Harvester’s Journal

My name is Kylie and I’m a Harvester. I collect people’s thoughts as one would ceramic penguins. The only difference is I don’t place them on a pressboard shelf somewhere. Instead, they end up in the local Collector where they’re sorted. If they’re good ones–and I always pick good ones, well, mostly anyway–they are picked out by the Handlers. To date, I have 42 hit songs, three nine figure movies and two successful military campaigns.

I sometimes think of all the people out there who had these great ideas and wonder what would of become of them if they were the ones who marketed them, packaged them, sold them. They can’t though. They don’t have the means. It’s sad, but it’s the truth. Instead, I pluck them out. Ripe fruit.

I could always read minds. My first credible memory was from when I was ten months old. I could sense that my mom was going to leave my dad. I didn’t understand at the time but now I know it was because he was a drunk. And he was. Haven’t seen him in twenty years and I don’t want to now. I probed for him once but his mind was silent which usually means they’re dead. Oh well. Another worthless shit gone.

Some think that reading minds would be a great gift, but it’s not. Not at all. If most people knew what others were thinking about them, the world would be in more chaos than it already is. I spend most of my time in the Chrysalis, the quiet room. It’s the only place where the voices stop. Before I was tapped by the Collective, pills and booze were my chrysalis of choice.

There are about fifteen of us Harvesters. I say, about, because we’ve never met each other; our Handlers won’t allow it. I don’t think we can sense other Harvesters because I’ve tried multiple times. But, I know they’re out there. Over the years, I’ve written down their names. The Handlers are smart but they can’t read minds like we can and their thoughts are unguarded from time to time.

Oh shit, gotta go. Where is it? Arkansas. Yep, I think I just caught Taylor Swift’s next hit.

Harold’s Hats and Murder Emporium

          “Well, Harold, people just aren’t buying hats like they used to,” Mitch said.
          “Hell, I know…but what do you suggest?”

          At that moment, a rail of a man in a tweed suit walked by leading a small child by the hand. The man tugged firmly, too firmly, at the boy’s hand as the child winced in pain.

          “C’mon, you lousy humgruffin!” the finely dressed man shouted to his bespectacled child whose tears threatened to overwhelm the little one’s rosy cheeked face.

          Harold and Mitch looked at one another and thus was born, ‘Harold’s Hats and Murder Emporium.’

The End