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|This is an interview with a character who can see the future and describes what she does with that knowledge.||
Foresight: An interview
“It’s simple really,” she explained in a voice devoid of emotion, “seeing the future I mean. It’s really not very difficult at all. We can all anticipate where something is going, what ends certain people must have. Haven’t we all seen the tragic poet enough for that?”
“Don’t you feel your stereotyping?”
“Not particularly, though I can see how you might take it that way,” she shrugged. “I’m actually trying to make the process understandable. Really, that’s the most difficult part. It isn’t the actual viewing but really understanding what you’re seeing that’s key. Once you figure that out it’s easy for anyone.”
“Are you saying that anyone can see the future then?”
“No.” The answer was abrupt and there was a pause after it as the young woman looked out the window into the clouded sky. “No, certainly not. If anyone could do it, then it would only be natural that everyone would do it. I suppose I’m just not being very clear, but you must understand it’s difficult to explain something which is by nature unexplainable.”
“Of course, of course,” accompanied by an understanding nod. And of course, there was no real understanding.
“What I mean is that to some extent the future is expected, so anyone can come to guess with a certain probability what is to come. What makes this an art is decreasing the probability that other events will occur. Though the future is dominated by the actions of each person, there are certain actions which can limit others.”
“I’m not sure I understand.”
She considered, then smiled. “Given your history, the type of person you are and so forth there are many different things you could do in the next few moments. If I continue to speak, the probability is extremely high you will continue to listen, and if I pause you might wait or ask a question. However, what if I suddenly attempted to strike you? The probability is very, very high that you will react in a defensive fashion. My action would then have determined your future reaction.”
“Alright, but you couldn’t be sure I would react in that fashion. I might not be paying attention and then not notice you were going to hit me. Then I would have no reaction at all.”
“That’s certainly one of the strings.”
“Aw, that’s what I call the possible futures. At times there are uncountable numbers of them, while at other times there are very few.”
“By few, how many do you mean?”
“Um…” she considered, “usually under a thousand.”
Incredulous. “A few is a thousand?”
“Well you have to understand that usually there are predominant strings which push the rest to the background. These are the strings that are most likely to occur. So usually I only focus on those at the very forefront of my view, though there are many others which I might attempt to bring about.”
“And do all these strings centre around you as the viewer?”
She paused. “This is also hard to explain, so maybe you’ll understand and maybe you wont, but each string connects me to every other object in the universe. You really have to have an open mind to view the future, to understand that everything is interconnected in some fashion or another. In addition, I don’t see this future as a movie that occurs in sequence. That would be much too slow, we can’t follow events like that at a speed that would allow the near-instantaneous understanding which I encounter. Rather it’s more of a colleague with an implied order. I’m always in the picture, but so is everything else.”
“But wouldn’t that be enormous?”
“Oh absolutely. It’s a size beyond comprehension, and multi-layered as well!”
“Then how can you see it all at once?”
“Well, just like the strings I don’t focus on all the pictures. Usually I only examine those which dominate the colleague.”
“Aw, I see.” Not really. “But I suppose the big question is what do you do if you really can see the future?”
“Well, that’s what brought about all this attention, isn’t it? How useful is it?”
“It’s certainly made you a fortune on the stock market, didn’t it?”
She shrugged. “I did the research as well, I didn’t entirely depend on my foresight.”
“But you have depended on it in other cases, if I’m not mistaken.”
She grinned wolfishly. “Yes, for years. Would you believe I’ve never once gotten less than perfect on an exam? I had this system where I would write the exam as quickly as possible, usually finishing in ten minutes. Then, I would take the exam forward to when it was handed back and see all the errors I made. From there it was just a matter of rewriting the exam with all the correct answers,” she shrugged and tossed her hair. “It was a system as perfect as my final grade.”
“So then why did you drop out of university?” the interviewer persisted.
She smiled. “University teaches a method by which one can live. I didn’t need that, so I didn’t see the purpose in staying. The fact is, all my life I’ve had the chance to learn exactly what I’ve wanted and not worry about that which I was uninterested in. I see myself as well rounded, extremely well read, and I have an understanding of current events which extends beyond that of almost any other person. I don’t see what I missed,” she finished with a small laugh.
“So you don’t see your life as deceitful?”
“No. It would be if I didn’t use my gift, like pretending I couldn’t speak a foreign language when I really could. Each person has an advantage in life of some fashion, foresight is mine.”
“But yet the answers on those exams weren’t yours, were they? You didn’t go through classes the way students normally do.”
“Each person moves through life differently. This is my way, and I couldn’t imagine living any other way.”
“And what are your plans in the long run?”
“I’m horrible at long run planning, honestly. I can see so many possibilities it’s almost impossible for me to plan to follow any one of them. I do enjoy the relatively short run though. Right now I’m writing a book on the history of political uprisings.”
“History? I would have thought you’d be writing about the future, not the past.”
“Naw. As soon as you start writing about what’s suppose to happen it starts changing rather radically. Especially if it deals with a wider and wider range of people. The fact is, the permanent nature of the book ensure that it only retains value in the telling of events which have already transpired. Those yet to come it can only be implied but not spoken of with any degree of surety. In addition, as a student of the future I constantly see the errors of the past repeated. If I could write a book which touched enough people, made them understand the value of the past, perhaps these mistakes might not continue to occur.”
A pause. “When you say ‘if I could write a book which touched enough people’, you mean that you’re writing this book with each word drawn on the future knowledge of how successful it will be, don’t you?”
“It sounds like you’re playing God.”
“No, God’s playing with me. It’s the will of one beyond myself who endows each of us with a gift to lead the world. Some take the chance and stand, and others hold the gift to their hearts and follow in breathless awe. I’m trying to lead, but really I’ve done very little so far. It’s what to come that I’m best at.”
“Aw yes, foresight.”
“Yes, foresight,” she whispered, smiling secretively.
“And just one last question: what dominates this moment?”
A glance out the window once more. Rain had marked the glass. “I see a storm of butterflies with clipped wings,” she replied cryptically, rising to her feet. “The outcomes of their efforts are beyond a simple statement, so I suppose you’ll just have to wait for the future to arrive in its own time.”
“No probabilities? No stock watches?”
“Just a reminder. The future is based on probabilities which are dictated by our own actions, so there are no sureties. As such, we are the designers of our own lives.”
Trying to catch her before she left. “And what will you do now?”
“Now?” A laugh over the shoulder. “I suppose I’ll go make another fortune in options trading,” she shrugged. “Oh, and finish my best-selling book. I hope you’ll read it, it’ll stay at number one for thirty full weeks.”
“Probably,” was added.
A haughty laugh. “Sure,” she replied, closing the door of the interview room.
|Prickle||As A God - Part One|
|The Coda||The Upside-Down Palace - Part 1|
|As A God - Part Three|