Part I Blog Series: Psychic by Accident
And that’s how it happened with Janet. After being struck by lightning, she discovered she had gotten more than scorched sandals; she had gained the ability to move solid objects with the power of her mind. She was telekinetic.
My investigation was conducted through personal interviews, private documents, witness statements, and some various paranormal means. Unfortunately, there was no coroners’ report to lend additional information. There was no body. More than a dozen people watched Janet levitate straight up into the air until she was out of sight, and if her body ever came down, it was never found.
Some literary license was taken to make the report more palpable to readers.
Before It Happened: From Janet’s Journals and Computer Notes
Janet giggled as she filled out the internet dating information form. Likes: pizza, scary movies, moonlight walks on the beach? No, everybody puts down stuff like that. Starting over: Likes: fried chicken, days off from work, comfortable shoes, naps…Ah, walking in the rain. That’s a little different. Cross out brown hair, put in blonde. Age: under 30 should be good enough. “You’re not getting my weight, either, you son of a bitch,” she told the application.
Okay, divorced, no children (Thank God). Cross out clerical, replace with administrative. Favorite physical activities? Oh, already told you. Naps. Okay, and walking in the rain. Don’t think you’re going to trick me into putting down sex, cause I won’t do it! Giggling again, Janet attached a slightly re-touched selfie to the Singles App. It revealed a petite (maybe just a little on the chubby side) young woman with shiny brown hair, bangs fringing her hazel eyes. Not exactly plain, but not exactly pretty, either. Hit “send.” Frowning. No one will ever call me. Except axe murderers and serial killers.
She didn’t actually want to be married. She had seen too many of her co-workers trapped in unhappy arrangements and too burdened with responsibilities to get out. But she didn’t want to be a lonely single older woman, either. She dated some; she still had some of the bloom of youth left to make her beautiful at times, but it was fading fast. A swarthy Armenian man with bad breath had proposed, and after that, a fiftyish man with a significant paunch and hair coming out of his ears and nose. The rejections were kind and tearful. Janet didn’t like to hurt anyone’s feelings.
Janet knew people looked on her as silly, and she felt this was accurate. She knew her IQ was average, or a bit lower. She was able to learn a job and perform it well enough, but did not attempt to increase her skill levels or try to climb the ladder of success in any way. She read romance novels, and in her own mind, was a combination of Cinderella, Scarlett O’Hara, and Britney Spears. She was sure her prince would come someday.
She was able to land a job as an assistant bookkeeper at the Queen Mary, a tourist attraction in Long Beach, California. She had visions of rubbing shoulders with the rich and the famous every day when she went to work. Instead, the old, familiar dark cloud descended upon those shoulders when Janet discovered that she would not work on the great ship, but in an outbuilding converted into dreary but functional offices.
Well, I will overcome that, Janet mused. New job, fabulous place to work. I will meet important people and I will never be lonely again.
I am ready to make my mark on the world.
Interview with Barbara Larson, Friend of Subject
Q: So Barbara, you’ve known Janet for a long time.
A: Since high school. We hung out together all the time.
Q: Did Janet seem normal and oh, happy, during that time?
A: We were both just sort of average. We were not in the popular crowd. We never had boys asking us out. But I don’t think we were abnormal or anything.
Q: What kind of hobbies or activities did you have?
A: We spent most of our time trying to be prettier, you know, messing with our hair, doing facials, going on fad diets. Then we would hang out at the local spots and try to get noticed. You know, we went through the goth thing, the hippie thing, the vampire thing – all of that stuff.
Q: Were you with Janet when she, when she, uh, disappeared?
A: Oh, sure, I was the one who called everybody to come and watch the levitation. Janet wanted a crowd. She wanted people to think she was interesting. She said even if she failed, people would remember her and invite her to parties and stuff.
Q: Did you think she would be able to do it? I mean, actually levitate?
A: I thought something would happen. After she was struck by lightning, I was with her in the hospital when she first started moving things around on her tray. We both dropped our jaws when she did it accidentally. We didn’t know whether to be happy or scared. We kept it a secret between us, and she practiced moving things. Actually, I think she was about to lose her job later because she was distracting everyone by moving pencils and stuff instead of working.
