It started out very slyly---the thoughts felt like they were his.
The first clue something was not normal was when he started to wonder why he was having these ideas.
Yes, he'd had an interest in astronomy in his youth (and, on into his middle years); but, that ended a decade ago when he'd firmly decided his wife was more important than his all-night vigils at the telescope.
So, why was he thinking about aliens---why was he wondering which stars harbored intelligent life---why was he doing calculations in his head to estimate the scientific odds of other advanced societies?
Before he'd abandoned astronomy, he thought a lot about stars and often wondered about aliens; but, this new set of thoughts was more detailed, more ordered, more important in its implications...
Like that thought last night---Are there aliens listening in on our thoughts...?
Not sitting in their spaceships over the Earth and listening; but, in their homes or offices on their own worlds---sitting many light-years away---listening in on...
"What?"---Wait!---That wasn't just a thought; that was a female voice...
"Franklin, talk to me..."
Right, talk to his own little hallucination...
"I'm not an hallucination, Franklin; I'm real and I've established communication with you through the Plasma environment of space."
"Pretty strange that an alien would speak English so well..."---he didn't even notice he was looking around the room for... what...? A hidden speaker...?
"I admit it is rather strange... My mother learned some of your language from an author she consulted, oh, my, quite a few years ago now; but, I've been doing some major study of your language."
Franklin decided he'd trick himself out of this mad train of thinking and said, "Author---your mother---what?---did they write a book together?"
This is truly insane, he thought; then said: "Can I find a copy of this book?"
The voice gave him a Web address---he typed it into his browser---there was a book, claiming to have been written by a man from Earth and an alien named..."
Franklin's mind was blurring and he decided a lay-down on the couch would be nice...
He sat and, as soon as his back hit the cushions, he passed out.
He hadn't heard the voice for a full twenty-four hours when he decided he'd read the book---it was being offered as a free download...
It wasn't all that long---he finished it in sixteen straight hours---didn't eat, didn't move, just read...
Then, the voice returned.
"So, what do you think, Franklin?"
"Your name is Ararura?"
"Yes, I wrote that last chapter..."