Friday, August 27, 2010

Bedtime Stories for the ADD: Beholding

When Claire was ten, her right eye was injured by a golf ball. The doctors said that in time, stem cell research might advance far enough to repair the damage.

In the mean time, she was blind in one eye.

She didn’t feel blind in that eye. The doctors insisted this was normal.

Six months later, Claire found she could read the backs of cards or see through closed doors. She didn’t tell anyone.

When she was sixteen, she found she could see a few hundred miles away if she concentrated. Scamming poker players and blackmailing politicians lost its appeal. She didn’t need more money.

Everywhere she looked, she saw broken people. It was so sad. She began solving problems when she found them. She saved a neglected child from junkie parents by calling the CPS at the exact right moment.

Claire stopped several robberies by warning the cops when thieves planned to stick places up.

She even found a way to stop a suicide.

Her power grew. Things became more complex.

One day she noticed that if she saved the little old lady on Harwood, the teenage boy from 4th would die. Who should she save and who should she let die?

So many variables. Her eye looked at every angle of the world. It was too complex. She couldn’t make any choices without destroying some to save others. It would have been easy if the choice had been between genocidal jerks and benevolent, self-sacrificing poor people. But it almost never was.

She beheld, paralyzed.


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