Chapter 4

Helen opened her eyes. Without looking at the clock, she knew the time. She flung the covers off of her, and rolled out of bed. She made the bed perfectly by a single shake of the covers. Helen thought, "Wow! Look at that! I never expected it to fall so perfectly."

She walked into the kitchen. As she opened the refrigerator, she realized that she now noticed everything in much greater detail than usual. As she pulled out a quart container of skim milk, and emptied it into a tall glass, she spoke to herself. "That jig saw puzzle that we've been working on all month is still on the table. Half of it still needs to be placed."

She picked up a piece, and briefly noted its shape. Immediately seeing a empty space that that piece would fit, she placed it into the puzzle. Within a few minutes, she had completed the jigsaw puzzle.

Helen took another gulp of milk. No, there was no more milk to drink. It surprised her. She lifted the glass and stared at it. "I don't remember drinking all this milk. I know I poured a full glass! I'm not noticing as much detail as I thought."

After she rinsed out the glass, she grabbed her purse from its usual place. "It’s time to meet with Bob and Joe to go to our beach." As she stepped outside, she marveled at all the insect and bird sounds that she had never noticed before. She named the creatures by their sounds. "How did I know their names?"

The sunlight reflected glaringly off the beach sand. The trio enjoyed their regular Sunday morning stroll. They thought of it as their beach because they had searched for it and found it. They wanted to find a beach where visits by other people would not spoil its natural beauty.

They walked north, Helen in the middle, Joe on her right, nearer the ocean, and Bob on her left. "Look at those seagulls wading in the surf. How cute they are! Their average size is about 30 centimeters." Her voice showed her amusement.

The trio continued to walk as they talked while enjoying the ocean breeze. Suddenly Helen stopped walking. She pointed to her left. "There is an old coin buried in the sand over there."

While Bob stared at her with a baffled expression on his face, Joe took her right hand in his left hand. "Show me where."

Helen obliged by walking up hill a short distance, and kicking the sand. The coin flew out, making a soft plop sound as it landed by Joe's feet.

"Wow". Joe bent over and scooped up the coin. "How did you know about the coin?"

Helen frowned. "I don't know how I knew. I just felt it."

Bob spoke then. "Alright, Helen, how did you do it? Did you bury that coin yesterday? But how would you have memorized this particular spot? There are no convenient landmarks here. Did you count our steps from where we entered the beach? I think not. I think you could not have kept your part of the conversation while counting. So, how did you do it?"

Helen merely lifted both hands to shoulder level, and shrugged her shoulders.

Bob echoed her shoulder shrug, and faced forward in the direction they had been walking. Immediately he noticed two tiny figures in the distance. "It looks like we'll be having some unexpected company soon."

Joe looked in the direction Bob had indicated. "Wonder how they found our beach."

Bob focused his attention on Helen. "Do you know those folks? Did you tell them about our beach?"

As Helen pondered Bob's questions, she remembered how Bob had found their beach. Bob had acquired coastal maps from the national oceanographic institute and they had all spent several hours scanning the map of the coastline. Finally, Bob found this one spot that had not yet been developed and might never be developed. Ever since, they had walked here each Sunday morning.

Helen peered in the direction of the tiny figures. Suddenly she saw them clearly. "A man and a woman . . . we don't know them . . .The man's name is Victor. He's a music agent. He has red-orange hair and is smoking a cigarette and also wearing a nicotine patch . . . He's wearing white shorts and . . . an extra large light green t-shirt . . . with Maxwell's physics equations on it . . . She has short blond hair and is wearing flower patterned . . . matching skimpy bikini bottom and top."

Joe laughed. "Not only can she detect metal coins buried in the sand. She also has super vision. Helen, could that electric spark that hit you last night have made you farsighted?"

Bob added, "How did you know his name and what work he did?"

"Joe, I don't think so. However, I did have a strange dream about Sparky last night. Bob, I don't know how I knew. I just knew it. It's as if I had read it somewhere."

Joe merely looked puzzled, while Bob spoke Joe's question. "Who is Sparky?"

"I dreamed I talked to the electric spark that knocked me out yesterday. I named it Sparky."

Helen pointed forward toward the approaching beach walkers. "What do you want to do about them?"

Bob replied. "If, as you said, one of them is a music agent, then we certainly want to meet him." He resumed walking toward the approaching couple.

As they approached the distant couple Helen worried about the nicotine vapors from the man's cigarette. It would be good if the breeze from the ocean blew the smoke away. Nicotine is bad enough. It would have been much worse if he had been smoking raw tobacco instead of the electronic cigarette.

Suddenly Helen realized that not only could she feel, at a distance, the individual molecules of air, but that she could influence their movement. She experimented with pushing the air toward the couple. Perhaps she could make a stiff wind to keep the smoke at bay.

She succeeded in making a current of air that consistently blew in the direction of the couple walking toward them. At the same time, the woman raised her arm and pointed toward them.

The man, seeing the trio, turned off his cigarette, and put it away. He waved to them. "Hello!"

When they came sufficiently close to each other, Victor smiled, and extended his hand for a handshake. "My name is Victor, and this is my wife Angela."

While Bob shook hands with Victor, Joe, showing his mischievous grin, asked Angela, "Were you always an angel?"

She laughed. "My mom certainly did not think so. She told me that she named me Angela in hopes that an angel would become my mentor."

Bob looked puzzled for a moment, then he asked, "Does that mean that 'Angela' is only your nickname, not a birth name?

"Oh no. Angela really is my birth name. Mom had the idea even before she had me."

Bob laughed, then caught Victor's eye. "We are musicians. Helen is our singer." Bob watched Victor carefully as he said this. Will Victor react as a music agent?

Victor replied to Bob, while staring at Helen."I'm a music agent. Would you like to audition for me?" Then addressing Helen, he added, "Young lady, why are you staring at me?"

Helen captivated by her new ability to feel the individual molecular interactions had been following how the nicotine interacted inside Victor's body. At Victor's words, she blushed. "Apologies, sir. I worried about what the nicotine had done to you."

Victor grinned. "You put it so nicely. It almost motivates me to quit again."

Before Helen could reply to this, Bob asked, "How did you find our beach?"

"Your beach! I thought it was my Beach. Grant will get a laugh out of this." Seeing Joe's smile and Bob's puzzled look, he added, "Grant is the one who looked up this stretch of beach for me. He is on my peer review board for any music I send to the publisher."

Immediately, Helen asked. Did you choose Grant to be on your peer review board?

"Very astute question, young lady; No..., Grant chose to be on my peer review board. He and I once worked together at the space center. I retired here, while he stayed on. He keeps me up to date on all the space research."

Victor paused, then before anyone else could ask their question he added, "Did you know that right here in Eastpoint, Virginia, there is a neutrino source and it's on or near the surface. Grant thinks it's an alien spaceship."

Excitedly, Helen asked, "Is this Grant Richardson, friend of Melody Armstrong?"

"Aha! I bet you knew Grant and Melody through their anti-nicotine activities. Yes. It's the same guy. They also failed to convince me to quit." Victor smiled as he said this.

Bob asked, "Victor, when would be a good time for us to audition for you?

Victor looked at his watch. "How about coming next Friday, July 7th, at 2:00 p.m.?" He handed Bob a card. "Here is our address and contact information.

Helen glanced at Bob, and then said, "It's a date! We'll be there."