Shandre Wintrell was a genius. He’d been informed of this by his therapist shortly after his I.Q. test. He always knew though, especially with his thought patterns. There was never a true straight line of thought, but often scattered and web forming; catching ideas and hypotheses only he could understand because he already drew the lines.
With the best intentions he wanted to use his genius to the betterment of the world. A savage war had begun in the middle east which had struck a chord with Mr. Wintrell. I will join the military, He thought in a particular genius moment of thinking. He came to this conclusion of thought after initiating it with a theory on war and the weapons we use in such. From this the lines went to our technology, then the training one receives in the service; the tactics the enemy employs for their training, and how we go about strategically implementing our resources from our men to the technology used in smart bombs. It was a rather simple solution; him joining the cause would only benefit the best nation in the world.
I’d get in much better shape too, He thought. Often the only dialogue Mr. Wintrell participated in was within his mind. It was a shame he didn’t clearly outline his plans to his therapist; he was a genius though, and knew that she would attempt to foil his plan with statements of insanity or manic depression.
I would be able to investigate the training, show my intelligence, specialize in weapons, and eventually develop the best course of offense and the ultimate peace keeping weapon. He smiled thinking his thoughts. A parade followed where instead of him being seated high and celebrated; his device was, as he marched along side his fellow men. It will be a great day.
Shandre Wintrell was a genius. He went to the recruiting office and spent particular time paying attention to which service he would join to better maximize his benefit to the world. The Navy had ships, My device isn’t a ship, he thought. The Marines were more specialized, My device is broad, he thought sending this to the side. He rested on the Air Force believing airplanes may be necessary to deploy his device. There were shadow projects of high intelligence the Air Force often initiated as well, which would be his ticket to getting the idea recognized.
The psychological exam was easy enough to pass. He signed the papers and went to his Therapist appointment. She was worriedly waiting for him. In the past five years she had gotten to know him he had never been late for a session.
“Sorry for being late,” he said walking confidently as the newest member to the Air Force.
“Do you mind me asking why?” She asked, comfortable now that he sat in front of her.
“I took a path not even I had thought I’d ever go down.” He said sitting, but with a more rigid stance than usual.
“Why would you never go down this path?” She asked with file in hand ready to make any additional notes. Today they were to be re-evaluating his treatment plan for his release from the program.
“Because it leads off the way. It takes me to a place I don’t recognize. While going from A to B, it isn’t normal to go to point F first. A point that is off the plain of where we need to be. Today I did that, I went from A to F and was fascinated with the perception change. It was a moment of clarity everyone deserves from time to time.” Mr. Wintrell divulged.
“Very good.” She smiled.
“The best part is, it got me here. I made it to my goal, though slightly behind schedule but with a gained sense of reality.” Shandre was certainly proud to have cleverly told her exactly what he was doing. It was better that she agreed. The rest of the session went as usual, while he still thought on the bus ride to base. He’d get off of the bus and run into the barracks go through intake, place a pornographic magazine in his bags just to seem normal; a minor infraction. Then he would be in his sleeping quarters purposefully clumsily getting his things together while the Drill Sergeant screamed at the other recruits. They would be called to formation when he would show as the best dressed with each seam aligning perfectly, shirt blousing as picturesque, while being berated for being too perfect.
His therapist finished with him. “See you next week.” She couldn’t actually say good luck, though he knew he told her exactly what was the next step. He played along with her actions.
“See you then,” he laughed at her cleverness.
Shandre boarded the bus as Recruit. Fascinating already, he began making notes. His pornographic magazine smartly settled into the bottom of his bag to make it appear as if he were trying to sneak it in. He left his hair go knowing the hair dresser, there, would gain a sense of worthiness from cutting his hair upon intake. The bus departed as he happily began way to fulfill his destiny. It was aggravating though, that the others on the bus were talking. He didn’t care why anyone else had joined, or where they were from. Everyone was supposed to be wearing meek expressions of fear on their face as they journeyed to a place unknown. Shandre perfected this face and wore it proudly, though the irritating leather seat plucked at his simple nerves.
A man boarded the bus and began shouting orders, adding substance to his ideas and fulfilling what was meant to happen. Rushing out of the bus with hidden porn in hand along with a few other personal belongings; this was going perfectly. He received the haircut he knew he would and smiled knowing he had fulfilled the dreams of his hair dresser. Getting to barracks he purposefully stumbled around his bag of items to make his bed and dress in uniform. Playing his game, he hadn’t noticed everyone was already lined up and at attention. The Drill Sergeant approached.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing recruit? I say fall in, you fall in.” He pushed Shandre backward.
“I apologize sir,” Recruit Shandre responded.
“You apologize! You apologize!” Two other Drill Sergeants that had been busy screaming at the recruits in formation ran toward Recruit, screaming as if they were in pain. This was not quite the way it was meant to go, so he gave into defeat and attempted to fall in.
“Where do you think you’re going! We’re talking to you!” The others screamed in his ear making it hard to hear exactly what was happening. They’ll apologize, Shandre thought, once they know why I’m really here.
The yelling continued. Their bodies were pushed up against Recruits knocking him back and forth while the first Sergeant demanded answers.
“You think you don’t have to follow orders?” He asked bug eyed, spit lapsing his lips.
“No sir, not my intentions.” One of the other Sergeants now stood on the bunks rattling the metal. He grabbed Recruits bag and threw it on the floor scattering the contents, kicking the notebook and shredding the clothes.
This happened to everyone. It was part of the game. Why was he there? He was a genius, but why did he join the ranks as a recruit? How was his plan not working? There was a silence within him. A hollow voice filled him, the one from years past. The one that got him to Therapy in the first place. She was the genius. She was the one that got him to this place. She was the one that wanted to take control now she was in position to. He didn’t want to fight her but thought better with the recommendations of his Therapist. A jolt of pain to his body released him from the reigns and allowed her to take over.
When he woke his face was unrecognizable; blue and swollen. His hands bloody with broken fingers and ripped fingernails. He was alive, behind bars, and back in control. The hollow voice of the women laughed, happy to have played a trick on him. He sat in pain. I’m a genius.
You’re about as smart as a man named Shandre Wintrell; the stupid fool.
Exercise: Write a story about a character whose imagination is taken over with an obsession– and obsession with an idea, a tale, a vision — that determines the way in which your character lives his or her life, and acts out the forward movement of your story.