On a stormy afternoon fourteen-year-old Riley postponed his homework for the sake of a video game. Nothing was more important to him at that point in time. He put life on hold—even refusing to let his cat in from the rain.
While Grizwold meowed from the porch, Riley’s attack on virtual villains took precedence. Then in a flash, his priorities shifted. Thunder exploded across the street as lightning struck an elm tree, cutting the power and shutting his TV shut off. Riley was furious. He grabbed the remote to turn it back on, but a second strike hit the maple tree in his own yard. In that instant, Grizwold screeched in alarm. Riley pictured him out there soaked and scared, and his thumb hit the power button.
For some unexplainable reason, the force of his re-focused mind channeled through the remote pushed an eery light out the front of the device and, like a scene from Star Trek, Grizwold, a huge black tom, materialized before him—right in the middle of the living room carpet, dazed and dripping wet. Riley shifted his gaze from the cat to the buzzing remote in his hand, and he dropped it like a hot potato.
What had he done? How had he done it? Could he do it again?
Scrawny from birth, in the next few weeks Riley began to feel stronger, even if no one else noticed. He spent no time on games, taking the remote to his garage instead, where he practiced clearing his mind of all distractions to focus on one image at a time. Nothing happened at first, but then random, intense thoughts of zombies and gunfire produced results that scared him. He called the force “imaginating,” and he struggled to get control of it. More practice followed. The remote was his constant companion.
Sometime later, Riley heard screams on his way home from school. He saw three older boys harassing Megan Becker behind a maintenance shed. Riley recognized the girl from math class, and saw the terror in her eyes. Pulling the remote from his pocket quick-draw style, his anger surged, but he kept it in control, just like he’d practiced. Bringing his thoughts into perfect focus he imaginated a silver sword that sliced the air as it hovered above the girl’s assailants. Points of sunlight reflected from its surface and pierced the shadow where the boys held Megan’s arms behind her, and the sight of it shocked them into letting go.
Megan fell to the ground as the double-edged blade sailed overhead. Riley held his focus—nothing was more important at that point in time—and the boys pulled away, screaming as they ran across a vacant field with the sword slashing just inches from their backs. They ran for blocks without looking back or they would have noticed that the sword vanished when Riley’s attention turned to Megan.
“Are you ok?” he asked, shoving the remote back into his pocket. He read confusion in her face and said, “I wasn’t sure how that would turn out. Sorry if I scared you.”
Incredulous, Megan looked at Riley in awe, “No, you saved me,” her words were quiet and slow. She paused as the color returned to her cheeks, “but where did that sword come from?”
“It was the first thing that came to mind,” Riley said.
“Good thing it wasn’t a cannon.” She exhaled a soft, one-syllabled laugh, “Got any more tricks?”
“Maybe,” he said, gently helping her up, “I’ll think about it, and let you know.”
~ Debra E. Randall, Centerville, Utah