Hello all. My name is Reggie Prince. I am a Telepath and the leader of the Telepathy and Ethics Class here at the Olga Schroeder Institute. I have a little history lesson for you.
March 23, 1982. I arrived for work just as I had for five years. I had been on the police force long enough to know when something was up. When you arrive at the station and the air is heavy and silent, it usually means only one thing: Someone has died. I remember making my way to the Fiona Pasquale’s desk – She was on the switchboard. Yeah, I was on the force that long ago. I asked her what was up, but all she did was make a shushing noise, and say, “It’s not good. Did you watch TV last night?”
I hadn’t. In point of fact, I was on night duty, picking up a few extra hours. My wife, Marcie was pregnant at the time, and we were trying to save up so she could take some extra time after the birth. I shook my head and shrugged, the universal indicator for “Please, tell me what is going on.”
She looked from side to side, as if she was telling me some terrible secret. It was terrible. But as it turns out, it wasn’t a secret.
“Late last night, they voted on the Grimes-Kilgore Bill. The President is expected to sign it into law immediately.”
In case you’ve never heard of the Grimes-Kilgore Bill, It is what is now commonly referred to as the Law Enforcement Psychic Non-Intervention Act. It is a cumbersome name that essentially resulted in the Police Purge later that year. Throughout the rest of the country, the ax dropped immediately. Here in New England, it took a few months. The State and Town Police fought tooth and nail, but eventually the writing was on the wall. a total of 3000 officers nationwide lost their jobs in the first round of firings.
After that, testing was mandated to weed out any potential psychics from law enforcement. Because I was already on the books as a Telepath.
I discovered my telepathic ability when I was 12. It was nearly Christmas and my parents were being secretive about what they were planning. I knew from past years that it was usually worth the wait for that surprise Christmas morning. We were driving somewhere, I don’t remember where, and I heard my mother say, as clear as day, “I hope that bicycle arrives before Christmas Eve. No way Harrold and I can get it put together in one night.”
I remember being in shock. Why would Mama reveal such a huge surprise? I asked her, and my voice was shaking, “Mama, why did you tell me that?”
Mama looked back at me through the rearview mirror. “What are you talking about, honey?” She looked so confused. I remember being mad at her, but I managed to repeat what she said. “If you’re getting me a bike as my present, why would you tell me?”
My Mama’s face drained of color. Her eyes were so wide, I was afraid she’d hurt herself. She finally said, “Reggie, honey, where did you hear about the bicycle?”
I rolled my eyes, I couldn’t even control my frustration. “You just said it, Mama.”
Normally, I probably would have had my mouth slapped for the sass, but she was so shocked, she didn’t even move. Eventually, a car behind her sounded their horn, so she had to start moving again. We rode in silence the rest of the way home. That I remember just like it was yesterday.
Once we were home, Mama made a beeline for the phone and called Mama Jane, her mother. I didn’t catch the whole conversation, but Mama mentioned ‘the sight’ and something about Tia Rosa. Apparently she was My Grandfather Leo’s Half sister. I’d never met her but Mama and Mama Jane made a plan to bring Tia Rosa to the house.
Tia Rosa was 80, so she would have been Papa Leo’s older Sister. She was tall, thin as board, and wrinkled. Her long white hair was braided and pulled up into a tight bun atop her head. It was snow-white, just like her eyebrows. She wore a long, flowing skirt, covered in flowers, and a loose peasant shirt. When she entered, she wore a great big floppy hat, the kind you see old ladies wear while gardening.
That sat her on our large Green sofa. Mama called me over and sat me down in Papa’s armchair, which was opposite the sofa. Mama turned it so that it fully face Tia Rosa, then she said, “Tia, this is my son, Reginald.” Mama Jane added, “This is my daughter Nancy and her son.”
Tia Rosa nodded and said, “He is with the sight?” She had a heavy Spanish accent. Mama had always said that her grandfather had lived in Cuba and was married once before he married Mama Jane. His first wife had been from Cuba, and died when Tia Rosa was a young girl.
Tia Rosa looked at me. Stared, really. She leaned across the coffee table at the center of the sitting area and grabbed my chin with a bony claw of a hand. She said in a low, raspy voice, “Show Tia what you can do.”
I still didn’t know what was happening. I tried to turn my head to look at Mama, but the old woman’s grip was strong. Then she said, “Don’t look at Jane. Ignore your Mama. Look at me and nod your head. Understand your Tia?”
I nodded and flinched as she released my chin. It was only then that I realized that she hadn’t opened her mouth for that last command. She nodded back, her lips spread in a close-lipped smile. It was smug, but oddly endearing.
“The boy hears my thoughts. He has the sight.”
From that day, my Tia Rosa taught me everything she could about telepathy. In the early days, it was far too expensive to attend one of the fancy training facilities that were just opening across the country. I was able to attend the University of Massachusetts later, and there, I was able to take a few classes. Back then, Certification only required a set number of hours of class time, and passing the psych test for your ability class.
Today, If you are a telepath, the path to certification is much more involved. The first step is the telepath examination. You are placed in a room with a divider. You sit on one side, and a series of people are brought in on the other side. You are then asked to tell the examiner what the person behind the divider is thinking. The test is administered. over the course of five days, with each session lasting two hours. The final test is to communicate telepathically with another, more experienced telepath. Working with Tia Rosa throughout my childhood prepared me for that eventuality, and I was able to pass with high marks.
It is difficult to prepare yourself for a telepathy test. There are many ethical issues when it comes to mindreading. If you are going to practice, to improve the skill, always be sure to have permission granted. The laws governing the use of Telepathy are both numerous and nebulous. You don’t want to overstep your boundaries and get into trouble with the law. Many community centers in areas with high psychic populations have days where psychics can come in and practice their ability on willing volunteers. That would be my suggestion to any young telepath unsure of where to begin. In the near future, I will be putting out another post with some helpful hints and tricks for young telepaths to stay on the right side of the law.