Chapter One - hearing things
John Leanord woke up on the friday morning in exactly the same fashion as he always did; his semi-long hair sticking in every direction, his face pale and tired looking. It seemed that within the first thirty seconds of opening his eyes staring at the poster of Britney Spears on his bedroom wall, that it was just going to be another normal day; how mistaken he was.
He climbed slowly out of bed and pulled on a sweater; the early morning breeze was full of winter chill as it blew into his room, rustling several letters stacked neatly on his bedside cabinet. John walked out onto the landing and was about to go into the bathroom as he did every morning to wash is face, when it happened - he heard voices, but nobody was speaking. He shook his head and rubbed his eyes, and disappeared behind the bathroom door.
Several minutes later, the bathroom door reopened and John walked through it, his hair now combed back and neater than it had been a few minutes previously. He began to walk downstairs and his foot had only just touched the fourth stair down, when it happened again; the voices - talking, even though everybody was actually still asleep. John merely thought that he was having a weird morning and once again thought nothing of it, and went into the kitchen to make his breakfast.
As he stood in the kitchen next to the sideboard, he heard footsteps and turned to see his younger sister Kelly come walking into the kitchen. He smiled at her, and she smiled back, but it was then that John noticed something odd; "She just said good morning." he thought to himself. "But her lips didn't even move!" He stared at his sister for seveal long seconds before he turned back to making his breakfast. Just then he heard a shout from upstairs; "John, you're going to miss the bus; it'll be here in 5 minutes!"
Several more minutes later, John and his sister were walking briskly across the road to catch the number 2 bus that went up their road to the local secondary school two blocks away. As they sat next to each other on the bus, John looked around at the other students to see if the strange thing would happen again, but it did'nt. He told himself that if he did'nt think about it, it might not happen again, but again he was to be proven wrong.
Later that morning, John was standing next to the tennis courts with a group of his friends; Terry Summers, James Rendal, Marcus and Robert Arthur, and a girl called Millie Rodgers. John was a keen sports fan and was himself rather skilled at tennis and football. He was just about to think that maybe he should tell his friends about what had happened earlier that morning, when it happened yet again; he heard the voice of a girl he recognised from a grade above him say; "Hello Johnny." he turned to see where she was, but she was nowhere in sight. He stood there confused. He did'nt know what was happeneing, and he did'nt know why, but what he did know was that he would have to figure out why it was happening, and why to him.
At one-thirty that afternoon, John walked out onto the school football field to play in the weekly match against an opposing school from various cities and towns throughout the county. His sister sat in the third row as she always did, watching him and cheering him on. John smiled and waved at her, it made him happy that his sister was there to support him. Three of the friends who John hung around with were in his team, the Arthur twins and Terry Summers. They all played well together and John was usually the one who set up most of the winning goals. The referee looked at his watch and adressed the two captains from either team. As the clock struck one forty-five, the shrill whistle sounded from the referee's lips and the game had begun.
Four minutes into the game, and John ran onto a lazy pass from a blonde haired boy on the opposing team; he raced up the right side of the field and lifted the ball towards Terry, who struck it fiercely into the back of the net. Suddenly, as John raced away to celebrate with his friend; he heard his sister's voice scream: "Well done Johnny!", but her lips hadn't even moved. John stood rooted to the spot; it was happening again. Then, he made a decision; he turned and began to walk from the field. "Hey!" the referee yelled to him. "Where do you think you're going!" John ignored him, and as he walked from the field, amidst the various babble of talk coming from the crowd, he knew that this problem would not go away.
Chapter Two - Controlling the voices
John arrived home that afternoon and quickly ran upstairs to the bathroom, where he stood staring at his reflection in the mirror for several minutes; the same pale tired looking face stared right back into his own blue eyes, telling him nothing. "I must learn to block this thing out of my mind." John told himself. "I must learn control." He stared at his relection again and began to think. Then he had an idea; he looked at his reflection and muttered: "Kelly."
Suddenly a strange sensation came over him, as though he was hearing every sound all at once inside his mind; the combined noises were so intense it made his head feel as though it were going to expand. He concentrated, and suddenly, he hard his sister's voice speaking; "I don't know what's wrong with him; he's been acting really strange all day."
John froze; did he just hear his sister's thoughts? "Oh my gosh!" gasped John aloud. "This is unbeleivable!" Over the next twenty miinutes, John tried different ways of trying to control this new ability, and by the end of it, it had become apparent to John that by thinking of any particular person, he could hear each and every one of their thoughts. "This is nuts." John told himself. "But i think i'm going to like it."
Just then the front door opened and Kelly walked through it, slamming it hard behind her. "John!" she shouted in a shrill voice. "Where are you?" John walked from the bathroom and leaned over the stair rail to look down at her. "Up here."
His sister glared at him from the foot of the stairs. As he stared back at her, he suddenly heard her voice again: "I cannot beleive you just walked off and left the team like that; what were you thinking?"
"I don't know what i was thinking." John replied back. "I have no idea, but something really weird is happening to me."
Kelly stared at him wide-eyed. "Wait; how did you know what i just said?" she gasped. John looked down at her. "You'll never beleive me if i told you." he said to her. "Nobody will."
Kelly frowned. "Of course i will." she replied. "Try me."
John nodded. "Okay then." he walked down the stairs and stood in front of her. "I can hear people's thoughts."
Kelly stared at her brother. "You can hear people's thoughts?" she repeated. John nodded. "Yes." he replied. "I've only just sort of found out about it; it started this morning. I just think of a person and i can hear what they are thinking."
Kelly suddenlt smirked at him and folded her arms. "Okay then." she said. "Let's test this ability of yours; there is a boy a grade above me who i have a crush on; what's his name?"
John looked at her. "Micheal Ryans."