by Scott Hughey
I wrote my first prophecy when I was seven. I filled a diary with short statements like, “Sister leaves forever at Christmas,” and “The robot sets the house on fire.”
At the time, everyone else thought the writings just fanciful imagination. I knew they were more. They resonated in my young mind like an aluminum bat does when it strikes a knee. Wasn’t until years later, after the gift left me, the prophecies started coming true. That Christmas, my robot butler malfunctioned and melted down. My sister visited us that year. She didn’t make it out.
Eventually, everything I wrote in those dark journals came true, except the first and last entries. “Like father like son,” was the first. Randy started his own journal yesterday.
He says the ideas pop into his head, and he writes them to get them out. Already, I’ve tried to get him to stop, but he says he can’t. I wish it weren’t true. Some foreknowledge is too terrible to possess. I think back to my own last entry, trying to remember if it was something I prophesied, or just something I wrote.
Randy’s journal is on his messy bed. No more robots for us, but it means the boy’s room never stays clean. I pick the journal up. It’s black, leather bound, and is already filled with dozens of sentences. I should put it down, instead of reading random prophecies.
“The dog won’t swim.” We don’t even have a dog, and Olivia is allergic to them. I had to give away my own mutt when I married her. This must be years away.
“It’s a boy, and a girl.” Hmm. Twin grandbabies? That would be a mixed blessing. One more, then I’m putting this down.
“Mom breaks Dad’s heart.” The book falls from my fingertips. That could mean anything, and everything. It’s hard to imagine a good reason though. What will Olivia do?
“Randy?” I call out. He doesn’t answer. A glance out the window shows he’s climbing a tree. I want to question him, shake him until he explains what’s going to happen. He won’t be able to. I still find myself at the tree’s base.
“What does this mean, Randy?” I read the entry.
“Don’t know. But it’s gonna be bad.”
“How do you know?”
“Cause that’s how it felt when I wrote it.” Randy jumps out of the tree, firing an imaginary gun at imaginary enemies. I glance back and forth between him and the book.
Everything in here will happen. From, “They discover life out there,” to “The basement floods.” From the mundane to the amazing, it’s all true. Some of it won’t make sense until it happens. Others will eat at the subconscious, until the knowing is worse than the happening.
“Mom breaks Dad’s heart.”
My eyes narrow, focusing on Randy playing. He should be spared this burden. I love him so much. It’s not his fault, any more than my own journals were mine. The difference? My parent’s didn’t know my words were true.
But now, all the ones I wrote are fulfilled. I hate myself for it. I should be better. But Randy has predicted something I dread, and made my last journal entry come true.
“His gift makes me cold towards him.”
I’m sorry Randy. I’ll try to be better than this.
Scott Hughey is an IT Professional by day, and a writer by night, along with any other time he can squeeze a few words in. His fiction has earned an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Writer’s of the Future Contest. It has also appeared on T Gene Davis’ Speculative Blog, and in Project REUTSway’s Top Picks. Scott’s ebook, Journey Into Memory and Other Imaginary Places, is available on Amazon. In the realm of non-fiction, Scott has ghost-written for several professional websites. His writing blog can be found online at http://thewritescott.blogspot.com, and he tweets at @thewritescott
Scott Hughey writes … “This is one of those rare stories, where I wrote the opening line, and just kept putting more sentences down until I’d finished it. Nobody could be more surprised by the results than me.”