[ pros-PIH-shee-ens ]
- The action of looking forward.
** Either a story beginning, a story ending, a piece of flash fiction, a poem, painting, dance move—inspired by the word, prospicience, where does it take me? Where does it take you? Learn more about “The Word” here.
Andy felt his ankle twist and pain followed immediately. A sharp zap traveled up to his leg, and he groaned aloud. Then, he woke up. The pain was just a part of the dream. Looking over to his clock, it was just about time to get up, so he did so rather than rolling over to catch a few more minutes in dreamland.
Soon enough, Andy was on the sidewalks of New York City, a bagel protruding from his mouth, shoulder to shoulder with the other people making their way to work. It was the first day of his new job, and he was eager to get there and start. Andy turned the corner and was hit with a wave of deja vu. His mind raced with the questions we tend to have in those moments.
Why? Have I been here? Have I seen this?
Andy couldn’t place it, but then suddenly leaped to the side as his dream from last night met his reality. He nearly stepped into the same foot-sized hole in the sidewalk that he did last night. Andy paused and stared down at the sidewalk, at the hole he narrowly avoided. People brushed into his shoulders as they pushed past him, but Andy continued to stare down.
How is this possible? he thought. I foresaw the future? Confusion and excitement filled Andy. He predicted the future! After another few seconds of relishing in his newfound powers, he turned away from the hole in the sidewalk and continued his commute to work.
The first day of his new job went extremely well…
… and his spirits couldn’t be higher. I mean, he did predict the future today. And so, with that “life is great” feeling, Andy went to bed excited to enter his dreams again.
In the morning, again, just minutes before his alarm would ring, Andy woke from his dream. The normal tiredness of just waking up was overshadowed by confusion. The same dream again? he thought, looking around his room as if searching for an answer to be written on the wall. No, not the same dream, he continued his internal dialogue, but almost the same. The same sidewalk, the same hole, but not me. This time, Andy dreamt of a woman stepping into the hole. Her ankle twisted, her red heel snapped.
His routine repeated like yesterday, and soon his reality caught up to his dream again like it did before. He walked down the same sidewalk, chewing the last bite of his bagel, scanning for people. He didn’t see the woman from his dreams, so he stopped by the hole, standing off to the side.
Two minutes later, Andy yelled, “Watch out!” as the woman with the red heels approached the hole. She altered her stride to his warning just in time, avoiding a twisted ankle, and continued on her way, nonplussed by the incident. Andy stood there for another minute before trodding off to work, even more confused.
Everything went just as well at work as his first day, but at night, laying down in his bed, Andy felt almost nervous about closing his eyes. Would he dream of that street again? Was he destined to simply predict the future surrounding a pot-hole? He eventually switched off his lamp and closed his eyes to find out.
Three weeks later, and it was as he feared…
… Night after night, Andy dreamt of that sidewalk, of that hole. Different people stepping and then twisting their ankles, followed by shouts of pain. Each day, Andy walked and then paused by the spot to prevent it from happening.
He wondered what would happen if he just ignored the dreams and went to work, but he entertained the thought for only a moment. How cruel would he have to be to let people twist their ankles every day when he knew he could prevent it?
“This has to be the dumbest, stupidest, most useless superpower ever!” Andy said to his walls before going to sleep on the 22nd night since this all started.
When he awoke the next morning, after dreaming of yet another poor soul stepping into the sidewalk pot-hole, an idea popped in his mind. Andy skipped making his bagel and left a few minutes earlier than usual. He stopped at a small hardware store around the corner and then made his way along his regular route to work, to the sidewalk of his dreams.
Andy stood back with pride and watched as his fellow commuters walked down the sidewalk and around the bright orange cone that sat over the pot-hole. Soon enough, Andy identified the man with the work boots from his dream. He watched the man walk and do as the other commuters did, changing stride to avoid the orange obstacle.
“Yea!” Andy said, and then he whooped! People stared, but he didn’t care.
Andy walked to work, his mind ablaze. Saving those people one at a time was a temporary fix, he thought, but if the hole remains, people will keep falling in it. And, the cone is also just a temporary fix… someone could move it…
Soon, he had a plan. He knew what he needed to do—what he wanted to do. Whether it took a petition or a legal document, or if Andy had to pour the concrete himself, he was going to fix that hole.
As he laid down for bed that night, amped up high with purpose and excitement, he wondered, what will I dream of next?
Well! This one was considerably longer than my usual story for The Word, and I guess you can say my prospicience didn’t see it coming ; ) but sometimes you gotta just go with it!
The whole idea for this started with the hole, foreseeing someone stepping into a hole. Then, I had this groundhog day idea of endlessly dreaming of people repeating the same action since the problem was never fixed.
I think it’s a good story as is… perhaps even a good kids book? Hmm… maybe I’ll publish it ; )
I just like the moral of solving the problem and not only taking care of yourself. Andy could have avoided the hole and then kept walking to work, as usual, ignoring the dreams. He could have also kept standing there, endlessly helping people. Or, with a little thinking, a little extra effort, Andy could fix the thing!
There’s the potential for further development here too. Maybe this is just the first lesson Andy learns while mastering his precognitive abilities? We can always expand, but if it were up to me… and I guess it is… I’d leave it as is.
What do you think?
Should I publish it as a children’s book?
Leave your thoughts, your own story beginning/ending, flash-fiction, or whatever in the comments! Where did prospicience or my story take you?
If you liked this story, check out my podcast of short stories, More Than A Story. In particular, you might enjoy a story there all about predicting the future called, Ripples.
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