January 25, 2012


Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

F Trope: illegal drugs open gate to wonder

It’s a search Humanity has been on for a zazillion years – a magic drug that would give us INSTANT sight into the future or the past or the present or the neighbors closet…

Science has given a patina of respectability to this search for the mystic by telling us (somewhere or other) that we only use 10% of our brain and that we really need to get on to the discovery that would lead us to be able to use the other 90% to perform all sorts of wonderful “stuff”.

Signe Bengtsson grew up in a home with parents who are no-nonsense psychiatrists, feet firmly rooted in reality and brain chemistry. For them, there is nothing outside of the material world of wet electrical circuits and chemical reactions. For them everything mind is explainable.

Dad has a heart attack because of stress (which is, Signe notes during an anger jag, invisible); though what she doesn't know is that Daddy has been using ritalin as a focus enhancer while he wrote a series of articles for publication that he desperately needs... Clot-dissolving drugs and blood thinners combine in him to send him into an hallucinogenic state that she witnesses as her dad dreams and talks about a strangely realistic-seeming world in which he has an adventure that ultimately ends in him running off with a circlet of metal forged in that world.

Signe falls asleep and wakes up the next morning; the nurse says that her dad is out of the dark but will be sleeping a lot for the next few weeks. She stands up and a heavy wire circle slides from her lap and falls to the floor, ringing like a bell, deeply. The sound seems to penetrate, ringing the bones in her head then fades slowly.

With the circlet in one hand and the arrival of her mother, she hurries off to school; exhausted and shaken…

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