The dream was always the same. Dark and insidious it sank into her bones. Eva would open her eyes but couldn’t see. Try to move and find her body immobilized. She felt confined with a deep ache in her limbs. It felt as if she had lingered in this limbo for ages, starving in the darkness. Craving something she couldn’t reach and no matter how much she struggled she couldn’t move. Fear slithered down her spine at the sensation of her body locked and frozen. Pain twisted down her limbs and crawled up her back.
Perhaps they had left her to rot and die? Rage at her confinement would always seize hold of her. It was her rage and his because she wasn’t the man confined in the space. She was with him but not him.
Find me! The voice reverberated through her and jerked her awake with a gasp.
She jerked her limbs and felt a profound relief at the movement. When she dreamed it was always nightmares. It had always been so. Always chaotic dreams that never made much sense to her but tormented her. This one though plagued her. She looked over at the clock and it wasn’t like she had even slept much in there. There was nothing unusual about that and now wide-awake. With a groan of pure frustration and irritation, she slid out of bed deciding to put her mind to use until it settled again. She scrubbed a hand through her short hair leaving it wild.
She was quite prone to insomnia but this was different. For months she had this persistent feeling crawling through her skin. She was no intuitive, sensitive or clairvoyant. Her paranormal skills were stranger than that and didn’t account for weird ‘vibes’. She couldn’t deny the feeling. She had a connection with energy around her that others did not. She could sense energy around her to the point she could often feel when others used their talents. It was like there was something tangible in the air. Like it was being slowly over time charged with energy. She had no clue what it meant. If the dream that plagued her was just a nightly torment or a real insight of some sort. What she needed to do was ask some of the others. They would have some sort of vibe or reading or whatever the hell they did. More than she would. The air just hung with energy to her; holding this potential for something she couldn’t name.
It had put her on edge and it wasn’t a feeling she was accustomed to in the least bit. The world didn’t need to make complete sense and, in fact, she encountered things all the time that defied explanation, but she could always rely on how she reacted to reality. It was important to her to control her emotions and her reactions. To a great extent she succeeded. To have anything disturb her on a deep level for no reason she could define bothered her more than anything else could.
She logged into her computer and onto the Society website to see what members were online. More than a few psychics had insomnia for various reasons. It was common knowledge in their small community that with psychic abilities often came mood disorders, insomnia and even an increased risk for other medical conditions like migraines and cluster headaches. Not to mention the very high suicide risk in their small community.
When she saw another ranking member she flicked on her cell phone and slid down to his number. She wondered if he was sober enough to pick up. He was someone who had clairvoyant dreams but they were always in the form of nightmares. Always glimpses of horrible deaths he rarely could do a damn thing about. However, because his clarity on the manner of death was vivid in some of the details he often worked with certain police departments on catching criminals. He tended to try and drown them out. That form of escapism or other forms of drug abuse were also common in those with highly sensitive abilities.
“Eva, what are you doing up? And calling me?” he answered. He sounded at least reasonably sober. Testy, but sober.
“Likely the same reason as you, Eddie. Nightmares.”
“Yeah, well, I don’t hear from you often is all. Maybe you should just start a blog and get your feelings out then.”
“You first. You can call it ‘Drunk Ramblings of an A-Hole.’”
He hoarsely laughed. “You don’t do Society business anymore now that you started that paranormal outfit of yours. Heard you and your team even helped with a murder case. That is a little off the books from ghost hunting.”
“Like other psychics, we’re not about to turn down the police if they come for assistance. It was our Intern’s deal really, we were just there for moral support. We kept it out of the media, though.”
We didn’t turn them down when they asked politely. Not when making a fuss might have made her stand out and she didn’t want to stand out. Neither did their Intern. He had abilities from childhood and as a clairvoyant was a bit reclusive.
“Yeah, you never did like the spotlight. Some say that is why you didn’t want to handle Society business.”
“It was time to back out a bit. I’m still on the board. Just a silent member.”
“What can I do for you?” he asked bluntly. He wasn’t one for chit-chat and neither was she. Neither of them was skilled at it and it would get damn awkward if they attempted to go down that road.
She felt like an idiot but she tried to explain the sensations she had been getting. It was just that she wasn’t the sort to get that sort of phenomena and he knew it. “So you see I was wondering if any of the other members had keyed into anything similar or more specific.”
She inwardly winced. She sounded flaky. She hated vague flaky psychic crap.
“Actually our members have been pretty damn active lately. Let me send you some data. Hold on a sec here.”
She flicked through some pages on the computer and messed around a bit while she waited for him. Both of them fine with the dead phone silence. Then when the email came through she clicked on it. It came through with an attachment that turned out to be a spreadsheet. “What am I looking at here?” she asked to save time while she scanned the data of the Society’s members.
“What you are looking at is recent test analysis on current members and new members over the last six months. I know you’re aware of our refined system of analyzing psychic talent since your mother was the one that helped establish it. Take a look at the figures there.”
