by Derrick Barnes

 First place winner – fiction, Heard/Arlington County Detention Center/OAR writing contest, August 2020

            As Thomas approached the intersection he avoided the turning car by mere seconds. This was not the first time that this has happened. Thomas Adrian was known to be different. Even as a child he was a loner. Although he was born with striking good looks and an abundance of charisma he was standoffish. It was always like he couldn’t quite fit in.

            At three years old he had a terrible fit of colic, that was so bad that it required both parents to miss work. The irony of the episode was that his dad, Thomas Sr., was a managing director of a shipping company who was experiencing downsizing. On that day a disgruntle employee came into the company’s wharehouse and shot eight people. For some it wouldve been considered a coincidence but for some reason the hairs on big Thomas’s neck stood up.

            Thomas Sr vowed to watch his son very closely from that point forward. At age five Thomas Jr saved his sister from falling down a flight of stairs. Six months later Thomas Jr created a scene that alerted police to stopping an attempted robbery of the neighborhood gas station.

            At age twelve Thomas Jr action prevented a fire at his Jr High School. His teacher was preoccupied and forgot a bunsen burner was on near a flamable gas. Tommy turned off the gas a moved the substance.

            As he got more in tuned with his ability Tommy realized that he was gifted with the ability of foreshadowing.

            Unlike most peoples belief he saw glimpses of the future in certain situations but these brief flashes were enough to help him become more aware of his surroundings and the people in his space. This created a super sense of awareness.

            For many years Tommy thought that he lost his ability but on his eighteenth birthday he got a flash of many things all at once. The first vision showed him his mother crying and kneeling on the ground. In his mind Tommy saw this like a movie being fast forward. The scene cut to a water view and tall palm trees. A quick cut again it was a scene of him speaking in front an assembly of some sort.

            Tommy was baffled by the things he was seeing. As the night progressed Tommy’s friend wanted to show him a good time. They arranged a party at a mutual friends house. It was there that one of his friends had tried to give Tommy cocaine. But paying attention to his earlier flashes it all made sense to him now. He was seeing alternatives of his actions or consequences. The first was his mom reacting to the news of his death. The second was the view from his honeymoon suite. The last was him accepting the Nobel prize.

            In reality we have choices daily that define our lives but could just redefine that moment choose wisely and your dreams may become your reality.