This is a recorded therapy session between Reuben Codell and Dr. David Tompkins. It was taped on November 18, 2013, in Mission Valley, California. This transcription may be disturbing to select observers. Take note: Reuben's whereabouts are currently unknown. He is a Caucasian in his early 20s, lean, with brown hair and hazel eyes. He was last seen wearing patched denim jeans, a gray hooded sweatshirt, and black boots. He is currently a suspect for manslaughter. If you ever see him, contact the police immediately.
Tompkins: So, tell me, Reuben: what made you want to come see me on such short notice?
Reuben: It's kinda hard to explain, Dr. Tompkins. But I feel like I'm becoming a... a bringer of death, in a way. Like a reaper or something.
Tompkins: Well, that's a pretty serious way of describing yourself, Reuben. Why do you think of yourself that way?
Reuben: That's just it, really. What you said just now - the word "think" - that is the problem! I think certain things and they happen. Those thoughts...end up killing people.
Tompkins: Care to explain?
Reuben: Well, you know how sometimes, you get in certain situations where somebody mistreats you, and you imagine something bad happening to them? Like when you're treated unfairly at work, or when somebody always antagonizes you? You picture, in your head, various possibilities of how those people could be hurt...but in reality, they never happen! Now, if I were to think of such things, they actually occur.
Tompkins: Hmm... I'm not quite sure what to make of this. You're saying you think of bad things happening to certain people, and they happen?
Tompkins: Can you prove it?
Reuben: I can tell you about certain moments.
Tompkins: That would be a good start. Can you recall when it first started happening?
Reuben: I think it began in my senior year of high school. The school bully, Gabe Rovenger, made it his mission to be a complete and utter tool towards me. And for the longest time, I'd refrain from any sort of confrontation with him. In fact, I tried to be a friend to him, despite how he treated me!
Tompkins: Because you were scared of him?
Reuben: No! It was because I honestly thought if I continued to treat him as an equal, he'd eventually do the same.
Tompkins: Did he?
Reuben: No, he never changed. In fact, my attempt to befriend him caused him to hate me even more. But I'm trailing off from what we're talking about. On the day he crossed the line, it was the week before finals. This jerk-off had the audacity to call my father... a faggot. And if that wasn't enough, he continued on to tell me I was bound to become the same, simply because I was the son of a gay man!
Tompkins: How did that make you feel?
Reuben: Obviously, I was infuriated! I sprinted towards him, grabbed him by the fabric of his shirt, and slammed him into the lockers. I looked into his putrid green eyes and told him to drop dead.
Tompkins: But by attacking and threatening Gabe, you were making yourself look no better than him.
Reuben: Well, being a friend towards him was getting nowhere. I knew it was wrong for me to imagine such a thing, and to attack him, but obviously, I wasn't thinking correctly at the time! I mean, he had insulted me and my family.
Tompkins: You said, "It was wrong to imagine such a thing." Imagine what, exactly?
Reuben: Him dying of a seizure.
Tompkins: And did it happen?
Reuben: I didn't expect him to actually start gasping for breath and foaming from the mouth, but yes, he did. Almost immediately! When it did, I let him loose and started to panic, falling back and crawling to the wall behind me. Students who were watching my encounter with him began to scream and run away. Gabe hit the floor, his body seizing, eyes rolling into the back of his head. That sound... that sound of him dying on the floor, gargling and choking, was unbearable. I covered my ears and shut my eyes. All I could think of at that moment was, "Make it stop!"
Tompkins: Did he stop?
Reuben: Yeah, but that's not what scared me. What scared me was the timing. I yelled "Stop!" out loud, and at that precise moment, Gabe stopped convulsing. He never regained breath or consciousness. He had literally dropped dead in the exact way that I thought it!
Tompkins: That's pretty creepy.
Reuben: Right? So, I went home that day, traumatized by what I had witnessed, and exhausted from having to attempt explaining to the police what had happened. I tried to compose myself, to think rationally. I kept thinking, "I couldn't have caused it! It was just a coincidence; it had to have been. Nobody kills a person just by thinking about it." At the time, I was able to accept the idea of it being a moment of terrible, coincidental timing. Looking back, however, I know it was not happenstance.
Tompkins: How do you know that it wasn't happenstance?
Reuben: How do you think? When it started happening again.
