"Mr. Gardner, please come to my office." Said my boss while passing my cubicle. I locked my computer and followed him into his office. As the boss of our telephone marketing company, his office was big and full of noble furniture. We sat down. "Mr. Gardner, I'm afraid I have to tell you that your sale figures don't meet our expectations. You know that we have to increase or output. The competition is hard these days." I told him that I'll do what I can, and left his office.
The problem was, that I already was doing my best. I had learned all the selling tricks. It would have been terrible to lose my job. I've no special education for my profession. All I know I taught myself. Without having any diploma I could hardly find a job like my current again.
After returning to my desk, I immediately continued with my work. I called the next customer: "Hello Mr. Welsh. My Name is Matthew Gardner from Capitol Insurance Service. I'd like to help you finding an individual personal ...," Mr. Welsh interrupted: "No, no, sir. I don't need your stuff. By the way, you sound very unsure. No wonder you are about to lose your job." We aren't allowed to talk with customers about personal issues, but I was perplexed and asked: "How do you know that? I haven't told you ..." "Well," he said, "I have gained access to your mind. Don't worry, I'm ..." "Like telepathy?" I asked, " come on, I won't fall for that." and I laughed. "Well," he said, "if you are interested in it, you can visit me in my laboratory next to the drugstore in 5th street. That's only a few yards from where you live. But excuse me now, I've work to do. Bye." He hang up before waiting for my response. Weird, how did he know where I lived?
This occupied my mind the rest of my day. I had to find out more. After work I went to the address he had mentioned, though there was an important football game tonight on TV. "Dr. N. Welsh" the bell was labeled. I rang. The door was opened by the prototypic scientist: An old man in a white gown wearing protective glasses and having wild white hair. He looked at me. "Mr. Welsh?" I asked. "Ah, Mr. Gardner! Come in." The laboratory was as typical as Dr. Welsh himself: Chemical gadgets, connected with transparent tubes, with flowing liquids or streaming gases inside. Flasks with liquids of different colors, some of them steaming.
"Let's not beat about the bush - I want to watch the game too." He said, again showing his telepathic abilities. "I've developed a tincture which activates a region in one's brain which has been inactive since man developed from primitive animals." he explained, "Drink it, and you will feel what other people feel, hear what they think and see what they see." He lifted a flasks containing a green viscous something. While he looked through it into the light he said: "I need someone to test it. But there is the risk ..." "I want it" I interrupted. I was a point in my life where there had to be change. Dr. Welsh, obviously glad to have a willing guinea-pig took a step aside and fetched a bottle from under the desk. "Here you are. Drink one glass of it every morning." He looked excited. "Don't forget to visit me every evening, it might get out of control otherwise." I took the bottle. He looked on his watch. "The game is about to start. I'd invite you to watch it here but today I have to leave early for a meeting." We said good bye and I left.
The next morning I drank the green liquid instead of my usual coffee. It tasted like honey. At work everything was as usual. I had no telepathic abilities. How could I have been so stupid and believe in that nonsense? I called another customer. While my usual introduction speech, I heard her say:
"Cut that out, idiot!"
"If you don't want to talk to me, just say it," I replied, "but don't call me an idiot. I'm just ..."
She laughed: "I might have thought it, but I haven't said it."
And she hang up. Was I hearing her thoughts? I wasn't sure. Then I heard a voice which seemed to come from within my skull. "I'll kill you Matthew." it said. I stood up and looked around me. Nobody was there. "First I'll kill you, then your friends." I heard an evil laughter. I went out of my cubicle. At the end of the floor I spotted two men wearing a military uniform. One of them looked back at me. He said something to the second man. His hand went to his belt. He brought out a pistol, pointed with it at my direction. He shot. I winced at the loud noise. I looked down on me. He must have missed me. I immediately started to run. As soon as I was around the corner I started to scream: "They're going to kill me! Call the police!" Some colleagues came out their offices and looked at me: "Flight! This is an amok run!" I ran into the small room with the copy machines in it. As I closed the door, I saw the two soldiers coming round the corner. I hoped they hadn't seen me hiding here. But it was to late. While I crouched in the corner, the door opened and I could only scream. The soldiers only laughed. I still screamed when the guys from the mental home dragged me out of the building, me wearing a straitjacket.