Suppressing his excitement, Toby thanked Alicia for participating in his telepathy experiment, and ushered her out of the psychology lab. As she crossed the walkway that bridged the third floors of the more conventional, 1950s-built psychology building and the modernist 1970s-nightmare where the physical sciences resided, Toby lost sight of her in a sudden surge of transiting students. He returned to the lab.
Fifty out of fifty, he thought, picking the uppermost Zener card from the stack, that’s statistically impossible. Then he noticed the card: three wavy lines. He consulted the notepad where he’d tracked the actual cards against Alicia’s verbal guesses; a circle was the fiftieth card drawn according to his notes. He checked the forty-ninth—the card was a square, but his notes recorded a star.
Panicking, Toby wound back the audiotape he’d made of the session.
His voice, irritatingly high, confirmed “Star. And number fifty…”
Then another male voice, a much deeper one, said, “Circle.”
“…is a circle,” Toby’s voice concurred. “That’s fifty out of fifty, Alicia. I think you must be reading my mind or something.”
The deep, male voice replied, “Or something.” The deep voice laughed. “I should go; I’ve got a class to get to.”
© 2018 by Jason Davis. All rights reserved.
In 2018, I tried to write a short-short story every day. I was eventually derailed by a weekend away from my desk and mounting guilt that the Harlan Ellison Books Preservation Project was taking longer than expected, and every waking moment should be dedicated to its completion.