One Wilde Ride Trilogy
Adrian Wilde was stoned.
He was floating on his back in the pool, considering the shapes in the clouds. His cousin Bobby was poolside, flung across a lounge chair, with this month’s copy of Guitar Player over his face. Eddie Van Halen was on the cover. Neither Eddie nor Bobby were considering much at the moment.
Adrian liked to be in the water; he could swim before he could walk. And it was nice to be mellow, while he was in the water, every now and again. It allowed him to think. It allowed him to differentiate between what was real to the world at large and what was real only to him.
He resisted the specific labels that his mother tried to buckle onto him. He preferred his aunts’ more generic exceptional. Adrian didn’t consider himself a psychic or a clairvoyant; he didn’t believe he possessed a gift of precognition or ESP. Those terms were all too narrow.
Adrian, being a musician, had come to think of it in terms of sounds and echoes. It you snap your fingers in an empty room, you’ll hear the sound twice. Adrian believed some mechanism unrevealed allowed him to see an echo of time, every now and again. It was never more than a flash, a moment, like a stutter, like a frame slipped in a movie and doubled.
He would see something happen, then it would actually happen, with barely a heartbeat’s pause in between. He might have time to blink or dodge or hold his hand out to catch something knocked over; but that was it. He couldn’t use the phenomenon to pick the winner of a horserace ahead of time, and he couldn’t summon the power at will. It was just something that happened sometimes.
Corollary to this talent, however, was Adrian’s ability to hear a flash of thought before someone said it, or more importantly, before they didn’t say it. He considered this gift far more useful, because it was under his control. Sometimes he just had to look at a person and he could actually hear their precise thoughts, as if they were speaking to him. Other times, he was just able to get a vague vibe – nothing more concrete than a nebulous mood.
It wasn’t like Adrian could sustain this peek into people’s thoughts; it wasn’t like the whole splashing, swirling stream of others’ consciousness was open to him. He didn’t have access to the entire text of their inner monologues; just a few words, or perhaps a declarative sentence. No paragraphs. Adrian couldn’t do it with everyone. He couldn’t read his aunts or his dad at all, while from his mom he got only emotions: love, confidence, occasionally fear.
While Adrian could sometimes guess what his cousin Bobby was going to say or do next out of familiarity, and while he could also sporadically hear it – Adrian and his younger cousin Nick were telepathic. It was a two-way street between them, as it never was with anyone else: Adrian heard Nick’s thoughts in his mind because Nick put them there. To answer his cousin, all Adrian had to do was think what should be said in reply.
Other Books in the Series: