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The Gift (Part One)

The crowded train was full of wet, cold, tired people trying desperately to get home from another bleak day at work.  Jocelyn gripped the overhead rail tightly as her body swayed with the rocketing train; she grimaced as the man behind her intentionally rubbed his body against hers and nodded absently at the false apology he muttered.  She knew what he was really thinking and he wasn’t sorry, he’d meant to do it.  She knew what they were all thinking. Their thoughts clambered for attention inside Jocelyn’s mind; and Jocelyn, too exhausted to block them as she normally did, simply rubbed her aching head and prayed the train would hurry to her station before this guy got another cheap thrill. 
His thoughts were mean and sexual and Jocelyn, though no prude, was mildly disgusted by the fantasy he’d concocted.  Unable to take it any longer, Jocelyn made her way into the next car, offering pardons as she made her way and ignoring the rude comments people’s minds threw at her.  She had no choice but to share the shopping list of the woman in the brown knit, worry along with the man whose job was in jeopardy, chase bad guys with the little boy whose mother just wished he’d take a quick nap, and fume at the woman sleeping with the angry blonde’s husband.  Societal niceties are lost on a woman capable of hearing the true thoughts of those around her, but after thirty-three years, Jocelyn was accomplished at maintaining a mask of ignorance. 
For one brief second, as Jocelyn moved between the cars and the cold air swirled around her, there was silence. She would think about it later, that last second of peace, before she lost any degree of control over her own thoughts and emotions.  That last second before she would yearn to share only all their ordinary, awful mundane thoughts and feelings.
The moment she opened the door to the next car, she was filled with a thirst like she had never experienced.  It was an urge so strong it dimmed the thoughts of everyone around her including her own.  Jocelyn stumbled further in the door; reaching for the nearest seat back as her body and her mind revolted. She craved…blood. And then, just as suddenly as the thirst had taken her, pleasure filled her as blood, hot and coppery, seemed to flood her mouth. It slid over her tongue and down her throat; it burned hot like the whiskey she’d snuck in her grandfather’s barn twenty years earlier. Her mouth watered even as her stomach roiled and Jocelyn’s mind screamed in disgust at the lust that swirled deep in her groin. 
She could hear someone else’s heart beat slowing as the flow of blood tapered off. Jocelyn felt tears sliding down her own cheeks as she listened to the final beat. The warm glow of satisfaction, satiation and well-being was obscene and shamed her so completely. Wiping the tears from her face, Jocelyn cast her eyes surreptitiously around the car, wondering whose thoughts she’d tapped into, praying it was only some perverts twisted fantasy
Knowing it wasn’t. 


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