Psychic or psycho?
My expectations have just been shot to pieces. Jasmine's trusty stead is no more than a stubborn donkey. At this rate Sarah will have no choice but to seek refuge within her mind to escape the clutches of Yin. I'm afraid that she may go too deep and never find her way back to the land of the living. At this point in time I have no other option. I have to put my faith in Jasmine and her donkey. Hey, maybe it's reliable like the turtle in the old story, "slow and steady wins the race". Currently I'm acting like the hare with my eagerness to win the race and rescue my damsel in distress.
The hare in the story was full of himself and under estimated his opponent. With what I have witnessed so far I don't want to make the same mistake. If I do I may not even make it to the finish line. Yin may appear to be a child but he is acting like a criminal genius. His actions so far have put everyone at the school and possibly the world, into a state of panic. I can't rush into facing Yin without knowing more about him. But on the other hand the only confirmation that he is behind all this has come from Jasmine. The hideous face and insidious voice that supposedly came through her while communicating telepathically with Sarah may have been an alter ego of jasmine's schizophrenic mind for all I know.
Now that I think back to the incident, it did seem like Jasmine was having a schizophrenic episode. The change in facial expressions and voice could have been an angry character that she has created after a traumatic event to protect herself. I was so desperate to contact Sarah that I would have believed anything at the time. Now that I have had a chance to rationalise what I saw I'm starting to think maybe she's just plain old psycho, not psychic.
Maybe I've been putting too much faith in her. I have to admit that the plastic missiles and flaming meteors are certainly out of the ordinary but they can be explained. I believe Jasmine had the answer but she over looked the obvious and went with the over the top scenario which doesn't surprise me. She admitted that Yin can hypnotise people so why didn't she click that the pilots of the jets may have been under his control? Now that's a theory I can believe. what I need is concrete proof of what and who we are dealing with. Not some airy fairy explanations or the ravings of a lunatic. A good start for me would be to make contact with the outside world. Outside of the one that jasmine and I are presently in, one that makes sense.
I need a radio or a ...cell phone! I dig into my pocket and rip it out but the screen is completely blank. I press and hold the power button but there is no response. I was wrong after all, things could get worse and they just have. I have no immediate way of tuning in to a radio station and my only help to save Sarah could well be a fruitcake. In Jasmine's favour, she did save my life after a supposed prediction of our impending deaths and she did read my mind after the incident. So at this stage I will give her the benefit of the doubt but I will be keeping a close eye on her behaviour. If she does end up being a psycho I will have to let her go.
I hope she hasn't just read my mind. If she is for real my reservations about her sanity won't faze her. If she isn't they may just tip her over the edge. All I can do is wait and see. Hey maybe jasmine has a cell phone?
"Hey Jasmine, do you have a cell?" I ask acting like I believe she's completely sane.
She is checking that her motorised bicycle is in good working order.
"No, sorry I don't believe in them." She replies coldly.
"O.k. thanks anyway."
She either knows what I was thinking or she's still upset over my comments about her bike. Either way she isn't letting on. In case she isn't reading my mind I can't let on that I am having doubts about her sanity. I need to tone down my comments so she doesn't get suspicious of my motives and probe my thoughts again, so it's time to make her feel at ease. Dam! I will have to wait till we explore town to find a radio. Hopefully there will be a car radio in working order there, assuming that the town has no power.
Jasmine's sitting on her moped with her pink helmet in hand. She's looking out into the darkness and fixated on one point. I can't make out what it is. I don't think that she is looking at anything in particular. Just in the opposite direction to me. I walk over to her and put my hand on her shoulder in an attempt to break the ice between us.
"Hey, I'm sorry about insulting your mode of transport. I hear that they are very economical." I say apologetically.
"Yes, they are also easy to park and hide. There also great at avoiding being destroyed by meteors, unlike larger targets." Jasmine retorts as she looks at my mangled muscle car and then at her moped which is still in one piece.
"Touché" I say in defeat.
To add insult to injury she hands me the helmet.
"Should I be worried? Does this mean I'll need it?" I question with a puzzled look.
"No, I just thought it would put you at ease since I'm only a learner." She says holding back a smile.
"Ha, ha, very funny miss Penny." I say nodding and smiling.
