Lanuleta University - Psychology
Where Things Start To Get Complicated
I didn't actually slack off that night. I read a good bit of the assigned reading after dragging myself back from my later classes. Then, I went with both Berns to dinner in the cafeteria and drowned my confusion and anxieties in several glasses of root beer.
Neither probed about my first day. Both ate ravenously. Mostly, they just talked about the game. I nodded at points, but I was mostly curious if Nasira would make another appearance.
I thought I saw her a few times. One girl actually had a reflect ability to present what others wanted to see. I could tell because her Nasira-like skin was see-through.
The two Berns did give me a look at my searching gaze. They shared a couple gestures between themselves but didn't pry.
*The Berns are really cute together. Two for one deal too.*
I imagined music drowning out the girlish musings of my voice, and that kept her at bay for a while.
Back at the room, Quinn returned late and showed off a clear soprano voice as well as a perfect iteration of a couple of cartoon characters. His ability to mimic any voice may not have been as powerful as some, and it took a good deal of work for him, but I always found myself smiling at his skill.
Quinn hummed and tried to vary the pitch before mentioning, "I'm gonna try for the improv night. They have a little time for standup, and I have this routine in my head which will be perfect if I can keep the voices straight."
I assured him I would be there.
Sean eventually came out with his light-stick and a can floating over his hand. He muttered, "Anyone want some snacks? I feel like snacks…"
Quinn asked how Sean's "Jedi meditation" went. Sean shrugged and replied, "Still but a learner am I…" Then he walked off down the hall.
I thought at first Sean had at least three abilities, but he was just really good at his primary one: the ability to direct quantum energy to move and manipulate light and small objects.
I indulged some video watching with Quinn late into the evening until my textbook called to me, in the form of the voice.
Before I could actually get to reading it, I had to mull again why I couldn't just get the entire text downloaded to my brain. I remembered my dad saying something by way of explanation when I asked in high school. It had to do with how mental data was processed, encoded, and retrieved. It was much better for particular facts and numbers in small documents. I still had to grumble that magical technology wasn't better.
Most of the reading involved the science of psychology and magical advances in recent decades. It mentioned harmonizing between minds along with shared experiences and new scientific explanations for mental illness.
It was like a gloss of the whole course and too much for me. I read a snippet on the nervous system and how human physiology had adapted to respond to the presence of magic.
I knew I wasn't gonna remember any of it for class, but I did a bit of random highlighting to feel better about my effort. As my mental reading of the words turned into the last song I could remember, I knew to set the book aside. Even the voice was distracted.
*I wonder what male Nasir would look like naked...*
I glared in no specific direction and booted up my computer. It didn't take long after checking my messages for me to start thinking about my writing.
I was truly glad that the class was consecutive for only two days and then just Friday. And it was my only one on Friday.
Listening to the Berns play their guitars was nice, but I still couldn't find the words I wanted to write. I squinted at the screen and then gently lay my head next to the keyboard. I had plenty to say but talking about it concerned me.
According to the syllabus, the professor would read through these and make notes.
Shutting my eyes and typing helped but also left me sleepy. I nodded off for what had to be just a second.
The car was out of control. Nasira screamed and clutched tight to me. I whispered, "It'll be okay. Hold onto me."
I thought I saw Professor Kellemann standing in the middle of the street. I had no control of the car, but I somehow managed to swerve away from him. Just past him, I thought I saw something massive and black. It was blurry. I kept my eyes on Nasira. She was crying. I clutched her hand.
Before I could say anything else, we hit something hard.
I spasmed in the chair and looked up. The screen was still on my write-up. I shook my head.
I was tired, and I needed this day to be over. But I didn't feel like heading to sleep so soon. So, I wrote as best I could.
I mentioned my guess for the class-ending vision was "reversed roles". I brought it up in opposition to the first one. Confident vs. passive. And I mentioned an echo of my life in a little flash.
*I'm proud of you, Miguel.*
I clicked off the computer.
The rest of the evening was uneventful. My shower was relaxing and I sat up a while listening to quiet music with my headphones until I was ready for bed.
I was antsy about sleep with my mind going. The voice seemed to have started sleeping on her own after my shower. At least she didn't snore inside my head. Quinn's peculiar snore, which shifted from a light soprano to a deep baritone and back, was enough.
But I transitioned over to sleep once all the worries settled.
"Miguel? You're here?"
"What? Who is this?"
There was only a diffuse light all around.
"It's me. You always hear me."
"Yeah. Can you see me? I can feel you. Stronger than usual and different."
"I'm not sure. I can't make out anything."
"Crap. Oh, well. Guess this is a weird sort of dream or something."
"I guess so too."
"It's kinda nice though. Better than your nightmares. I feel more like a person like this. Like I can almost remember my name."
"It's not bad. A little weird. Like a cloud."
"It's usually darker."
"You live here?"
"Yeah. It's the only place I know. I don't like to talk about it because I get scared I'm in some sort of heaven or hell. Or limbo."
"I'm so sorry."
"It's okay. Not much I can do about it. I get to see out through you all the time, so I don't feel too bad."
The area was slowly getting brighter.
