Sleep would not come for me no matter how long I laid in bed staring at the back of my eyelids. My head was ringing with an ache like nothing I had ever felt before. It had started during geography class just after lunch. At first I had thought it might just be something I had eaten, but the intensity grew gradually all afternoon despite a couple of pills followed later by a couple more. I laid there in bed on a quiet September night feeling like a salamander was desperately trying to crawl out of my temporal lobe. I had told my parents about the headache but they wanted to give the medicine time to work and said they'd do more in the morning if necessary.

The minutes dragged by as midnight approached. Then it just popped. I'm not sure how else to describe it. Like a balloon had been inflating in my brain building an intense painful pressure and then the next moment it was just gone. I opened my eyes and scanned the room. It was no different than any the other teenage boys' room. Music and chick posters pinned haphazardly to the walls, clothes, food wrappers, and discarded baubles littering the floor. I realized that my mouth was thick and I focused on the soda can across the room on the edge of my desk. As I started to dig myself out of the covers to go get it, the can skittered and fell off the edge of the desk toward me. I threw myself out of the bed knowing that it would be too late and I would have to clean up the mess, but I was flabbergasted to see the can hanging in mid air skewed a little off vertical but not so much as to spill its contents.

Suddenly frightened I stepped back catching the heel of my foot on a forgotten baseball and losing my balance I tumbled sideways into the closet with a thunderous crash. My brain was racing alongside my heart wondering what the hell was happening. I picked myself up as I heard footsteps coming from my parents room. I looked to see that the soda can had finally fallen to the floor discharging its contents in a syrupy puddle. There was a gentle rap at the door.

"Aaron, honey, you O.K.?" my mother asked from behind the door.

"Yeah, sorry mom, just tripped, uh, on a baseball," I replied sitting on the edge of the bed.

"How's your head feeling?" she asked as she cracked the door open to look in on me.

"It's better now, I think, it doesn't hurt anymore," I said still feeling a bit shaken and starting to wonder if maybe something might be really wrong in there still.

"Can I get you anything?" mom asked.

"No, I'm fine mom, just need to get some sleep. Thanks." I said as crawled back into bed and arranged my covers.

"O.K., honey, good night." she responded as she shut the door.

The moment the door closed I tossed the covers aside and sat back up. I was sure I had seen the can floating in mid air. I clambered off the bed to the puddle on the floor. The can just lay there like any other dropped soda can would. I leaned down and stared at it for several seconds, but it just lay there. I picked the can up and tossed it in the vicinity of my garbage can and dug a mildew smelling towel out from under the edge of the bed and pressed it onto the spill. Still in wonder I climbed back in bed and found that I really was feeling tired and was asleep in just moments.

The dream was incredible. I was standing in the sky. Feeling cold thin air blow around me. I wasn't flying, just standing motionless thousands of feet above the ground. I could feel the currents of air swirling and moving, around, below, and above me. I could read the gusts and breezes like a bird on the wing. I scanned the horizon able to see hundreds of miles in all directions, the coastal mountains to the west, the Sierras to the east, the giant California valley stretching north and south beneath me. I turned completely around feeling more free and alive than anyone had ever felt before.

A sharp cracking noise brought me awake in an instant and I bolted upright in bed to see a whirlwind of clothes, trash, and other teenage debris swirling wildly around my room. My skateboard was spinning amongst the stuff and ricocheting off the walls, doors, and window as it spun around. I watched in dumbfounded fascination not noticing for several seconds that there was a pounding at my door.

"What IS going on in here?!" my father demanded as he flung the door open. The horrified shock that instantly spread across his face gave me a second of comfort that I wasn't the only one totally awestruck at what was going on.

"Aaron..." he stammered, his eyes absorbing but not comprehending the sight of my dirty clothes, video games cartridges, and candy wrappers whirling in a tornado in my bedroom.

"Dad..." I began to scream, "HELP!"

I threw myself off the bed and squeezed my eyes shut crawling across the floor wanting this sudden madness to stop. I felt my dad's hands grab my arms and he dragged me into the hall. He swung the bedroom door shut with a slam and we collapsed into a heap on the hallway floor, panting in panicked shock.

"Dad, what.. ?" I couldn't even form the rest of a question.

"It's O.K. It's gonna be O.K." He gripped me tightly in his arms to comfort both of us.

We had sat there shivering for only a few seconds when there was a louder clattering noise and then a complete stillness from the other side of the door. We both stared at the door like it was somehow going to open itself to reveal what lay beyond, but it merely hung there ignorant of our desires. Slowly, my father released me and started to maneuver toward the door.

"Dad, don't," I said.

"It's O.K., Aaron, I just want to see," he replied, but I could see he was shaking nearly as bad as I was still. He reached out and twisted the knob and gently pushed the door. It swung slowly open revealing my room no longer swirling in unseen forces. The disastrous mess looked rearranged but not altogether different from how my room usually looked. A lonely sock dangled from the ceiling fan which was still spinning a lazy circle.

"Dad, what the fuck was that?" I begged for an answer.

His head snapped around towards me as I realized the word that had popped out of my mouth, but in that instant he neither scolded me nor answered because I could read the same question all over his face.

"But... what do we do?" my mom asked as we all sat in the living room. It had been an hour since dad had pulled me out of my room and so far nothing else was flying of its own accord. We had told her what had happened and there was only the slightest trace of skepticism still left on her face. I had also told them both about the soda can and then the dream. My father, not much of a drinker, had dug his bottle of scotch out of the cabinet, and was finishing his second short glass.

"Hell if I know," he told her. He wasn't shaking anymore but he still had a shell shocked look like I must have looked as well.

"Should we call the police?" mom asked.

"And tell them what Helen, the house is haunted? Aaron's clothes were flying? They'll send us to the loony bin or something."

"Well..." but she couldn't think of anything more to say.

My father set his glass down on the coffee table and leaned heavily back into the sofa letting out a deep sigh. My gaze focused in on the glass with a bare line of scotch still coating the bottom and for a moment I craved a drink for myself. As though the glass were reading my mind it raised up from the table and silently floated towards me. In stunned shock, I reached my hand out as the glass floated nearer.

"Jack..." mom gasped. Mom's eyes were wider than I thought at all possible as she stared at me with a mix of horror and fascination. Dad looked over at the tone in mom's voice and saw the glass just as it came to rest in my hand. His eyes matched mom's. Seconds dragged away as we all sat staring at each other utterly dumbstruck.

"Aaron..." dad finally said. It wasn't a question or a statement. It seemed to be all his mind could identify in its confusion.

"Dad." was all I could reply.

Eventually morning came. We had all fallen asleep in the living room. Mom and dad on the sofa and myself in the recliner. Despite it being a Thursday morning I didn't get up for school, and dad didn't get up for work. We woke up and sat there not saying anything for what seemed like forever. Finally my bladder told me it was time to do something. My parents both seemed to jump a bit as I got up suddenly from the recliner. Before they could say anything I mumbled, "Bathroom."

I went upstairs to my bathroom and did what nature required, then spent a minute looking at myself in the mirror. I didn't see anything different. I looked, in my opinion, like any other 14 year old guy. Recently grown taller but my body hadn't quite compensated for the change leaving me looking long and skinny. A tangle of brown hair my mom desperately wanted to cut hanging into my equally brown eyes. I looked and felt a little ragged around the edges.

As I lingered there in the bathroom I tried to come to some realization of what had happened. It was obvious now that whatever was going on was my fault, but that didn't mean I knew what I could do about it. I stepped back from the counter and focused for a moment on my toothbrush willing it to come to me, and dutifully it lifted itself from the cup and floated to me. Rather than taking hold of it with my hand I let the thought of controlling it fill my mind. I though about it rising upwards, and it did, then down, and it did exactly as I thought.

I finally plucked it from the air and glanced back at myself in the mirror. Now I saw the change, I was smiling from ear to ear. It felt like a switch had been flipped in my heart and brain. I flung the bathroom door open and dashed back downstairs. My parents had moved from the living room to the kitchen. They were sipping cups of microwaved instant coffee and it looked like I had interrupted a discussion, but I didn't much care at the moment.

"I can do mind over matter!" I blurted out in excitement.

They both stared at me for a moment as though I was a babbling child that they were just placating. Finally my father let out a deep breath.

"That is about what I was thinking," he said, "but telekinesis isn't real, Aaron."

I heard the words he said but wasn't sure what he meant. I was so excited I carried on.

"Watch this," I almost shouted in giddy excitement. I looked around the kitchen and spotted the jar of instant coffee crystals across the table and wrapped my thoughts around it. The jar levitated and started drifting straight to me as I knew it would. Midway over the table my father flung a hand out and grabbed the jar pulling it out of the air. I felt the tug inside my head the same as if he had grabbed something out of my hand.

"Hey!" I exclaimed.

"AARON!" he shrieked back at me. "You can't do this!"

I rocked back at the venom in his voice. There was something in the force and anger that blew me away.

"But, dad. This is awesome." I cried.

"Aaron, it's just not right. It can't be." he said, calmer now. "Sit down."

"Aaron, how are you doing this?" mom asked a moment later.

"I. Well." I stammered, "I'm not exactly sure how, I just think about moving something and it does it."

My father's expression wavered in curiosity and disbelief. "There has to be some explanation for this. It's just not … right." he finished.

"What do you mean it's not right, dad?" I questioned.

"People can't do that, Aaron, it's not right. It's not … normal." he responded.

"Maybe we should call pastor Carter," mom interjected.