"I realise that you're an independent woman but my mother brought me up to be a gentlemen, god rest her soul. So the helmet is yours." I say waving the helmet away.
"Why thank you sir." Jasmine replies in a southern American accent.
"Besides, I haven't ridden a moped before. I prefer a steering wheel over handle bars, more control." I say nodding with a cocky expression on my face.
"Maybe, but there's something liberating about riding a motorcycle, you feel so free and alive." Jasmine says as she ties her hair back to fit her helmet on.
"Talking about liberating, how about we liberate this town miss free and easy?" I say in high spirits.
"Free, yes, easy, no" Jasmine replies quickly.
"Sorry I didn't mean easy as in easy, I meant easy as in easy going" I say trying to redeem myself.
"Don't worry I know exactly what you meant mister I like to be in control." Jasmine replies while fitting her helmet into place.
I assume from that comment that she is reading my mind but I won't mention anything just in case. I hop on behind her, the seat only fit for a small passenger. The rear end of the moped labours under my ninety five kilo's. I was right; we are going to be chugging our way into town. I let out a deep sigh and place my arms round Jasmine's waist.
"O.k. cowboy, hold on tight because this ride isn't for the faint hearted." Jasmine says while trying to steady her moped under both of our weight.
"Well I certainly aren't faint hearted but I'm not overly excited about the whole experience. So what does that make me?" I say tightening my grip.
"Dull!" comes her cheeky reply.
Without further warning Jasmine smacks her donkey on the ass and without so much as a "Hi Ho silver" we chug off into the strangely still night.
Even though I was apprehensive at first I am quietly surprised by Jasmine's driving skills as we cruise smoothly down the road of uncertainty. Her sled only coughs and wheezes on the odd occasion. I would like to see what's coming before it smacks me in the face though. The cool breeze rushing past my face causes my eyes to water. I sit about six inches above Jasmine's pink helmet. Being six foot two doesn't always have its benefits. I am forced to turn my head to the side and watch as the moonlit trees and vacant paddocks pass me by.
I feel tired as the scenery that passes me by starts to become a blur. It puts me in a hypnotic state. I start to day dream about how sweet life was when I woke up this morning. A drop dead gorgeous wife, a car most men would only dream of and a job that I feel passionately about. You wouldn't dare ask for anything more. That was this morning and now almost twenty four hours later I've lost my wife, car and possibly my job. I've been almost squashed by a meteor, had my arms around another woman and found out that my wife is not only lost but under the control of a pint sized dictator. I am presently on the back of a moped being driven by a carnie psychic I can't trust. Yet I trust her with all our lives. Ain't life grand?
I don't get a chance to answer my own rhetorical question as Jasmine turns abruptly to the side of the road. She quickly but carefully comes to a stop on the grass verge.
"Why the sudden pit stop?" I ask as I remove my numb bottom from the meagre passenger seat. I survey the surrounding area for any unusual movement as Jasmine removes here helmet and places it on the grass. She then stabilises the moped and replies.
"We have company." She points in the direction of where we are headed.
I focus my attention on the road ahead.
"What sort of company?" I ask unable to see a thing. Everything beyond a few meters is a blur at best.
"Wait" Jasmine instructs.
I keep staring in the same direction and try to keep an open mind as to what may appear from the blanket of darkness ahead. Before my mind can play tricks on me a vehicle's head lights pop up from over a hill. Above the head lights another high beam light concentrates to the side. It's a search light.
"That's probably the Calvary searching for survivors" I say excitedly.
"I'm afraid not Steve, if that's the Calvary we are on the right side." Jasmine replies with a hint of distress in her voice.
"I take it that's a psychic prediction" I ask although I believe I already know the answer.
'No, not a prediction but a strong feeling of uneasiness." She says staring at the approaching headlights.
"In that case we need somewhere to hide and fast." I say scanning the immediate area.
"We'll have to hide the moped too. We don't want to alert them too our presence." She says while kicking back the bike stand.
There's a barbed wire fence with heavy wooden posts between us and a large paddock. I can make out the outlines of some big trees about one hundred metres beyond the fence. They seem to be our only visible sanctuary.
"O.k. lets hide in that belt of trees. We should stay out of sight and mind there." I say as the slow rumble of a "V" eight engine drifts into audible range. I turn to witness a line of head lights cruising slowly towards us. They seem to be coming out of nowhere and increasing in numbers by the second. There's no chance of getting by them with their search lights scanning the area in all directions. I have this horrible feeling that they are on the prowl to find us.
