After a year or so, the inheritance money ran dry, so I turned to dealing. I didn’t really get into the hard stuff at first. I just sold coke and smoke, although I did have the best quality, which made me popular. My abilities meant that I could easily avoid most of the problems people usually encounter in this line of work. I always knew if someone was trying to rip me off or screw me over in some way.
I did have the odd encounter with the police, but it was easy for me to know whether a quick bribe would do the job, or if I needed to use another form of persuasion. It was the same with other potential enemies, I had one person try to rob me, but he left screaming without a mark on him and no-one bothered me after that. It did help that I was pretty popular, people always left happy and even though I was selling good stuff, for those that stayed and chilled for a while they’d leave feeling better than they did anywhere else.
It was a good time. I found that I quite liked being the centre of attention. Having to deal with more people helped my powers grew. They developed not just in strength, which made it easier to enter even the most stubborn mind, but also in control. The subtleties of manipulating people’s highs proved to be a good way of mastering people’s minds as well.
As I say, life was good. I spent most of my time stoned and managed to bury the hurt inside so that it rarely surfaced. On the few occasions that it did, I found that I could use my own tricks on myself.
There was always a good crowd with me, all of them eager to be in my company. That meant girls as well, a constant flow of new partners all of them wanting the special touch that only I could provide. I did catch an infection from one of them, so I did learn to a bit more careful. Fame, even of the underground sort always attracts some attention, but it was nothing that I couldn’t handle.
It was taking acid for the first time that heralded the end of this easy, carefree life.. LSD has quite a reputation and deservedly so. That first trip was a life changing experience for me. This happens to many people under the influence, they experience new ways of looking at things. And more importantly for me, I found new ways of understanding things. I learned new connections between people’s thoughts and emotions and the engine that drives them. I could interact at this lower level and gained greater control, but also new effects.
These new effects even allowed me to create changes in the physical being of the person. I could make their heart beat faster, I could slow it right down.
So I started to take it more regularly and if at first I was clumsy and took the trip into places that people didn’t enjoy, it didn’t matter. With each trip I refined my technique. It was with some of the early mistakes that I discovered a new thrill. It was a greater rush than any I had experienced thus far.
I discovered that I could take people to the very brink of death. Together we could journey to edge and together we could stare down into the abyss. This darker tone to the trips scared many of the group away. But some stayed, willing travellers on this new journey. Different people also joined the group, gravitating by word of mouth to this new experience.
Gradually the new group coalesced and the more we tripped together the more in tune we became. Soon I was able to take the whole group on the same journey together. I would manipulate them all to the very edge of life so we could gaze inward to the infinite depths beyond.
Eventually the inevitable happened. A young Goth girl, in love with death joined the group and we took her where she had never ventured before. It seems a common thing with the young, this fascination with death, but the reality is far more than they ever imagined.
I took her deep, a sudden plunge to where her life faded. I held her small hand as we stood on that cliff and looked down. As always there were vague shapes in the darkness. I had on previous journeys tried to reach them, to bring them to me, but they always remained just out of reach. It was odd, but people who had made the same trip on their own had never seen these forms. They only appeared if I was there.
There is a definite boundary between life and death, we always went right up to it, but not beyond. And I stood there with this pretty girl, we both looked down. I remember her name was Melissa. I brought in the rest of group, there were seven of us in total and we stood there together transfixed by the wonder of it.
She stepped off the cliff and fell, dragging me with her.
Then I knew panic, as I fell so the others fell too. I could see the shapes below us become agitated, yet they grew no closer. I tried to pull back, to arrest the fall and rise again. Melissa’s eagerness dragged me further and with me, the rest of us.
With an effort like none I had ever managed before I wrenched free from her grasp and managed to slow my fall. I could see her form continue to fall. With another surge I managed to start rising, but the weight of the others prevented me. Again I pulled, a couple of the other minds slipped from my grasp.
Looking back I wonder, did I let them go intentionally?
The lesser weight freed me and in instant I was back in the world, free from the now dead mind. Struggling for breath I first checked her, and then the other bodies. Three of them lay dead. Besides myself, three others survived and they panicked and ran before I could react. They fled, leaving me alone.
Word of what had happened would soon spread, if I had reacted quicker I could have convinced the others to remain silent, to cover up what had happened. I did not, so I had to do this alone. The house were we lived was old, there was no physical damage to the corpses, so I started an electrical fire, waited for the flames to take hold before making my own escape.