Wren’s mother called to let her know she could visit Kai the following day. His hypothermia had been minor but they were waiting until the morning to transfer him to the psychiatric unit.
Wren opened her eyes the next morning with the clear thought that it had been exactly a week since she’d woken up on the cold, hard ground six floors beneath her balcony. She lay still for a few moments and considered what she’d been through. The fear and terror and pain she’d felt seemed a distant memory, somehow; eclipsed by the wonder of her sudden strange abilities and senses.
She was able to instinctively sense the presence of people around her without feeling any deeper than their most outer awareness, like a sort of radar. It was easy, as if she’d been doing it her whole life. Her body seemed to be processing food like an incinerator if she ate at all, leaving nothing to waste, but eating seemed unnecessary. Pain was nonexistent. Wounds disappeared, healing nearly instantly.
The last thought gave her slight pause. A week ago her wounds had taken longer to heal, requiring at least half a day to disappear. Her mental abilities had also needed a few days to appear and refine; a process she wasn’t sure was over with. The food situation had begun in a frightening manner but had settled down. She hadn’t experimented with telekinesis since the incident with the envelope. Whatever was happening had ramped up gradually and she wondered when she’d discover its limits.
She looked around the room, her gaze coming to rest on a book on her bedside table. Could she do it? She thought back to the envelope, how it had snapped back into her hand. She hadn’t given it a verbal command so much. It had been different from manipulating other people’s behavior in that she wanted it to happen and it… did.
She focused on the book, willing it to come to her. It sat, unmoving. That didn’t seem to be the trick of it. When she had moved the envelope she had reached out toward it at the same time. She thought about it for a moment, trying to remember exactly how it had felt, then reached her hand out slightly toward the book, pulling at it with her mind at the same time.
The book flew toward her hand, knocking it back with the force of its flight and sailing over her. It struck the wall and fell to the floor with a thump. Wren froze for a moment, then laughed in disbelief, sitting up to look at it lying there. This will take a little refinement, she thought.
By the time she’d finished brushing her teeth she could lift the soap to her hand without smacking herself around. It needed more practice but already she could feel control asserting itself; her mind avidly assuming new paranormal tricks as easily as learning to crochet or knit.
Before she left for the hospital Wren wandered out to the balcony, breathing the fresh spring air deeply into her lungs. She admired her view of the field next to her building, watching crows swoop from the trees to hop around in the grass. A movement across the field caught her eye and she saw a flash of red: a fox was trotting swiftly along the treeline. She watched it, then reached out with her mind to see if it was her companion of the day before. It was not; it was a female hunting, strange animal mind focused and alert.
Wren looked downward, focusing on the spot where her broken body had lain a week before. It felt as if there were some ceremony she should observe for the woman who had sprawled there so cold and sad. Are you not that woman any more?
She frowned. Staring back down at the place where she’d died she had to admit that no, she didn’t think she was.
Tags: Chapter Four