Daniel Burke is a young New York City Assistant DA currently prosecuting a man for the murder of his wife. Even though her body was never found, there is enough circumstantial evidence to bring him to trial. Danny has his own doubts about whether or not this man is guilty of the crime but he knows because of the oath he took, he must follow through and perform his duty as assistant prosecutor. When the trial is unexpectedly put on hold for a week, he and two of his friends decide to take a short getaway vacation to their cabins up in Lake George. All is going well for him and his friends until he is suddenly and discreetly abducted by an alien vessel from outer space. The aliens are very friendly and peaceful and have come here to test and observe humans. When they feel that the time is right, they will make their presence known to all mankind. While on board, they give Danny the ability to communicate with them via thought transmission or through the ability of hearing their thoughts. He becomes good friends with one of the aliens who in turn gives Danny some good lessons on life. Trouble hits their ship just as they are returning him back to earth and while in the process of removing the thought hearing capability. Danny is safely returned, but he is unintentionally left with the talent to hear other people's thoughts. When he finally realizes he can hear other people's thoughts, he starts to question himself as to how he can put it to good use. Should he use it on his job? For romance? To beat his friends at cards? To know what the world thinks of him? Or more importantly, after having lost his wife on 9/11, use it to help the government stop another terrorist attack? These choices, plus many more, are all at his disposal but will he choose wisely?
It was odd. Incredibly odd.
He was a science fiction fan and his analytical mind told him he might
be in the midst of a science fiction scenario. Science fiction might be
considered fantastic, he reasoned, but it was also logical. What was the
classic line by Arthur C. Clarke? ‘An advanced technological society
might seem like magic to a more primitive society. But that advanced
society was based on logic and science.’ “Let’s assume what
happened to me was something very odd in terms of human experience but
still logical,” he thought to himself.
“I go fishing with two friends. We eat dinner. We have three separate
cabins. After we finish, I walk back to my cabin—not a great distance
from the other two—and disappear. My two friends look for me but
can’t find me. Then I pop up again a little after dawn. Question.
Where was I? I don’t remember that time period. Some type of traumatic
shock? That can cause memory loss, but there is no sign that I
experienced any type of physical trauma. What could I have seen
strolling back from a cabin? If there was something traumatic there, my
two friends should have seen it too.”
He took another sip of his drink.
He continued his self-analysis, “I now discover that I can hear other
people’s thoughts. This is, of course, highly unusual and not, shall
we say, human. At times, the thoughts come to me but only after I rub
the right side of my head, just behind my temple. It only lasts for a
few seconds and thankfully, the process of shutting down is remarkably
He swirled his drink again and drank it down. He walked to the bar and
mixed another one. As he walked around the apartment, he said, “There
have also been reports of alien abductions. Some of them, admittedly,
are not all that credible but one or two might stand up to scrutiny. For
argument sake, let’s accept that basic premise. There have been alien
abductions. In most of the stories, the aliens are curious about humans
and do medical exams. They don’t seem hostile but . . . simply
curious. No harm ever seemed to be done to the humans. So let’s say I
was whisked away on a space ship for a brief time and subjected to
medical experiments. With the advanced technology aliens would have,
there would be no trace of the experiments.”
He stopped and drank some of the bourbon again.
“Does that sound logical?”
He paced back and forth before answering himself. “Possibly. At the
outer limits of logic. But what other explanation would there be?” he
said. “That scenario fits all the facts I know.” He frowned. “And
now that I know that, what do I do with it?” He drained his glass
again. Then sighed.
“One thing I have to do is go on with my normal life and . . . just
see what happens.”
Excerpted from "Hearing Thoughts" by Anthony Diffley. Copyright © 2015 by Anthony Diffley. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Anthony Diffley is owner and operator of a carpet cleaning franchise in Westchester County New York. He has been doing it for over twenty five years and has built up quite a reputation. In 2008, his company was voted "Best Carpet Cleaner of Westchester" by the readers of Westchester Magazine. Prior to this, he was an electrical engineer designing and developing test programs for digital circuit cards. He has been married for twenty seven years to his wife, Toni and they have three children, Andrew, Regina and Danielle. He is one of eight children to William and Bernadette Diffley and he enjoys being with his family and friends whenever possible. He especially likes to write, go to Yankee Games, play guitar and go to church. Having never had anything officially published before, he hopes that "Hearing Thoughts" will be just the beginning of many more publications to come.
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