Saturday, June 21, 2008

Paranormal Psychology, Part 5

"I know how much you love being the center of attention, especially considering that ridiculous hair styling of yours which may or may not be a homage to the traditional headdress of a small group of indigenous people who live in the ruins of the City of Poetry, or Ashaar bin Apal, but please, wait your turn." The professor glared at the blonde hedgehog-lookalike, and slowly the grin slipped away from the student's face.

While I was trying to remember my history lessons on India to see if the professor had simply made up a large bunch of gibberish to cow the upstart or simply had a horrible grasp of Punjab, Abode harrumphed again and turned, pulling out a marker to write on the board behind him. His slow, methodical strokes eventually spelled out "Paranormal Psychology", underlining it heavily in the blue marker. Once finished, he tapped underneath the letters twice, and turned back to the class.

"This is what all of you have signed up for. Each one of you must at least be mildly interested in the subject matter, and, if my background checks were done well enough, are open minded enough to participate in this class profitably." He leaned forward and grinned a surprisingly white-toothed grin at the blonde hedgehog-boy. "Yes, even you can profit from this." The boy looked mildly uncomfortable, leaning backwards and turning away from Abode's glaring eyes.

"Alright, so what of it?" The blonde spat, grimacing. Abode stood up straight like he had been shocked.

"What do you think of when you hear these two words? Paranormal Psychology?" He said. I raised my hand. Abode nodded to me. "Yes, you there. Mr. Tham."

"The Occult?" I said, my voice tentative.

"Yes, that would be one thing, I suppose." Abode replied, turning around to write 'Occult' down under the heading. "Anybody else?"

"Psychokinesis." Ms. Harris spoke, calmly. Turning to look at her when she said this, I noticed she had completely calmed down. Her eyes were entirely focused on Abode, watching his hand as he wrote down what she had said.

"Yes, yes, keep them coming." Abode said, underlining the word 'psychic'. We all began to speak in turn after that.

"Extrasensory perception!"



"Spiritual events!"


The professor tapped on the board twice and cleared his throat.

"All done now? Any other suggestions?" His voice boomed, his back to us. He turned slowly. "Alright. Now..." He said, pacing towards the class and then along one of the aisles of desks. "These are all good suggestions." The old man stretched slightly, rolling his shoulders before placing a hand on the shoulder of the student who was wearing sunglasses. "I can understand these being your responses going into this class. However..." Abode pointed to the words on the board. "These can all be summarized with two words."

"Paranormal Psychology?" The student in sunglasses suggested, half-joking. Abode glared down at him and then walked up to the board briskly.

"The unquantifiable. The immeasurable. The inexplicable." He spoke, his voice clear and loud over the diminishing laughs from the other students. "Everything that plagues mankind that we cannot put away as a simple trick of the light or a part of nature. What skeptics call superstition and the faithful call miracles." The eraser jumped into his hand and slid across the board, clearing it of all markings.

"All these elements are part of one, all-consuming section of the human condition." His marker raced across the board quickly, spelling out two words in big, bold letters.

"The Unknown."

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