"Sounds good" Jasmine replies wheeling the moped over to the fence.
I watch the lights trying to calculate how long we have to run and hide before they are on top of us. Even though they appear to be travelling slowly the menacing glare of the head lights has doubled since I have been watching. So I would say that time is of the essence. I ignore the panic that starts to upset my stomach and smartly head over to help Jasmine lift her moped over the fence. She's standing still like a statue right next to it and facing away from me. It sits parallel to the fence that stands over a metre high.
"O.k. how are we going to do this." I think out loud hoping to break the spell she appears to be under. She doesn't react at all. I carry on with my appraisal of the task at hand.
"It probably weighs a hundred to a hundred and fifty kilos." I continue as I eye up the moped.
Still no bite from her, maybe she's preparing to levitate it over the fence? Now that would be impressive. If she could accomplish that the joke would be on me. Any doubts about her psychic ability would be put to rest. Thinking about her using mind over matter to lift the moped over the fence is beyond my comprehension and completely impossible as far as I am concerned. It'll take good old fashioned brute strength to lift that dead weight up and over the fence.
"Right Jasmine, are you feeling strong?" I say getting into position at the heavy end.
"Find somewhere secure to hold on too, and then on the count of three we will lift it above the fence line and then heave it over. It may have a rough landing but I'm sure a few scratches are better than the alternative. Just remember to bend your knees" I instruct.
I check Jasmine to see if she is moving into position. She hasn't moved an inch!
"Jasmine!" I shout firmly.
The "V" eight rumble intensifies causing my heart beat to increase.
"JASMINE!!" I shout even louder this time.
"SNAP OUT OF IT!!" I add getting up from my lifting position and reaching out to touch her shoulder. Before I can make contact her eye lids flick open. This startles me a little as I didn't realise that they were closed. She drops down and grabs the moped with both hands. With arms slightly wider than her shoulders she lifts it above the fence with no visible strain at all. Holding it like a cardboard cut out she takes a step forward, stretches out her arms and drops it onto the opposite side of the fence. It hits the grass, bounces once and comes to rest on its side unscathed.
I open my mouth to say something but nothing comes out, I'm speechless. Witnessing Jasmine lift her moped without straining a muscle defies logic. It's not quite levitation but my faith in jasmine has been restored.
"Come on Steve, let's get moving. There crawling closer by the second." Jasmine shouts without even mentioning what she just did.
"You, you just lifted it over the fence without even breaking a sweat." I say in astonishment now that I can get the words out.
"No time to explain now, pull yourself together and high tail it to the tree line before it's too late!" Jasmine demands, trying to break me out of my bewildered state.
"Yeah the tree, let's go!" I shout back looking a little star struck.
"After you, wonder woman!" I shout, offering Jasmine the lead.
"I may be wonder woman but I aren't dressed for action so if you don't mind!" She shouts while twirling her finger around to indicate that she wants her privacy.
"Why of course Miss Penny!" I shout while turning away.
Seconds later she is calling out for me to follow. When I turn she is already pushing the moped towards our hide out at a brisk pace. I leap the fence in a single bound and run to catch up. The noise from the "v" eight engines has turned from a deep rumble to an all encompassing roar. I glance to our right to see the search lights less than five hundred metres away. I catch up to Jasmine and grab the moped from her.
"Allow me!" I shout pushing it at a faster pace. After all I am the man around here.
"Be my guest!" Jasmine laughs.
We make it to the tree line without incident. I lay the moped down flat on the ground and slump down against a thick tree trunk. Jasmine sits down beside me as we both catch our breath.
"Oh, shit!" Jasmine blurts out in shock and totally out of character.
"What!" I retort thinking the worse.
"We left the helmet on the other side of the fence!"
"Oh, shits right!" I say taking a deep breath.
We stare into each other's eyes concentrating on finding a quick solution to our big problem. There's only one thing to do and I'm sure that I'm faster than Jasmine even though she has the strength of ten men. There's no time to argue so without any further thought I break our stare and peek around the tree trunk. The lights are still a good hundred metres from the helmet, a pink helmet that may cost us our lives. Without saying a single word I get up and make a dash for it...