“I know you can hear me,” Wyatt sighed with frustration at the repeated, invasive thought. Weeks ago, his plane crashed in the ocean but he did not remember it. The sheer panic of everyone around him caused him to blackout. He woke up on a beach alone with his own thoughts again. It took a few days to get used to having such an empty mind, but now he loved it. The island he washed ashore on wasn’t an especially large island. He could walk it all in a few hours; but, it was bountiful. If he were religious, he might consider it the garden of Eden. The variety of fruit trees and wild vegetables seemed out of place on such a tropical island. In a few short, pleasant weeks, he decided he’d rather stay there than try and get rescued. The island seemed capable of meeting all his needs and he enjoyed the sound of his own thoughts. Then, a strange man’s voice echoed in his mind a few hours ago; it was the first time in weeks that someone disturbed his thoughts.
“I know you can hear me,” the voice said. Wyatt was startled to his feet, but he managed to keep himself from replying. Luckily, he’d grown used to variations of that phrase over the years. The internet popularised the idea of mind-readers in public; it made throwing out mental accusations a trend. Wyatt decided to search the island to accidentally stumble across its new resident. Now, he returned to his home base frustrated and alone with the voice still in mind.
“Well, it was nice while it lasted,” Wyatt mumbled to himself; speaking aloud helped keep him from broadcasting. He did not want to risk changing his current peace, but the incessant voice left him no choice.
“I know you can hear me,” it repeated. Wyatt took a deep breath, then responded to the thought.
“Yes, I can.”
“FINALLY!” the voice sounded relieved. “What took so long?” the stranger asked.
“Who are you?” Wyatt asked. He sensed this wasn’t going to be a short conversation and slid onto his makeshift bed of leaves to lay down. The one positive of telepathy was that he did not have to face someone to have a conversation with them.
“Ah, that’s why you ignored me,” the voice replied. “If you knew about yourself, you’d know who I am.”
“G-,” Wyatt hesitated because it sounded dumb. But it was the only other explanation with no one around. “God? Did I die in the crash?” The thought crossed his mind a couple of times as he had the best time of his life over the past weeks. He was slightly insulted when the voice replied with raucous laughter.
“Nope,” the voice replied when his laughter died down. “No one died in the crash and I’m not God. You can call me, Mundo.”
“Where are you, Mundo? I searched the whole island.”
“Las Vegas.” Wyatt sat up in his bed.
“What the hell?” He exclaimed aloud, then repeated it for Mundo. “What the hell? I can only read the minds of people nearby.“
“And I can speak into the mind of anyone on Earth from anywhere,” Mundo replied. “I think my power wins.” It made Wyatt think of the other passengers when Mundo mentioned he could invade anyone’s mind.
“No one died in the crash?” Wyatt asked himself aloud. He did not give the other passengers much thought. He assumed they all drowned or someone else would have been on the island with him.
“What happened to the other passengers?” he asked.
“Rescued.” Anger flared in Wyatt’s gut.
“You knew I was here and let them get rescued without me?” Wyatt’s hands trembled. Despite deciding to stay, that had been his own decision. The fact that he was forced to stay was something else entirely.
“Of course. I put you there. I made sure the plane crashed safely near coast guard lanes.”
“Why me?” A million questions flooded Wyatt’s mind, but that one seemed to be the most important.
“It’s what you wanted,” Mundo replied. “I wish people would just shut up,” Mundo added with a deep, mocking tone. “I wish I could go somewhere to be alone for a while.” he continued. “I wish I was alone.”
“Oh yeah,” Wyatt had all but forgotten his daily struggles surrounded by people. “What did you mean, ‘If I knew about myself’?'” he asked.
“Your favorite number is 28,” Mundo replied. While Wyatt wondered how that answered his question Mundo continued. “I planned to talk to you about it more, I set aside a few hours to check on you. But since you spent most of it ignoring me, that conversation will have to wait until another time. I have other things to do now, so just answer this for me: Do you want to stay there or be rescued?”
“I want to stay,” Wyatt replied. Now that the decision was his again he felt comfortable staying for a while at least. If Mundo was going to check on him again, he could ask to be rescued at a later time.
“Cool, I’m headed out. Talk to you in a couple of centuries if you’re still around.”
“Wait,” Wyatt said aloud. “WHAT?!” he tried asking Mundo mentally. There was only the silence of his own thoughts.