CH. 3: You Take What You Can And You Leave the Rest

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The Selfridge's farm, Thrun's Bounty, much like the ancient pagan god, Thrun for which it was named, giveth and taketh away. As Gregg Selfridge, his father Brandon and his nine-year-old boy, Duane worked on getting the tractor unstuck in the partially harvested cornfield, Gregg hoped it was the former rather than the latter. But, of course, that was up to Thrun.

"Push, Duane," Gregg said to his son and Duane shoved harder into the tractor with his shoulder but its wheel was hopelessly anchored in the sinkhole. They'd been appearing lately here and there throughout the property but until now, nothing was made of it.

Duane shoved harder and his dad told him to push again.

"I can't budge this damn thing, Dad," Duane called out.

"You need to push, Son. With your mind."

Duane looked back at his father and grandfather standing ten feet away. Gregg with his big hands on his broad hips stood six four but somehow Brandon, broader still, looked like the bigger man. Like Duane, both man shared the same crop of sandy brown hair, Gregg's a bit longer than Brandon's close crew cut. But, unlike Duane, his father and grandfather's tanned skin wore the intermittent scars of battles past.

The boy searched his father's face for signs of a joke, but no. The man was serious. Duane could let her rip. Four years and Gregg hadn't used his pyrokinesis and only rarely would he allow any of his children the use of their abilities. "I don't want you making the same mistakes I did," Gregg would say when pressed, but never would he elaborate on the true nature of those mistakes.

"Really, Dad? I can?"

"Come on over, Boy," Brandon said and Duane complied.

As he stood before the head of the Selfridge family, he looked into the chipped flint eyes of Brandon Selfridge. What the older man thought was indiscernible in either the baby blue eye, the same color as all of his progeny, or the milky white one, a souvenir of the times before the truce. The moment hung until Brandon was satisfied then he took his flask from the back pocket of his overalls and held it out to his grandson. Duane looked to his dad as if to say, "Are you sure?" and Gregg nodded that indeed he was.

The boy took the flask from his grandfather and unscrewed the cap. Then, he brought it to his lips and took a swallow. This was not the whisky infused mystic water they sold to the tourists, the concoction that brought about a momentarily clearer way of thinking and a better sense of gratitude. This was the pure stuff. Straight from the well. Straight from the blood of Thrun.

The liquid went down refreshing as it always did and Gregg watched his son's mind awaken with possibility. By the time the boy was his father's age of thirty five, he would be so saturated by the water that he would no longer need to it bring forth his abilities. He would be able to freely use the gift Thrun had bestowed on the Selfridges, each with their own power. His sister. His mom. His aunts and uncles. And his father. All different shades on the spectrum of psionics. All third eye awoke.

"Now," Brandon said to Duane, "Like I taught you. Push the tractor with your mind. Its weight. Its size. Its dimensions. All irrelevant. Only your openness matters. Give it a shot."

Duane walked back to the tractor and stood before it. He closed his eyes. He put out a hand. And he pushed.

At first nothing came of it. Then, the tractor started to quiver in the hole. Then, it budged ever so slightly. Then, it began to shake. Duane began to shake with it in a combination of nerves and inexperience. He squinted his eyes hard. He bit his bottom lip drawing blood. The tractor rose an inch, then two, then six. Duane opened his eyes to see it, then the sight shocked him into a loss of focus and the tractor fell back into the sinkhole.

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