’t be allowed to disrupt the rest of her class. She waited a moment for everybody to calm down and to stop shuffling. And then she started.

“Good morning, everyone. Glad to see you could make it so early.” They all cracked a smile. “I know. Lots of final projects, lots of studying for exams to do, as we begin next week. This is our last lecture class, but don’t worry. You’ve come this far, and you’ll make it.” A twitter of laughter echoed through the group. She smiled. “As always, we’re talking what ifs. We already discussed in this class: What if aliens arrived? What if Armageddon happened? What if a Third World War happened?

“Today, as in some of the other topics, this one will be completely different. We’ll discuss psychic phenomena. But not just any psychic phenomenon because, of course, it’s a very wide field. There are psychics, and then there are mediums, who don’t necessarily consider themselves psychics—like the aura readers, the healers, all kinds of different classifications and groups. But I want to talk about something completely different today because, of course, my mind always thinks in terms of what if.” She looked around at the class, noting that everybody leaned forward with interest. “Say, for example,” she stated, pointing to the row in front, where three females sat together. “Say these three women were targeted.”

At that, the trio straightened up, and one asked, “Targeted for what?”

Gertie laughed. “I don’t mean targeted, targeted. I don’t mean to be stalked or with a target on your back or with a gun or something. But let’s just say, what if you had a back door into your mind? What if other people had a way to put ideas in your head? What if people could control your thinking? What if people not only controlled your thinking but your actions? Has anybody ever thought about this?”

A couple students put up their hands.

She continued. “And you’re thinking more of the movies, aren’t you? Like, you know, mind control and other things like that, right?”

They both nodded.

“Right? So think about psychics. Think about energy. Think about people who can heal somebody else just by waving their hands over the surface of an injury and pouring supposedly loving energy into that area. What about people who can stand here and look at you and see your past life all in your energy?” She waved her hand around one of the male students, standing off to the side. “They can check out your history. They can go into something called akashic records—the Book of Life—and see all kinds of stuff.

“And then we have others, energy forms, where people have hooks into each other because, of course, we either love or hate them. These can form at birth, and they can continue right through until your death. Sometimes people say diseases can be caused this way because you’re so full of other people’s negative energy that you poison your own soul,” she murmured. “But what if—now think about this—what if there was a back door to your mind? And somebody else had access to it?”

She looked at the three women, part of her previous example to the class. “I mean, just what if somebody stood up here today, without you even knowing it, and could get into your mind, while you sat here in class? What if that were possible? Now think about it, and then raise your hands and toss out the possibilities of what we could be looking at.”

After that, the class discussion was a little slow to start, but then people came up with myriad ideas about how to run countries, how to control somebody’s love life, how to gain access to bank accounts, how to control relationships. Gertrude nodded and wrote a lot of them on the board.

“Think bigger. Think Third World War,” she suggested. “What if somebody was controlling somebody else from a distance? I mean, just because we have a back door to the mind, does that mean the person has to be sitting right beside you in order to control your mind?” She looked at the trio of students again and asked, “What if the one in the middle could access the two outer women of this group?”

The women just stared at Gertrude, and the one in the center, Carrie, said, “I don’t think I like being here.”

Gertrude laughed. “Think about it. What if somebody from somewhere else in the world had access because energy”—and she turned to look at the class—“energy …”

And the class cried out, “Has no boundaries. For energy, there is no life. There is no death. Energy is forever. Energy only transforms. So what if?”

By the time the hour-long class was more or less done, it had been a very animated session, and Gertrude was delighted. She readied the last of the homework for her next class. “It’s that time, and it’s been a pleasure, everybody. Good job. Feel free to take off, to get ready for your exams, and we’ll see you next term maybe. If not, have a good life.”

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