Reception, Part II

Continued from Part I.

At first Roy’s mother dismissed his proclamation of madness as an overactive imagination. However, her son’s morose spell lasted into further weeks, and so she decided to take him to the doctor. She had vague worries about schizophrenia, although was aware that it tends not to show up at such an early age.

The doctor umm’d and ahh’d and studied the child, asking tricky questions to which Roy capably provided answers. Certainly, said the doctor, his intellectual development was quite advanced for his age, yet he appeared otherwise normal. What would be worrying in an adult, well… children get such fanciful ideas sometimes, and it was just a sign of a vivid imagination.

Roy could not be placated. He insisted he was mad, and got repeatedly upset about it. The doctor eventually capitulated and agreed to run more extensive tests. Roy was sent to a local specialist hospital equipped with a magnetic brain scanner. The test never happened. When he was brought into the scanning room, Roy began to scream. He knelt on the floor, holding his head in his hands, yelling at the top of his lungs. The nurses removed him from the room, and after he had been sedated they performed every other test possible. It was the x-ray that revealed the answer.

Through some unknown genetic or environmental arrangement, Roy had been born with a wire in his brain. It wound along sulci and between lobes, coiling and spiralling around the ventricles, connecting one side of his skull to the other.

The voices he heard, said the doctor, were every radio station within range, picked up by that wire. As for what could be done… nothing. This would be Roy’s life, for better or worse. Roy must learn to live with his gift, for he would never live without it.

To be continued…

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