The Secret Thief

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Chapter 21


It was wrong, but it had to be done. It doesn’t make me an evil person. In fact, doing what I did was better than not doing anything because in the long run everyone would benefit from what I learned.

That’s what I told myself anyway. But it didn’t really help. I did it. I used my abilities on purpose. I set out with a plan to suck the truth out of as many people as I could so I could discover what I was capable of and I carried though.

The people I experimented on? They’d be OK. No long term damage. And anyway stoners like that kind of thing, didn’t they? What I did to them was no worse than what they were already doing to their brains willingly. Besides, it wasn’t like any of them had any secrets I couldn’t have guessed at already. The whole experiment was no big deal, not something worth losing sleep over.

So why was I?

Because testing out my abilities on all those people was wrong. No doubt it would be something I felt horrible about for the rest of my life.

But, what’s done is done and, after a tedious stretch of pretending to like cigarette smoke and touchy greetings, I had the data I wanted.

I am a freak.

But not 100%, better lock me up just to be on the safe side, freak. My particular brand of freakishness came with good news. I am not entirely untouchable.

What happened with Marco wasn’t a fluke. I can tell if a person is lying if I’m touching them while they lie, but that is as far as that ability goes. There is no hemorrhage of information I don’t want to hear. They won’t say anything if they don’t want to and they won’t do anything out of the ordinary. Good news but, better than that, was finding out that people can touch me anywhere, other than directly on the danger zone at the back of my head, with both hands and nothing happens.

Nothing. Learning that was a major relief. All this time I’ve been free to go more places, do more things than I thought.

Viewing my scary powers from this side made them look like little more than a trick, like finding the card you picked out of the whole stack. Sure I can tell when you’re lying. So can a lot of other people, if they pay attention to body language, sweat patterns and eye movement. It’s really nothing special.

Viewing my scary powers from the other side, however, is special and makes them look, well, scary.

See, the other thing I found out was that if your hands touch that particular spot on the back of my head, I own you.

Not only will you tell me the biggest, baddest things you’ve been hiding, you’ll answer whatever question I ask you. Anything. It doesn’t matter one bit how embarrassing your answer would be for you, or who might be listening. You cannot stop.

However, when your hands leave my head my control over you ends and sometimes that can happen in the middle of a truth telling. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible. You have to be pretty strong both in body and mind to let go of me, but some can. There are people who are able to pull away.

Too bad Tommy didn’t know that.

Also, and more importantly to me, if the person glued to my brain isn’t headstrong or a lot bigger than I am, I can shove them off.

Which is another piece of the puzzle I wish I’d learned years ago.

So that was that. I might have taken my tests further but secret stealing in physically exhausting. I couldn’t keep at it any longer. Anyway, once I found out my future wasn’t a blur of hiding anymore, I was done. I had what I wanted, hope.

I also had a minor reputation as a “really trippy chick”. Luckily none of the individuals calling me that were ever taken seriously.

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