Dad and I both rolled our heads toward her as though she had spoken something in Swahili.

"Well, I don't know," she blabbered "maybe there's something miraculous about this."

Dad's head cocked a little as he obviously mulled the possibility over. My chin dropped to my chest in frustration at the implication that I might be possessed by the spirit of God... or worse.

"I'm sure there's no point, honey but if you want to call Rick, go ahead," dad conceded.

Mom left the kitchen to use the phone in her room, which I vaguely thought was odd, since there was a phone right there in the kitchen.

Dad and I sat there for several minutes saying nothing glancing nervously away from each other every time we looked at one another.

"What should I do," I asked.

"Hell if I know," he responded. "This is way, way beyond me," dad said with a tone of defeat to his voice.

As I sat there I thought about my father. He had at many times seemed like my worst enemy in life. He spent most of his time telling me all the things I did wrong, what I couldn't do, where I couldn't go and all for reasons I refused to understand. Here was the first time I had really found myself in a position where all I wanted was for him to tell me what to do and he couldn't help me.

Mom came back into the kitchen and sat back down to her tepid cup of coffee taking a delicate sip.

"He'll be here shortly," she said.

"What did you tell him?" dad asked.

"I told him that something was going on with Aaron that we didn't understand, and that we needed his help," she explained.

"Did you tell him about the flying shit all over the house?" dad questioned with a flare of anger.

"What the hell is your problem?" mom shot back.

"Jesus, Helen, what do you think my problem is?"

"Jack, I don't think now is a time to take the Lord's name in vain." she tried to soothe him.

"Really? That's what you fucking think this is? Some demonic possession shit?" dad was starting to build a head of steam.

Religion had been a sore spot in their relationship off and on over the years. Mom had always maintained her faith in the church. Raised in the Catholic tradition she had "reformed" as she called it in her late twenties and left the parish for the First Christian Congregation on the southern edge of town. Dad had been raised baptist but had fallen in and out faith in his adult life, seeking comfort in the church only at the lowest times in his life. When grandpa and grandma died suddenly in a traffic accident several years back dad had spent months seeking comfort in the bible, but once the hurt started to fade, his devotion had faded with it. While not a disbeliever he classified himself as a skeptical believer.

For myself I thought that the whole idea of church was pretty dull. It was just like another day at school. You sat in a big room with other people who were your friends but you weren't allowed to talk or have fun with them because someone who claimed to know more than you was in the front of the room telling you what to believe. I hadn't really put much thought into god, I had just accepted it as fact because everyone else around me seemed so certain of Him.

"Can we pray?" mom asked.

Dad let out a bit of an exasperated sigh, but dutifully stretched his hands out across the table to each of us and because it was such a practiced exercise we joined our hands together.

" Our heavenly Father," mom began, "we ask you this day..."

As mom repeated the words I had heard so many times in my life I felt a feeling of easiness come over me. The soothing tones of her voice combined with the simple repetitiveness of the familiar words helped me to forget some of the strangeness of the past few hours and begin to believe that everything was, and would continue to be normal.

"Amen," mom stated solemnly.

Our heads all came up together and I immediately noticed that there were tears streaming down the faces of both my parents. They moved quickly to wipe them away, but seeing the tears brought all the fear and insecurity crashing back into what had been momentarily relieved by the prayer.

Mom got up from the table and offered to put together some food. Dad and I nodded quietly and got up to leave the kitchen.

"Should probably clean up a bit before Rick gets here," my dad commented as he headed out the kitchen door and turned for the stairs. I followed dad up the stairs and stopped in front of the door to my room. I hesitated to open the door. Dad was moving down the hall towards his own room and saw me pause.

"You all right, Aaron?" he asked.

I turned my head towards him and he chuckled lightly at the screwed up look on my face.

"I mean, you know, other than …" he stuttered.

"Yeah, I'm just a little freaked out still. I don't know what's going on." I replied.

"It'll be all right son," then he added, almost as an afterthought, "Somehow."

I opened the door to my room wondering what I would find and was relieved to see that it was still just my room. Nothing was flying or swirling or doing anything but lying perfectly still as inanimate objects are supposed to.

I threw myself down on my bed and tried to ignore everything bouncing around inside my head. Part of me was still exuberantly excited and wanted to run screaming down the street showing everyone what I was capable of, but the other side was still scared as hell, because like dad had said, it's just not right.

I lay there for several minutes but couldn't come up with any reasonable explanations for anything and without understanding it was impossible to think of what to do next, as far as the telekinesis went anyway. I sat up and looked around at my room. Rather suddenly I started laughing as I realized I was given the gift every teenager the world over dreamed about. I lay back on my bed thought about all my clothes picking themselves up and throwing themselves into the laundry hamper, and with silent glee I watched it happen. At least I thought my mom would appreciate that.