Marie had always been able to see people’s futures. Not the way most people imagined it though. She didn’t see specific events; she did not see scenes play out in her head. No, nothing that useful. If she could see certain events, she might be able to give people useful details or advice. What she saw, instead, were threads. Multi colored threads emanating out from people, thousands, sometimes millions of them. Red, green, blue, all the colors of the rainbow were there.
The colors represented different aspects of their life, she had come to understand. Blue for romance, red for finances, green for family, where blue and green intertwined, marriage. She couldn’t even reliably tell how long a person’s life span would be from the number of threads present. Someone could have a short life overflowing with big events and adventure or a very long, boring life with little variance to cause new threads. The number of threads present was not indicative of life span, merely life events.
The only time it was indicative of time left on earth was toward the end, such as when her grandmother had been dying. Every day that Marie visited her, there were fewer threads and the ones left were faded and harder to see. But knowing someone is dying when they are 70 years old and had cancer was not exactly something you needed her gift for. She still couldn’t predict when that last thread would fade completely away.
Her gift was worthless until it was discovered, quite by accident, that she could spot a murder just before it happened.
She had been standing on a train platform, when a commotion caught her eye, an argument. A man in a tweed coat was standing near the platform when a younger man approached him, yelling and waving his arms around. Marie couldn’t hear what was being said, but as the young man got closer to the man in the coat, the threads started to disappear!
She watched, unaware of what it meant, as the confrontation escalated and the threads began to wave wildly, fraying and snapping and evaporating right in front of her. It was like the time during a storm she had seen live electrical lines that snapped, they danced and twirled and sent sparks flying every direction. She stood frozen, not understanding what was happening until the younger man shoved the older one and she watched the last thread snap as the man fell in front of an oncoming train.
It was only after that she realized what the fraying and snapping threads had meant. She had literally watched his future evaporate, getting shorter and shorter as the younger mans anger hurtled toward homicide.
She drew in a deep breath at the memory as she stood shaking outside the Institute. She had never envisioned a career in law enforcement. She wasn’t at all sure she had the temperament for it. But once word of her ability got out, she was actively recruited. She herself was still unsure how useful her gift would be at actually preventing murders. It would only work right before the murder and if officers knew about an attempted murder in enough time to get her there, then what did they possibly need her for?
Well, there was only one way to find out. She glanced down at the paper in her hand, straightened her back, picked up the suitcase sitting at her feet and marched up the steps to the Institute of Psychic Policing.