“No great discovery was ever made
without a bold guess.”
“What is that? Where did you get it?”
“I found it at the bottom of the pond.”
“Max, what is it?”
“I don’t know.”
“Is it glowing? Can I hold it?
I take the crystalline Orb in my good hand. Holding it up to the light from the window, I see it has lines and shapes on the inside. The lines and shapes are bending the light.
“Why is it warm?”
“I don’t know.”
“It doesn’t look natural. Do you think someone made it?”
“I don’t know. Mom said you came by yesterday. Sorry, I was not here. You should have called.”
“I don’t mind the walk. Walking is part of owning it. The counselor says I need to get out. What are you going to do with it?”
Before Max responds, I hold it up to the light again, and watch the colors refract. I think it is getting warmer the longer I hold it up and look at it.
“I am going to keep it. It feels… I like it.”
“You should keep it. It is cool. Do you want to play X-Box?”
“Sure. But no wimping out this time.”
“I feel good today. Today is the day I am going to win. I’ll beat you one-handed.”
“Yeah, right. No way.”
Max is happy I am making jokes and trying to be positive. I can tell, he senses I am not brooding today. I play the best games I have ever played. Max still wins but it was close. We switch games. Max picks a game I can control easily with my bad hand. Max senses I might win. Before he presses play, we feel it.
“Max… Do you feel something?”
“You feel it too?”
“I think so.”
“Jamie and them said I was crazy. But I feel it. Do you feel it too?”
“Yeah, it is sort of pulsing.”
Max picks up the Orb and hands it to me.
“Is it getting hotter?”
“Yeah, it heats up then cools off. I think it is connected to me or something. I feel it most when it is the warmest. Do you think it is alive?”
“Alive? Like a human or an animal? No. It is a mineral of some type.”
“I looked on the internet, I could not find any minerals or rocks that are exactly like this thing. The closest I could find was a geode. But this is like the insides of a geode with no outer covering.”
I ponder Max’s comments, turning it over in my good hand, then set it down between us and pick up my controller
“Come on, I am going to win.”
Max is beaming at me. He knows our talk from the other day has worked. The last game was the closest I have ever come to winning. Max wins the next game, but we high five like I won.
“Max, there is something special about that thing.”
“Yeah, I think you are right. Let’s do an experiment. I am going to think on something while holding the Orb. Then you do the same thing. We’ll compare what happens.”
Max keeps his legs crossed Indian style but wiggles and turns to face me. I use my hands to reposition and face Max. Picking up the Orb, Max holds it in both hands. Closing his eyes, he is concentrating on something. I sit quietly for several minutes.
“Max, something was stinging my skin.”
“Yeah, like a lot of ant bites only a harder. What were you doing?”
“I… Uh… I was sort of dreaming. No… That is not right. I was seeing something. Jac, I think the Orb shows me things.”
“Things? What things?”
“Jac, you are going to save a girl from choking.”
Max drops the Orb and grabs his side with both hands.
“Max, what is wrong?”
“I don’t know. I just had a bad pain in my side. It is gone now.”
“What did you see in your dream?”
Max grabs his side again, grimacing. When he looks up, his smile is sideways.
“It doesn’t want me to tell you what I saw.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I don’t think the orb wants me to tell you what I saw.”