What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it. - Alexander Graham Bell
In Ebook & Print
October 1, 2016 by Peter Castillo – Leave a comment at the end.
Imagine a woman in her thirties takes a walk through a park at night. The amber lights keep most of the park exposed, but there are still plenty of dark spots where a person can hide. The woman is aware of what may lurk in the shadows, but she doesn’t fear it.
As the woman approaches a long dark stretch of the park, her pulse remains normal. She crosses the threshold where the light ends, and the tree shaded path begins. The trees are thick enough for someone to hide behind. After the woman passes the first tree, she hears a faint rustle of leaves; no big deal for her. After she passes the second tree, she feels something slash down her left tricep. A burning sensation quickly follows, then her arm goes limp. The motion makes her purse slip from her shoulder and fall to the ground. A hooded figure, probably a kid, quickly snatches up the purse then disappears into the darkness. The woman doesn’t scream nor cry. She presses her wound hard to slow the bleeding, then walks out of the park where a motorist stops to help her.
The next night, the woman walks along the same route through the park. She pats her bandaged arm and again she has no fear as she approaches the same dark stretch.
Imagine further, a tattooed, spiky mohawked, heavily pierced, shirtless Goth-like man alone in a dingy room. In the middle of the floor, next to an examining table, is an array of sharp instruments usually used by a surgeon. Inside the cabinets along the walls, are liquid-filled jars. Floating in the liquid, are brains, hearts, eyeballs, and spleens.
The Goth man strips to his underwear, then hops facedown onto the table. He pulls a rope that dangles next to him and loops back to the ceiling. As the man pulls the rope, a square plaque almost the size of the table lowers down over the man. Hooks dangle from the plaque that align directly with the man’s loop piercings that run from his calves to his shoulders. After the man gets every hoop hooked, he raises the plaque which pulls the piercings and stretches his skin. The man doesn’t scream in pain, because he feels no pain or fear.
What the sadist and the woman in the park have in common are, they both have a damaged amygdala. The amygdala are two almond-shaped masses of gray matter deep within the temporal lobes of our brains. This mass performs a primary role in the processing of emotional reactions. When this mass is damaged via lesions, it can make the person numb to fear and pain.
Unless the unusual acts of these individuals is known, then there is no way to detect who may have this affliction. It can be the person standing next to you on the crowded train, the kid who usually passes you on his skateboard, or the janitor in your office building. Are they dangerous? Maybe, or maybe not. The world is a crazy place.
FICTION THAT STAYS WITH YOU.