The traveler

“The last time I woke up I was inside the mind of a twelve year old cancer survivor. I was bald and had overly positive thoughts. I tried to go back to sleep, but the kid’s mind just wouldn’t switch off. He was hopped up on all these experimental medications that made him happy and awake all the time. This seems like a good thing when you’re 12 and you just had cancer, but if you’re 17 and a goth, this is very bad. I’m 17 and a goth. But every time I go to sleep, I wake up in a different person’s body. So technically, I used to be a 17 year old goth. Now…I don’t know what I am. I just wake up in people’s heads and sit and watch, like the world’s creepiest stalker. I sit and look at the world through their eyes and hear their thoughts. That’s it. Can’t control their bodies or anything. Can’t even feel their bodies. I barely remember what it felt like to feel things, you know? It’s been a while since I was me.”

Professor Rogan rubbed his eyes and turned off the lights. It was getting increasingly difficult to correct these fucking answer sheets, he thought. He should have gone and become a mechanic like his father, instead of trying this teaching bullshit. It didn’t pay well, nobody really respected you and you had to mark answers like the one the 17 year old goth idiot from his class had just written.

He crawled into bed and slept in his socks.

When he woke up, he felt like there was someone sitting in his head, watching him.

Dr. Arvind stared at the scans of Professor Rogan’s brain. They looked fine. He looked up at Professor Rogan, who was being restrained by two orderlies, despite not really doing anything. He had been arrested after storming into a student’s house in the middle of the day and beating him into a coma while screaming “Get out of my head you freak or I’ll kill you.” Dr. Arvind looked at the essay that Professor Rogan had brought that he claimed explained his behavior. He frowned. Then he ripped the paper into four neat halves and put them in his mouth and chewed them.

Professor Rogan tried to leap out of his chair and stop him, his eyes bugging out in horror and the words sticking in his throat, but the orderlies held him down. Dr. Arvind nodded to them.

Professor Rogan woke up with Dr. Arvind bending over him, scalpel in hand.

He said “17-year-olds are such a disappointment, don’t you think? You give them a phenomenal ability and they go and write about it in a school paper. I trust you’ll be better at keeping your mouth shut about mind-travelling. Good luck!”

Then he placed the gas mask over Professor Rogan’s nose and began sawing at his skull.

When Professor Rogan woke up, he was in the mind of a twelve year old cancer survivor.

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