telegnosis – noun
mien – noun
A grey convertible veers into the eastbound lane of traffic on Highway 14. The driver is a middle age female, red hair blowing behind her, cell phone in her hand, excited to get to her destination. She doesn’t look up from her cell phone in time to see the rusty old black Suburban swerve to avoid hitting her. She does hear tires screeching behind her and gravel crunching. Only then does she look up, curious, to see that she is fully driving in the eastbound traffic’s lane right towards an oncoming white sedan. Cell phone gripped tightly in her hand, she veers back into her lane. She doesn’t look back but continues on her way, hurried, oblivious to the carnage she caused behind her.
“Jordan, come back to planet earth,” my best friend, Noelle was whispering. I tried to focus on her voice but the next vision hit.
The Suburban, driven by a teenage male, does what he was taught in driver’s ed. He swerves to the right and when she passes, he counter steers to get back on the road but his back tires are bald. He has no traction to keep the back end on the road’s shoulder. As his truck slips, he panics, spinning the truck around to face the ditch that drops off about thirty feet just inches past the shoulder. At the bottom of the ditch are concrete tubes, ready for the roadwork that starts soon. He has no recourse. Knowing he can’t stop the momentum, he reaches for his cell phone in the passenger seat to call for help. The Suburban hits those concrete tubes head on, crunching the Suburban into a junkyard heap. The driver, though belted, hits his head hard against the steering wheel and then the window, knocking him unconscious, cell phone in hand, but not on.
Someone is grabbing my arm. I am trembling, I know. I try to breathe deep and open my eyes open slowly but then lightning fast, another one hits.
Startled and shaken, the man driving the white sedan, counts his blessings that the grey convertible misses him. He was in his own vehicular, musical world when the Suburban swerved and left the road even though he was only three car lengths behind him. He knew he had been following a truck-like vehicle but he pays it no mind and he vaguely hears a commotion as he passes where it went off the road. Being just after dusk, the light is behind him, hiding the ditch and what lay in it. In his shaken state, his mind does not even consider to try to get a license of the grey convertible; he’s just happy that no accident resulted.
“THIS SUCKS'” I hear myself cry as I come back to earth like Noelle is insisting. People are staring at me. Not surprised. Noelle and I are sitting in the back of the Cineplex movie theater watching the latest Johnny Depp movie. I’m not even sure what the movie is now.
“Turn around people,” Noelle directs. “She just got a sad text.” Noelle grabs my arm, ushering me out of the theater.
I see all of this happen, which I assume just happened based on the sky color once outside.
I suffer from telegnosis which gives me the ability to know things that happen far away from where I am at. I can also speak to the dead when the dead seek me out. Some people, like Noelle and my family, call it a gift but I call it a curse; I am a girl of cursed mien.
“What happened Jordan?” Noelle asks, smoothing my hair away from my tear-streaked face.
I tell her about my visions.
“That’s really creepy Jordan. I can’t believe that lady just drove away. Do you know where on 14 it happened?” Noelle asks.
“Not really. I just saw the Highway 14 sign and the woman driving towards the fading sunset. I didn’t see her license plate or any other road signs,” I say sighing hard.
“You should call 911 and report it Jordan. Maybe he’s not dead and you can save him if you call.”
“How would I call that in Noelle? ‘Um, there’s been a terrible accident on Highway 14 where a grey convertible swerved into oncoming traffic and causing a black Surburban to lose control and skid into the ditch. I think the driver of the Suburban is dead.’ Then the operator will ask if I saw this accident and I have to tell her ‘Yes’ but not in the way she thinks and she dismisses me as an attention seeking teenager.”
Noelle handed me her phone. “Call it in on my phone. You’ll feel better when you do.”
Reluctant, I call.
“Woodward County 911. Is this an emergency?”
“Yes it is. I need to report an accident on Highway 14.”
“What is your location?”
“Um, I’m at the Cineplex in Northbrook but the accident is somewhere on Highway 14 where there are concrete tubes in the ditch. There’s a black Suburban in the ditch and I think the driver hit his head.”
A pause. “How long ago did this happen?”
“About five minutes ago I think.” I sigh deeply. I know she’s not going to believe me now.
“Miss, did you pass by this accident on your way to the movie theater?”
“No, It happened while I was in the theater.” I take a quick breath rushing on. “I see events happen when they occur but I am never near where they happen. I didn’t see the location only that it was on Highway 14 and there are concrete tubes in the ditch where the Suburban skidded into. The ditch is about twenty-five to thirty feet down. There should be skid marks on the south side of the east bound lane.”
No response. A few seconds go by.
“Is this a prank? You realize this is an emergency number, correct?” The operator is pissy.
“Yes ma’am. I know this is an emergency line. Please call it in,” I beg.
“Miss, Highway 14 has road construction beginning on several sections for almost seventy’five miles. Part of those sections are in the next county.” she says.
“Please,” I beg again.
“I’ll put a call out for a missing black Suburban that may be in a ditch on the east bound lane of Highway 14. anything else?”
“Yes. A west bound grey convertible with a red headed middle age woman driving it swerved into the east bound lane with the black Suburban causing that teenage boy to lose control and land in the ditch. The woman was staring at her cell phone when it happened and she drove off.”
“Are you still there?” I ask. I look at Noelle, shaking my head. I bite my lip. She shrugs apologetically.
“HELLO?” I shout into Noelle’s phone.
“Can I please get your name and phone number if the police need to get a hold of you?”
Quietly I answer, “Jordan Greer and this is my friend’s phone. My cell number is 745-222-1114.”
“Thank you for you help Jordan. The police will call if they find anything.”
“Thank you,” I say. “This is why I call it a curse, Noelle. Rarely can I help whoever needs the help at the time. Knowing things that happen as they happen where I’m not at is not useful. Seventeen year olds should not have telegnostic abilities.”
Noelle links her arm around mine. “I still believe you’re lucky Jordan. You have a cool gift. You just haven’t been able to hone it yet to help.”
I raise my eyebrow at her. “I don’t think I ever will. I think I’ll just always be tormented for the rest of my life.”
Back at home, I lay awake in bed for hours waiting for my phone to ring. I think about the boy. I wonder if I know him. I wonder if he’s been found yet. I wonder if he’s still alive. I wonder if the police will call me.
I wonder if I am still asleep. Nope, my clock says six a.m. I know the boy is dead, I know I won’t be getting a call from the police and I know he hasn’t been found yet.
I know because the boy is standing at the foot of my bed, blood matting his head, covering his face. I am a seventeen year old girl of cursed mien.
*The two #WordOfTheDay words are from July 5 and July 6 from http://www.dictionary.com.