Kitty Johnson

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Excerpt from “The Omega Men”:

If an afternoon in Alabama ever decided to be beautiful, then its beauty would explode in long bursts of mute golden dust and an eternal dream Egyptian feeling. That was why Darrin kept gazing out the window as Wright finished his demonstration of the attic weight room.

“Well, that’s it. That’s the end of the grand big-welcome-howdy dorm tour for you, the little junior college rube.” Then Wright looked longingly back at the weights and sighed. “So, tell me, Darrin, what’s your major?”

“History,” Darrin murmured. The long shadows were motionless on the college yard.

“Arrrghh,” said Wright. “Me am history major. I gots lizards in my hair.”

The shadows looked like history themselves, and Darrin felt very safe when he was looking at history.

“Looks like you’re not much of a fighter.” Wright’s voice sounded neutral, disinterested.

“Um, I’m not sure that’s true,” Darrin said. “I mean, all battles are won by their historians.”

But he found it difficult to look directly at Wright as he said this. His gift was intruding again. For as long as Darrin could remember, he had had the horrifying blessing of omniscience, so he already knew this attic weight room would be someone’s undoing. And he also knew that he and Wright would be involved in the whole miserable scene. It was all as clear as the sunlight floating between the dust motes.

“Do you have a girlfriend?” Wright demanded.

Darrin felt stunned, trapped. He finally raised his head and gave Wright a sober look. “You surely know the answer to that,” he said.

End of Excerpt

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