Saturday, February 19, 2011


The Mind Butcher was just one of the monikers that Oyvind Linden had picked up in his eighteen years of life. He’d had it since he was eight, when he used mind magic against some classmates who’d angered him and drove them completely insane. The Linden family had picked up and moved – moved into the house next to the house where lived Phaedra Kale, a friend of Mrs. Linden since childhood, and Andreas’ mother.

Despite their mothers’ closeness, Andreas and Oyvind had never talked much. Andreas usually was not shy, but Oyvind – or Vin, as he preferred to be called – was four years older, tall, and intimidating even without the stories that flew around about him.

Honestly, Andreas wasn’t sure if Vin was entirely sane. He had carved a number of symbols into the trees of his backyard and fence; he had painted a mural of the Archimen Volcano on his bedroom wall; he had a photo of his cat Prospero eating a mouse as the background of his phone and as his desktop; and he never, ever had any expression. But he did come in handy sometimes.

Such as when robbers broke into the pharmacy downstairs and Andreas was the only one home. When he heard the splintering of the front door, he had run to his room, opened the window, and rapped urgently on Vin’s. It took all of three panicked, half-formed sentences for Vin to get the message and clamber across the space between their windows.

It took all of two minutes for the screaming to start.


This is a snippet from a short story I'm using to test drive various ideas I have for my "settingless" story.  I don't think I want it to be quite as modern as this, but I may keep some of the details.

"Mind Butcher" is a nickname I've had hanging around in my idea box since last year, but it has no permanent home yet. I've tried sticking it on various people but it never seems to fit well. I'm still not sure if Oyvind will bear it any better than the others.  We shall see.

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