Eva was the founder of the society but it benefited her for them to believe it was her mother. That was simply because even in the Society of psychics there was a difference between weird and the government-should-lock-her-up-and-study-her-weird before doing an autopsy on her dead body. She had no damn intention of ever being confined again. Since the government now had a finger in the pot that was a valid reason for her to back away from active participation. There were cases of people who aged abnormally all over the world due to genetic conditions. It was simply the matter of that combined with a psychic ability that brought the odd factor too high for her to contemplate telling people. The research she had read on the anti-aging subjects were often due to genetic abnormalities, most of which caused cognitive issues. However, she was sure that wasn’t always the case. Clearly, she was an example of that. As were other abnormal things she had encountered in the world.
She had set up a five point system within each class of ability. Then within each point, there was a ten point variation as they progressed to the next level. So, someone, for example, could be a 2.5. Every year they updated the qualifications for the point system. This was necessary because over time people with psychic abilities had changed. When she had first sought out people like her there simply had been none to find and those she had found were pretty flimsy at best on any scale. Back then most of her research had been disproving. Or in minute abilities. It was damn hard to prove at that time. As time went on, more were found and more evidence could be established. Clear evidence. Substantial research. Then she developed the Society as a collective of psychics who were interested in experimenting with their abilities scientifically to figure out exactly how they functioned. They had members who were physicists, psychologists, philosophers and sociologists amongst other things. They began to publish papers. That was when the government swooped it. She could only assume they had been doing their own research.
While Eva still wanted to be a member it was important she back away from active participation. People might believe she was the daughter, of herself, but they would wonder if she didn’t age. She had, after all, made sure her ‘mother’ had aged suitably before her dramatic demise. Her ‘mother’ persona had gotten a prolonged illness that made her progressively more reclusive before she ‘passed’ at a rather young age. Then her ‘daughter’ had been off the radar completely while completing ‘university’ after having been schooled overseas. By the time she reappeared on the scene in a new location, people didn’t question who she was. Botox and plastic surgery as an excuse only went so far she suspected though for aging well. So she had moved clear across the country when she had taken over the daughter persona and had done her Society role online. Different color hair, different color eyes and time had helped the transition. Next step had been to back away once she had settled into the persona more.
This was the only time she had ever had fake IDs so connected and she had done it because of a close friend she had made. Maybe it was a mistake. Maybe she was too paranoid. Her fake IDs were literally as good as gold. They were actually real; just bought and faked at the government level. Cost a pretty penny. But it meant eighteen years ago she bought a birth certificate and since it was valid everything after was valid as well for the fake daughter. Even had records she was schooled at home while telling others she was overseas at a private school. The university degree was real as rain as well. She went to school with her friend. Add it to her other degrees.
She scowled a little as she interpreted the data. “This can’t be right. Can it?”
“Verified. Over and over. We have record new members. The usual reasons. Genetics, accident, trauma or illness. But also our existing members are reporting a substantial boost in their abilities over the last six months. At first, it was no real pattern but as you can see it is quite apparent now. A level at least is the average increase. Sometimes as much as 1.5 increases. We think that is why there are more new members. We have been doing the same recruitment tactics so it must be another factor. Whatever is boosting the abilities is also causing more people to get an ability.”
“Well damn. Do you think that is what is behind my experiences?”
“Hard to say. You have always tested fairly low. This boost could be giving you some intuitive abilities. That could be giving you some real uncomfortable feelings while you get used to it. Or your intuition is telling you something. We have also had reports from all over of some pretty bad vibes. All too vague to be narrowed down. Since they are all over the place we have no idea what it is about. So if that is what you are sensing then damned if I know but you’re not alone there.”
“Will you let me know if anyone comes up with anything big and specific? It is a disturbing sensation. Not to mention this boost, as you call it, is a disturbing trend if it’s all of a sudden like this.”
“Has it occurred to you they are one and the same thing? We could be having a trend to stronger psychic abilities for some reason. Solar flare or planetary alignment or what-the-fuck-ever. And that trend is giving some of us a sensation, a feeling or dreams of impending something.”
“Yeah. Maybe. But things happen for actual reasons and not usually quickly. So it is bothersome to see a trend like that without a damned explanation.”
“Maybe it is all the GMO food we have been eating.”
Eva laughed. “Yeah, that could have a positive effect, eh?”
“Who the hell said this is positive, Eva? Some of our members are seriously psychologically stressed by this.”
“I suppose that had not occurred to me.”
“I bet it will if you have that creeping sensation for much longer.”
“Thanks. Appreciate the support, man.”
“Do I look like your babysitter? Please. You want to feel safe go hug your blankie.”
“Actually that sounds like a damn fine idea. I need some damn sleep. I catch you later.”
Click. Such a warm and fuzzy man. Eva liked that about him. She didn’t handle emotional people well.