Martin sat in his kitchen looking dazed and confused. He coddled his warm mug of coffee in his hands and tried not to think about what was happening. Instead, he tried to think about what he was going to do at the weekend, but immediately felt uneasy. He tried to think of nothing at all and simply stare into space but he could not get the images out of his mind.
The castle had been nothing compared to the fairies. Tiny little people with wings, flying around the woods. They seemed not to notice Martin at all. Their sleek appearance was clearly seen under the scant garments they were wearing. Little was left to Martin’s imagination as to the body shape of these beings. They seemed to be amusing themselves with some sort of chasing game. One would kiss another, and the kissed party would try to find someone else to kiss. Martin had only stopped for a second before taking on a quick pace, but he could not take his eyes off the spectacle. He felt certain that they would never have paid him any attention at all if they had not run out of other fairies to kiss.
Martin groaned at the thought of his obvious cowardice. He could clearly tell that they meant him no harm and were simply continuing their game, but his instincts of running away from swarming insects took over. He had run from them until he had made a big enough gap between them and himself. He need not have worried though as they did not follow him after it became clear that he did not want to play.
Another groan emanated from Martin. It was no wonder that they thought he wanted to play. He was staring at them long enough. He must have looked like a new kid at school, desperately waiting for the other kids to let him play with them. Martin took a sip of coffee in an attempt to wake himself up from this dream. It was just unthinkable that this could be happening. Then it struck him: it was not unthinkable at all. In fact, Martin had indeed thought of it. He had thought it and then it had happened.
But how could that be? No one could just create things with their mind. No, wait. That was not true. Martin did it everyday. His whole income revolved around creating things with his mind. But not in real life. That was in imaginary worlds that he made up. Maybe he had somehow found a loophole. Maybe some kind of portal had been made from his imaginary world into the real world. Sure, it was a crazy idea, but for a man who had just met a bunch of fairies, it did not seem so far fetched. There was only one way to make sure.
Martin tried to think of something else that his story needed. Where was he struggling?
Something went by Martin’s window before he could see it. Something the size of a man. But Martin could not picture it in his head. Perhaps it had not been there at all. He got up from his chair and ran to the door. Martin fastidiously kept his doors locked at all times. By the time he unlocked and opened the door there was no one to be seen. He ran round the corner into his back garden. Still nothing. Martin’s back garden was completely enclosed. If a man had come round here, the only way out was the way he came. It must have been in Martin’s mind.
“Martin’s mind,” he thought to himself. It was an odd thing to have happened right after he had been attempting to create something for his story. Martin wondered if he had created the elusive figure. Perhaps he could try something more practical.
Martin closed his eyes and began to think as hard as he could.
“Apple … Apple …“
He opened one eye to see if anything had happened. There was certainly no apple in front of him. Perhaps it only worked if it was important to his story. He turned on his heel to go back inside but was promptly hit on the back of his head.
Martin opened his eyes. He was on the ground, which was still damp from the earlier rainfall. Lying two feet from his head was a green apple. It seemed to be a little worse for wear. Martin touched the back of his head and felt the dull pain as he prodded the surface. The realization of what had happened hit him. He sat up and tried to think what might have happened and came up with three possibilities.
“Okay, the first possibility is that I just created an apple which accidentally hit me on the back of the head. Secondly, it’s possible there really was a man in my back garden who is out to get me, and he hit me on the back of the head … with an apple. And, lastly, some freak coincidence just happened that involved an apple flying into my garden, which just happened to hit me on the back of the head … Oh, God.”
Martin clearly felt that all the options were egotistical in some way. They all seemed to suggest that things were happening for his benefit. As if, somehow, the world aligned itself to suit him. Martin had always hated this way of thinking. He felt it led to the breakdown of society and any caring nature that was left in humanity. But, in this instance, Martin simply could not think of an explanation that was not directed at him.
“Fine,” Martin thought to himself. “Let’s just go with it and assume that I do have some sort of power to manipulate the Universe.” Then Martin thought better of that, deciding it was too great a leap.
“All right, let’s just say that I can control certain aspects of my perception in the nearby area.” Martin was much happier with this explanation, but could not help being annoyed that it was still completely crazy. He sat looking at the grass in his garden. He needed answers and he was fairly certain that he was not going to find them here. Standing up, Martin dusted himself off and turned to go inside.
As he turned the corner, he saw a dark figure standing outside the entrance to his home. Martin stopped and stared at the man. A dull inability to deal with the situation swept through Martin’s mind. The dark figure made no move. However, unlike Martin, he seemed completely in control of the situation.
After several seconds in which Martin could feel every heartbeat in his chest, he managed to get out the words, “Who are you?”
The dark figure did not respond. Instead, he began to take slow steps forward toward Martin. With each step the figure took, Martin felt a drain in him. It was as if the steps were blows to his head. Each one made the world a little darker. He could feel all the energy draining from him. The dark figure came closer and closer.
Desperately, Martin thought to himself, “Gun … Gun … Gun …” But it did not seem to be working. He could not stop what was happening to him. Martin collapsed on the ground. He saw the dark figure stand over him as everything became dark. He tried to make out the man’s face. But it was too late.
Martin woke up. He was in his own bed at home. It was dark. He could not remember how he got here. His bed was cold and clammy. Martin had a feeling of being taken over. It was as if he had lost control of his life. The events of the past day had been too much for him. It seemed clear that something was happening to him, but Martin was more interested in who was orchestrating it.
Martin tried to get up but found he was braced to the bed somehow. He jolted around violently trying to break free but he made little headway. The duvet slid slowly off the bed and Martin saw that there was nothing keeping him on the bed at all. It was as if he had been hypnotized.
He closed his eyes again and thought as hard as he could, “I am not strapped to the bed. I am not strapped to the bed,” but nothing changed. Martin gave up. Who was it that had this control over him? Just a few hours ago, he was starting to believe that he had a paranormal control over everything he saw. Now he had lost even the most basic control over himself.