A teaser/excerpt from the short story by Brian A. Plank.

As of now, I am inside your mind.

Having said that, you have already formed your next thought.

And again, now you’ve moved on to your next idea.

If only time would stand still, perhaps you could catch up with your thoughts…

I am betting odds over evens that your current thoughts are a mix of confusion and curiosity. And they are intensifying as you continue to wait for me to end this sentence and begin to reveal what I am about to say next.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock…

If I may, I am now guessing that you are cautiously intrigued about where I am about to take you. Or are you wondering whether you want to continue on with this little exploration with me?

There are no rules here – you can do as you like. But what might you miss if you stop reading now?

As you continue reading, my words are those of your conscious thoughts. You are following me wherever I lead you. I can plant images and ideas inside your mind. I can influence you. There is no limit to what I can do – as long as you keep reading.

Puppies! There, I made you think of cute, little, tiny dogs, didn’t I?

I must admit, I like this power. I am God-like.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock…

One of the first things I would like to share with you is that I am a creep.

Wait! I want to take that back…

Perhaps it’s more accurate to say I am a weirdo.

I am far from being a typical or average person in innumerable ways. Ask anyone who really knows me. I am a statistical outlier – I reside way out on the fringes. I don’t think I make anyone feel uneasy when in my presence like I would if I was a creep – so yeah, let’s stick with saying I am a weirdo.

No two people are the same. Not even identical twins. But people may be similar – in thoughts, actions, and beliefs.

Which is why religion works for so many – people of a common mindset like to congregate to share their faith and ideas.

It is also why religion fails.

Perhaps you wonder if you should stop reading now… or do you want to see this through?

Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock…

Still here?

Good! Let’s have a little fun. Let me think…

Hmmm… I think that it’s time for a game of virtual Russian roulette.

Imagine a gun – a revolver with six bullet chambers.

Now add a single bullet into one of the chambers.

Spin and close the cylinder and put the gun to your head.

Pull the trigger…

Did you do it?

Could you feel the resistance of the trigger against your finger? How did it make you feel knowing that with only an infinitesimal amount of additional pressure that the gun would fire – possibly putting a bullet into your brain? Did you flinch just as the hammer fell? Did you swallow a deep hard breath – perhaps your last? What was your final thought while anticipating the final moment?

If I’m doing my job well, there is a one-in-six chance you are dead – metaphorically speaking, of course.

I wonder – do you think you have the balls to try it again?

Go ahead – spin the cylinder and pull the trigger again.

Continue to repeat this process over and over – until it drives you mad, or you end up dead. One or the other will eventually happen…

With every sentence or paragraph that I feed you, are you waiting and wondering – when or will my words blow your mind?

Admit it – you cannot resist – you want to see what I’m going to say next.

You need to know.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock…

I cannot promise you that you will get from my message what I hope for you if you continue pulling at that metaphorical trigger. But I guarantee I made you feel something.

It is what I do.

And I’m pretty good at what I do.