“I can’t tell you that. The time is not right.”
Crouse looked annoyed.
“I’m just following the timeline. It’s not necessary for you to know those details now. You said you found a manifesto. What was in it?”
Crouse silently stared at him. “It was rather incomplete.”
“Incoherent?” Kurt smiled.
“You seem to more about it than you let on.”
“It’s more like this: James wrote in code. More or less. It really annoyed all of us. Mostly his sister Jillian. The two of them had been estranged in the beginning.”
“They were both responsible for starting the Psychic Society.” There was a hint of disbelief in his voice. A subtle hint that a normal person wouldn’t pick up on.
Kurt smiled. “I’ll continue…”
Jillian Perry, the love of my life, grew up like James, naively believing the lies of her so-called betters. She was different. Smarter. She went to school for biology and chemistry. She did very well but found that it wasn’t really the field for her. But even she had a hard time finding even hard science jobs to take her. Odd right?
“Mr. Williamson, your storytelling ability is highly ineffective. You still haven’t told me how the Perrys were able to do what they did.”
“I’m pretty sure I’m saving that for chapter 3, 4, or 5. It’s coming, I promise. I’m just trying to get my rhythm and this ain’t no foxtrot.”
It’s been said that twins have a higher capacity for psychic phenomena. I’m sure you’ve seen that in your research.
That might account for the twin’s acuity. Jillian admitted that the two could even see ghosts when they were younger. Though James saw full shapes and she only saw shadows. But as time went on, Jillian saw the shadows less and less until she didn’t notice them at all and ultimately forgot about them.
Much was like her relationship with her brother after they graduated high school. James was the weird one. Having very few friends and a magnet for ridicule, Jillian shied away from him and his misery as they grew older and went to separate colleges.
As I mentions, Jillian studied biological sciences voraciously; she wanted to solve the mysteries of human biology and discover how to cure diseases and the various pains individuals felt in their own bodies, both physical and mental. One of her more lofty ideas was to develop a means to permanently increase a person’s metabolism.
But all of that seemed so far away. She was very close to finishing her master’s degree in biochemistry, but with the economy in the shitter, she was having a hard time finding a job that didn’t involve managing high school students and their burger-flipping endeavors.
Patience; the economy will recover soon… When was soon? She went on to her master’s degree specifically to wait out the failing economy, she even took her time and spent four years on her master’s instead of two, all the while waiting tables… Waiting…
It was late. Jillian finished the first half of a double shift at The All-Night Burgers-n-Stuff, and she slid into a booth to enjoy a greasy burger and fries on her lunch break. The best part about working this late, or early, whatever the case, was the lack of people. There was the usual gaggle of drunks and caffeinated punks that strolled in at 3 am, but for the most part, they didn’t bother her.
As she chewed on her burger, calculating the amount of exercise she would have to do to work it off, she looked up to a screen in the corner of the restaurant that was tuned to the news.
Jillian hated the news. It was always miserable with death and disasters. It seemed like not only had the economy ruined her life but everyone else’s, creating a domino effect of events where people just lost all sense of good, falling into fits of violence and greed.
It made her sick to her stomach as she nibbled her burger; she lingered to see what tragedy had struck this time, and she couldn’t help but laugh. Not a funny laugh, but an ironic and cold laugh: the two presidential candidates, who raced to inherit the job of revitalizing the United States had been brutally killed in a hotel room with some no-name bank executive.
Jillian shook her head and tried not to smile. They were the same guy anyway, dressed in a different suit, and wearing a different cologne, but on the inside, they were both going to do whatever they wanted and forget their campaign promises. Same old, same old. Maybe someone NEW would be nominated…
“The investigation continues as to why both candidates were meeting with Edward Burr, an employee of financial giant Stantz and Lee…”
Probably just collecting their campaign money. She took a long drink from her glass of cola. When she felt the buzz of her cell phone on her thigh.
She dug into her pocket and opened her flip phone and blinked when she saw the name: James Perry… A text message? The two hadn’t spoken since a Christmas video chat. James apparently was too busy to spend Christmas with the family that year.
She rolled her eyes and opened it up, her eyes dilated as she read it:
I’ve deposited some money into your account. I want you to visit me in Washington DC; I have a job for you, if you’re interested. I understand that with your future graduation, you are still looking for a suitable position. What I have planned is more than substantial, it will change your life forever, for the better.
Cryptic and weird as ever, she thought, I wonder what he sent me.
She opened up her bank account on her phone to see a deposit of $50,000.00 in her checking account. She did a double-take. It was 50 grand! She stood up and walked over to the office where the shift leader sat.
“Hi, Jillian,” said the night manager, “I want to thank you again for taking that double. We were hurting for someone to stick around.”
“I quit,” Jillian said, “Thank you for this opportunity. I hope I can count on you for a future reference.”
With that, she walked out to her car and planned her trip to Washington DC.