The woman had been seen climbing out of houses at night. She never seemed to be carrying anything with her, and she never broke anything to get in–Hooper Street was the kind of suburban hub where nobody locked their doors. Even if she wasn’t “breaking,” though, she was entering. The police advised people to lock their doors, but did little to protect the block. So, naturally, the Hooperites called upon The Jolt.
The Jolt did her patrol later than usual, about the time the non-breaker and enterer would normally be seen. Sure enough, The Jolt found a woman in all black quietly closing the door to the Jamimas’ house and sneaking away.
“This is a citizen’s arrest,” The Jolt announced boldly, jogging up to the woman in black.
“No it’s not,” said the woman.
“I’m doing a legitimate suburban mapping project. You wouldn’t arrest someone for doing their job, would you?”
“Is your job burglary?”
“Not at all! Not at all. That would be very unprofessional. You don’t expect maids or janitors to steal from the places they work. If you did, you wouldn’t hire them.”
The woman in black made no move to run. And if she did, The Jolt was fast enough to catch her. She was fast enough to catch anyone.
“So you’re saying the Jamimas’ hired you to sneak into their house?”
“Yes they did.”
“Funny–they never told me. At night, no less?”
“It’s the only time that works, really. You see, I’m a psychic, and–”
“I’m a psychic.”
“So you tell fortunes?”
“Not that kind. I can communicate with people’s dream-selves. No no, hear me out. The reason humanity functions on a level beyond that of animals is due to a cognitive connection that is so subtle its direct link is easy to miss for most of the population. In fact, it’s typically only observable at all at night. During dreams.
“See, all of human consciousness is mapped, and it connects with every other human mind. Everything we see, feel, remember, is added to this great pool of collected knowledge. It’s called the Worldmind.”
The Jolt scratched her head with a gloved hand.
“Bear with me,” said the woman in black. “Only a few people can directly experience the Worldmind outside of dreams. Dreams are generally chaotic, but a strong psychic can walk through the Worldmind as though it’s a painted-over map of the real world. Except, of course, it’s not the real world. It’s made of memories. Which means the memories have to be reliable.
“And memories aren’t reliable, are they? In the Worldmind, cars can shift colour from green to blue based on how different people have conflicting memories. In essence, what I’m doing is giving these homes a second-over look from a fresh set of eyes. It helps steady the area in the Worldmind. Maps it out. It’s less chaotic, it’s more trustworthy, more reliable. So people’s dream-selves can explore without falling into a big pit where someone forgot a room existed.”
“This is a service you provide?” The Jolt asked, not sure what to make of all this.
“Yes, ma’am. I’m a psychic surveyor. I communicate with psychics and dream-aspects of people’s consciousness and carry out mapping tasks. I’m especially good for this job because I have a photographic memory. Thus, when I map something in my memory, it stays in the Worldmind.”
“So… you’re saying the dream-selves of the people of the block have asked you to investigate their homes, to memorize them, so that they’re safer in this Worldmind place?”
“Precisely. You’re very wise, miss The Jolt.”
“Oh. Thank you. I guess if you’re not taking anything or breaking in…”
“No. Subconsciously, since their dream-selves asked me to do the mapping, nobody locks their doors. It’s basically an open invite.”
There was something off about the woman, but maybe all psychics were like that, The Jolt reasoned. She was convinced.
“Okay. Keep it up, I guess,” said The Jolt, unsure how she would explain this to the people of the block.
“I will,” said The Convincer, laughing on the inside. The Worldmind, she thought. What a stupid idea. I can’t believe that spandex-wearing idiot fell for that.
As The Jolt sped off, The Convincer pulled the jewelry from her pocket, shining in the light of the streetlamps of Hooper Street. Can’t believe they kept their valuables in a pinata…
Then she pocketed the silver and disappeared into the night.
Today’s random prompt categories were, “The Worldmind,” “‘The Convincer,’ a villain who is very convincing,” and “A pinata.”
I nearly forgot about the pinata till the end. Oh well. Nice to reuse a character. The Worldmind idea comes from another story I had worked on, that I will hopefully share with the world(mind) one day. And I got “The Convincer” from Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. They added up to an interesting prompt, I’d say.