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The Visionary (standard:Flash, 1792 words)
Author: Reid LaurenceAdded: Feb 22 2006Views/Reads: 2360/1339Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Has the great Nostradamus come back to us in the guise of a twenty-first century janitor? Read on and find out...

“You gotta meet this guy. C'mon, it's your day off, isn't it?” 

“Yeah, I know it is, but I don't wanna waste it on some nut either.” 

“You'll be sorry if you don't,” urged Don persistently. “A lot of
important people have met him and asked for readings. He's already 
filled up volumes worth of clairvoyant quatrains. He's been in all the 
papers. Are you sure you never heard of him?” “So the guy likes little 
poems, so what. And in answer ta your question... no, I never heard of 
‘im. I gotta barbeque ta go to Don, I don't have time for this.” 

“What time does the barbeque start?” asked Don, a renowned scientist in
his own right but a skeptic of clairvoyance until he'd read some of the 
startling verses in the newspaper, which only lately, had led him to 
believe otherwise. “I bet we can get there and back before your party 
begins. How about it? Will ya go?” 

“If it's so damn important ta you,” replied Lane, a medical Doctor and
scant believer in anything that couldn't be proven by formula or lab 
test. “I guess I can make it if it doesn't take too long. I'll come out 
and pick you up, but be ready, okay?” 

“You got it,” answered Donald, and feeling sure of himself that he'd
persuaded his friend for all the right reasons, he added firmly and 
simply into the telephone...”you won't be let down, I promise.” 

Reid Laurence lived far from the city, in a partially restored turn of
the century farmhouse with his wife and two daughters. He had only a 
sixth grade education, and worked as a janitor for twenty-five years, 
but when he put himself in a self-induced hypnotic trance, the whole 
world seemed to open up to him and there was rarely a question - no 
matter what the technicality or topic - that he was not able to answer. 
He was truly a scientific and clairvoyant marvel in his own time, but 
living on sparse donations was very difficult on a family of four. In 
fact, the donation from his latest reading had gone to a peach tree 
he'd planted in the front of the old, worn house they lived in, with 
hopes that it would soon bear fruit and be of some practical use to the 
hungry, small family. 

Mary, his dutiful wife had a pleasant demeanor and an optimistic outlook
on life despite her husbands flaws and urged him to ask for more than 
the small donations they'd been living on. Many times they'd argued the 
point, but in the end, the answer was always the same...”I ain't gonna 
start charg'in people more fer someth'in I know they need, even though 
some of ‘em won't admit it. If ah could turn soma the unbelievers ta 
believers, I wouldn't have'ta raise prices. You'll see,” he liked to 
say. “Someday they'll turn aroun'. Someday they'll believe in me.” 

Then, on one hot, sunny, summer day, there came a knock at the door and
running barefoot to it, the Laurences' youngest daughter Ellie, 
answered it. Slowly opening it, she muttered a soft, “hello,” and asked 
the two well dressed strangers if they wanted to see her father. 

“You bet we do honey,” said the taller of the two. “I'm Doctor Lane
Bertram and this is a friend of mine, Dr. Donald Neuman. Can we come 
in? We've driven a long way out here just ta hear your daddy talk. 
We'll pay ‘im for his time. Is that alright?” 

“Ah guess,” said the ten year old girl, as she opened the door slightly
wider, revealing the few scattered pieces of broken down furniture in 
the home. “I'll git mah daddy,” said the young girl, but scarcely a 
minute had passed before Reid and Mary Laurence realized they had 
visitors, and the two inquisitive men were welcomed and made to feel 
comfortable in the humble farmhouse. 

“Doctor Neuman here tells me you've seen far into the future on many
occasions. Is that right Mr. Laurence?” 

“That's right,” he replied, looking toward his wife for reassurance and
approval as he spoke. “I have, many times. An mah wife here, 
Mary...she's mah, oh, mah whachamacallit? She sits near me an writes 
down whateva comes ta me, when ahm in a trance, that is.” 

“You mean she's your stenographer,” replied Donald, who'd been quietly
thinking to himself until now. “Do you think,” he continued. “We could 

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