Tompkins: How often did you find yourself in these... strange occurrences, after Gabe's death?
Reuben: Not every day but still all too often. One day, a reckless driver nearly ran me over while I was crossing the street, and he told me to watch where I was going. I was just crossing the street! I thought of him being in a car crash, and seconds later, I heard the screeching of brakes and the crushing of glass and metal. One moment, a mugger points a gun at a homeless man and his daughter, and the next, his weapon "backfires," and the robber blows his own head off. I witness a drunk yelling at a woman on the subway, and all I can think of is, "Shut up." Next thing I know, she pulls a knife out of her pocket, slices the man's tongue out, and shoves it down his fucking throat!
Tompkins: Good God...
Reuben: And all I'm doing is thinking! I never touched anyone, except for Gabe, so how is this...
Telekinesis. That has to be it! Or... wait, sorry, I meant psychokinesis. Because only a lunatic could believe in such things, am I right?
Tompkins: Well, not necessarily, but-
Reuben: You know, you've never showed any sign of human emotion this whole time. Never paused and looked up at me in shock. Never chuckled as if I was telling some dumb joke. All you've done this whole time is sit down, make half-assed small talk, and ask question after question!
Tompkins: Reuben, listen to-
Reuben: You wanna bring up listening? Are you listening to anything I’m saying? Really listening??
Tompkins: Yes, Reuben, I am! Now please, just calm down, okay? Take a breath.
Tompkins: It’s alright. I can tell you're scared. And I want to help you, but to do that, I have to question you. It's procedure. It's how I can determine what's going on in your life.
Reuben: And? What exactly have you determined?
Tompkins: You're angry.
Reuben: Oh! How observant of you!
Tompkins: Reuben, listen. You're mad at the world. People do things that are unjust and unfair, and those things upset you. That's reasonable enough, but just by desiring to see them be harmed, you become just as bad as them. And I know you don't want that.
Reuben: How do you know?
Tompkins: Well, think about the events you told me about. When they took place, when you saw each one happen, did you feel scared? Regretful?
Reuben: Both. But every day, for the longest time, I had to sit back and watch innocent people get hurt or killed. I'm angry at the world, doctor, because the world is full of terrible human beings who have nothing better to do than to sabotage the lives of good people.
Tompkins: That’s quite true. The world is full of such people. But you're a human being, too. And no human is perfect! I’m not; you’re not. Now, you claim that the events of your past have been caused by telekinesis. But we both know that such a thing is improbable! It defies the laws of physics. It's like trying to play God. But you’re not God, Reuben; you're a young man. You need to learn to control yourself. Control those dark thoughts.
Reuben: So how do I do that?
Tompkins: I'm going to give you a prescription for Zoloft. Take two a day, and we'll see if that helps with your situation. Maybe soon after taking them, you will see that those incidents have been nothing more than...dark events with terrible timing, which have been misinterpreted by your temper.
Reuben: You think I'm imagining everything? The things I've gone through? The things I've told you??
Tompkins: You're getting worked up again, Reuben-
Reuben: Because rather than try to help me remove the problem, you just want me to hide it by taking medication!
Tompkins: I'm trying to help you!
Reuben: When did drugs ever help anyone??
Tompkins: Reuben, try to understand-
Reuben: What I’m understanding is that you can’t even see what’s happening to me! You’re blind! Fucking blind!
Tompkins: Reuben, calm yourse-… wait… my vision… what’s happening?
Reuben: Oh God, no!
Tompkins: My eyes! My vision is fading! I can’t see, I… I’m blind.
Reuben: Tompkins, I’m sorry… I’m so sorry!
Tompkins: You… you’re doing this?
Reuben: I tried to tell you, I-
Tompkins: My God, you were telling the truth. You're... telekinetic!
Reuben: Doctor, please...
Tompkins: Get away from me! You hear me? Get away!
Reuben: Tompkins, don’t! Wait!
Tompkins: Bring me back my sight and leave me alone!
Reuben: Tompkins, the window!
[SOUNDS OF SHATTERING GLASS; FADING SCREAM; WIND WHISTLING]
[WIND BLOWS; MUFFLED CRYING]
I'm sorry... I tried to tell you, doctor… but even you wouldn’t believe me…
Make it stop…
Written by Midnite Marshall