The Viewer

Empty your mind.
I heard it. The thought. It near freaked me out enough so as to cause me to lose that state of noneness I took myself into.
Empty your mind.
It was speaking again, only not so scary the second time. Was that my mind talking to me? Was I making the words up? I wasn’t sure, but it also wasn’t the usual voice I heard in my head when I thought about things.
Empty your mind.
I decided I’d go with it. I returned to the noneness and floated there a bit.
Twenty-two degrees forty-one minutes South, fourteen degrees thirty-two minutes East.
Images flashed in front of my eyes. They were too quick for me to see, so I went back to the noneness and slowly repeated the co-ordinates to myself.
An ocean met the land. Sand dunes shimmered in the heat. I saw a town dotted with German architecture. And then I saw an elderly woman eating soup in her kitchen. A signpost on the side of the road. And a tiny shopping mall.
Wait.
I pulled back to the signpost. White text on a green background. SWAKOPMUND.
Congratulations.
I opened my eyes. Doctor Dierkson offered me a glass of water. I felt disoriented, like a part of me was still in that town I just saw.
“So, how’d it go?” the Doc asked.
He looked more relaxed than… how long was it since we started?
“How long it take?” I asked.
“Thirty seconds.”
“What!” I spluttered on the water. The Doc laughed at me.
“Either you screwed up real bad or you’re a natural,” he said.
The door to his room opened. Captain General Wilkinson, as he liked to call himself, entered and walked right on over to me.
“Marshall Henry Peters,” he ordered, “you are now the property of the Namibian Defence Force. Get your ass up outta that chair and come with me.”

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11 thoughts on “The Viewer

  1. sparrowsong

    This reminds me of a science-fiction montage I once saw about pulling people into the past through dreams to warn the future about impending doom. The military took them, too. >.<

    Reply
    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      Thank you for reading and commenting. My inspiration came from reading , a while back, about how the American military had trained remote viewers. I also read an article written by a defector from the program that was most disturbing, to say the least. I think that the film The Men Who Stare At Goats is based on one such unit/division.

      Reply
  2. somethingnewplease

    There is a very good story about Lydia Davis concerning how she wants to practice nothing again, but that it’s very difficult. I recommend Lydia Davis in general, and can’t remember the title, so I’ll just say check out “Samuel Johnson is Indignant”. You’d like the style.

    D

    Reply
    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      Thanks for that. I will be sure to check it out. I must confess I have never heard of Lydia Davis, but if she says she wants to practice nothing again, she already sounds like someone I could like.

      Reply
  3. Madison Woods

    For a brief scene, it sure made me want to know the rest of the story. This would make a very good opening for a movie…is that what you’re working on? I liked it a lot.

    Reply
    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      Thanks for reading and commenting. And for the question. I’m glad that you enjoyed the piece.
      I am not working on this as my screenplay. I have taken a far safer route, considering that it is the first short script that I am writing and that I am trying to get it selected for production.

      Namibia’s local film commission has set aside five grants of N$ 200 000 (U$ 27 500) to get local short scripts produced. Scriptwriters submit their work. If they are lucky, it is selected to be made into a film. The screenplays are then shown to local directors, who choose one they feel they can best relate to and turn into a film. The money is then used to make the film.

      I was already in talks with a director (Namibia’s best, in my opinion) about collaborating when this grant was made available. He told me about it and together we hammered out a very quick storyline based on some of my previous scribbles here. I then wrote a very rough script of sixteen pages and handed it in (they were due last Friday). Now we wait to see if it has been selected.

      In the meantime, I continue with the revisions so that if chosen, the script can be better than the one I handed in. This is an amazing opportunity for someone like myself, and even if my script is not chosen, I will finish it off and try get it produced anyway. If I don’t manage that, the experience has been super and I’ve learnt a lot in a short time period that will go a long way to improving my next script.

      Reply
  4. Find an Outlet

    I can’t tell if the psychic is helping find someone the military is looking for, or if he thinks he’s just finding someone who’s missing, or if it’s a test. Maybe they planted that image there. But if the voice in his head is different than usual, have they experimented on him to make him stronger, faster, more valuable? Whatever he found in Swakopmund, he has impressed the military and now he’ll be forced to practice his skills for villainous reasons. Am I even close here?

    Reply
    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      Hi Debra. I think you frequently underestimate your ability to read into my little snippets.
      But let me clarify some more:
      The scenario in the piece is a test. He is given co-ordinates by an unseen psychic handler which he first needs to be able to ‘hear’ and then to find as an actual location.
      The new voice in the head sentence was a bit vaguely written. Sorry about that. What I meant by it was that he usually thinks in two voices (I think most of us do). The psychic handler’s voice was new, but he wasn’t absolutely certain whether his mind had just constructed a new voice because it knew it was being tested, or whether he was actually receiving a message from someone else.
      He found Swakopmund. He was able to identify that the co-ordinates given were for the town. This confirmed to the military that he was a genuine remote viewer. What their intentions are are not as clear.
      Thank you for taking the time to read and try to figure the story out. I think you got it.

      Reply

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