Q. So all the scientific ramifications were ignored, and she never got medical help?
A: (Barbara looking surprised) No, she wasn’t sick. She was better than I had even seen her. Everybody was paying more attention to her, and she loved it. She would practice and get better every day. I saw her move a heavy chair the day before it happened.
Q: Why did she decide to do this stunt in the parking lot of the Queen Mary? Didn’t they object?
A: They didn’t know anything about it. Janet used to take walks before or after work there. She liked to think she was mingling with celebrities and important people. There were always photographers around taking videos or photos. She hoped she would be on camera and become famous.
Q: And that’s how she came to be struck by lightning?
A: Yes. She was walking around the ship after dark. A thunderstorm came up, and she was struck and knocked unconscious. I thought she was going to die, but after two days unconscious in the hospital, she just woke up like nothing happened. She had some burns, but they weren’t serious. She joked that her underwear was scorched, and said she had “hot pants.”
Q: And that she did. Can you describe the scene for me as it happened?
A: Sure. It was after work, about six pm, and some of her friends that I had called were there. Lots of people were coming and going, some getting on or off the ship, and just a lot of tourists walking around. Surfers and roller-skaters and people going to dinner at one of the tourist spots. I had helped her put a folding table out there with some small objects on it, and she stood beside it and announced that she was going to move some things around and after that, she would attempt to levitate.
Q: I read that hundreds of people had gathered to see this magic act, as they called it. What was the general demeanor of the crowd?
Q: The atmosphere. Were people paying attention, or laughing?
A: Oh. People were still milling around, but when Janet started making lamps and phones and things rise up and swirl around in the air, it was quiet and a little circle formed around her, watching. There was some snickering, but for the most part, people were paying attention. Some people handed her books and cameras to levitate, and she did make them go up in the air and drift down to return to their owners.
Q: At what point did she announce that she would levitate?
A: Oh, she never did. She made a deck chair levitate, and it kept going up and up and up. She sort of gasped and said, “Oh, that’s not mine – it belongs to the ship. I better go get it back.” And her feet just went off the ground, and she went straight up in the air like the deck chair did. And she just kept going until we couldn’t see her anymore.
Q: Then what happened?
A: Confusion. Talking about what to do. People were stunned. A lot of them said to call 911. Officials from the ship came down and tried to look through binoculars. Someone ordered the Shore Patrol to go look for a body in the water. The first-responders were at a loss; they reported on their radios that the victim was “GOA.” The crowd was afraid now; they thought they would disappear, too. And people scattered pretty quickly.
Q: What did you think? You must have been afraid.
A: I was more confused. I kept looking up. I thought she would come back down. But she didn’t. (Barbara began to cry.) I spent the rest of the night at the police station and at the hospital. All those people asked me the same questions over and over. Finally they put me in a bed and gave me a sedative so I could rest. They said I was in shock.
Summary of Research and Investigation
Janet was never found. Her case became a worldwide affair, and she became the most searched for person in history. Scientists and researchers went wild in their efforts to solve the mystery of what happened to her. One theory was mass hypnosis, and Janet had just pulled a trick and walked away. Others saw it as a sign of the Apocalypse, and there were singular and mass suicides. New cults sprang up all over the world, and many of then practiced human sacrifice in the name of determining who could fly. The WHO thought it might be a new and dangerous virus, possibly from either Africa or outer space, and people were warned to stay out of the rain at all costs. Some thought a foreign government had somehow found her and were holding her for secret testing. Telekinesis was thought of as a new and terrible weapon of war.
I asked Janet’s friend Barbara what she thought had happened to Janet. She said, “I think her Prince Charming came out of the sky and took her away to a magic place where Janet would be intelligent and beautiful, and they would be happy together forever.” And tears trickled down all the way to her neck.
My research and investigations into levitation are finished. My next case study will be Charles, who is a psychic medium. Perhaps his communications with otherworldly beings will shed some light on the whereabouts of Janet. I will keep my dear readers informed.
(I will add to that, will keep my readers informed MORE PROMPLY.) Bye for now from Sweet Nan.