"I think you're waking up, Miguel. Sorry for being rough on you sometimes."
"See you on the other side."
Light blasted through the window to my right. I shielded my bleary eyes and cracked my neck. I could really use a drink of water.
I muttered the same back to the voice. I knew we'd talked in my dream. That was very unusual. I couldn't remember the last time it happened.
She sounded especially soft-spoken. Since I had only fragmentary memories of the dream, she filled me in on what we talked about. I didn't remember saying much of it, but I nodded to myself as she recounted it.
When she was done, she added --
*And the little dream before. You were in an out of control car with Nasira. And you saw Kellemann. And something big and black.*
She told me what I said there too. I remembered some of it, but her recollection was perfect.
It all was interesting, but I wasn't sure what it meant. It could just be plain dreaming.
*It felt so precise though. You've had dreams before, but I've only experienced as much as you could recall.*
It was possible they weren't dreams so much as something magically-related.
As I made a quick little breakfast of toast and cereal, I checked on my computer for comparable reactions. Non-linear-time dreaming magic came up. They could be pieces of the future. What intrigued me more were the links about parallel realities.
That could make sense of the glimpse of me as a girl in my dorm.
*But why now?*
A great question and one to put to my magical-development counselor.
I rushed to their office before class. My counselor was actually in the meditation room. He was a bit of what my mom liked to call "a hippy in the old days".
*I like him...*
So did I. His office was at the end of the sensory immersion hall. I knocked and was invited in by a soft, feminine voice.
In a bare corner of the room, a woman with short, light tan hair stretched in a variety of poses. She had her left leg up high and her right rigid as she bent forward.
She effortlessly bent her head towards me and smiled. "Miguel! It's lovely to see you. I'm practicing my gender-changing focus. I'll read your thoughts in a moment or we can talk."
I sat in the chair in front of her desk with my bag set to the side. I'd never seen my counselor in female mode before, but I knew he/she had a secondary skill similar to Lanu's. When I first visited, he told me to think about all the things I needed to tell him. I was insanely nervous, but he was very professional. He couldn't read all thoughts (same with most telepathic magic). He could only access what I was currently thinking about.
I was a bit nervous actually. She looked very lovely as a lady in a sleek, gray bodysuit. Her figure was amazing and with each clench of her leg, her entire body seemed to suck in and flow out.
She breathed and her breasts pressed out on her front. Breathe in and they swelled. Out and they seemed to want to return but her clenching held them where they were. Her hips swelled as well.
With one last breath, she eased her leg down and stretched her arms a few times.
She gave a soft, energized little giggle. "My control is getting better. I used to get a headache holding a female form. But it's simple with a little focus. I should give you some exercises. They help…for anything."
I nodded to her. She sat down and whispered, "Don't spread any rumors around, but I'm trying to go female permanently. It's my dream to have a baby when I can hold it all the time. Brenda can't wait!"
She looked glowing already. She waved her hand. "But enough about me. Something is bothering you. I can sense it from your neurotransmitters. May I read your thoughts or did you want to talk?"
After a moment of consideration, I nodded and told her she could read me.
First, she picked up on my feelings about her physical form, which she met with a chuckle. "I'm flattered. Just relax and let what's bothering you come out."
I went to Nasira first. My sudden experience with my pompous self.
And I went on to things in class. Then being a girl with boy Nasira. I focused over and over on issues of the little flashes into what could be other realities. I just couldn't understand how this started.
My counselor leaned forward. "Magical abilities can be triggered for any reason. Sometimes it comes with age. Sometimes it just takes the right confluence of events."
I really hoped that I didn't turn into a girl again.
"What do you mean?"
The reality where I was a girl and Nasira was a boy.
"A different girl? And what's a 'boy'?"
My skin tingled.
"Your tension is rising. Is something wrong?"
The counselor rose from the table and walked over to me. I could tell from the roundness of her belly that she was pregnant.
"Yes, we talked about that. What's wrong, Michelle?"
My senses settled. I shook my head.
"I gotta go. Thanks for your help."
Before the counselor could say anything, I bolted from the room. My body moved and responded in ways I'd never felt before. Shivering, I made my way to the bathrooms at the back of the meditation center. There were two doors and they weren't distinguished.
Inside, I looked at my reflection. It was much like the time before. My face was a little smoother even from then. My eyebrows were thin. My voice was distressingly high. I wore a light blue top with narrow sleeves and white trim all around.
My jeans were a dark brown denim. They felt close around my hips. I laid a hand across the front of my jeans for a second and sighed. My hands were so small and my arms felt skinny. I grimaced in the mirror and my lips looked huge.
It was then I noticed that I hadn't heard from the voice in a while.
I nudged her with thoughts. I did everything I could to get her attention.
But I didn't hear her at all.
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Bio: I'm MajorKerina and I love to collaborate creatively with a group of friends to make tales where people have their genders, identities, and very realities questioned, contorted, and turned upside-down. I like slice-of-life with a spicing of the supernatural, strange, or surreal. Reality with a scent of the impossible. You can find me on DeviantArt, Twitter, ScribbleHub, and other places.