“The first thing you should do,” Professor Rook told them, his drawling voice washing over them like a slow wave, “is choose a location to look for. It may be best to choose a location on campus, something you can picture clearly. Unless you have tried this before and have confidence that your abilities can stretch a good distance, choose a location that is close by. You must start out with easy choices in order to reach the more difficult ones later. However, it must be something you cannot physically see at this moment.”
Corrie sighed silently and tried to think of something she’d like to look at in distance sight. She didn’t think she’d be any better at it than she’d been at any of the other psionic abilities. The only one she’d had any success with was pyrokinesis—and that was just because she’d gotten frustrated and used fire magic.
Her mind first leapt to the ground in the middle of campus where Elrath’s body had been. No, she did not want to look there. That would be awful. She could pick something in her dorm—the Gilkey common room. It wasn’t too far away and she could remember what it looked like easily.
“Once you have chosen the location,” Professor Rook continued, “picture it clearly. Then gaze down into your bowl and relax your mind, concentrating on the location. An image may appear in the water, or it may appear in your internal eye. Stay relaxed and do not try to force it. Begin now.”
Corrie chewed her lower lip, glanced around the room to make sure everyone else was looking into their bowls, and reluctantly bent her head. She stared into the clear water at the faint dotted pattern on the inside of her bowl. This felt silly, even though she knew it wasn’t. She’d seen it working well for other people when they did future sight (though not, oddly enough, for Roe, who had other ways of getting into a mental state for her visions).
Still, she ought to at least give it a try. She fixed the Gilkey common room firmly in her mind, as though she were looking in through the small window in its door. She stared into the water. How exactly could she relax her mind? Maybe the problem all along had been that her mind was too busy. All she could do was gaze at the pattern in the bowl, the slight ripples her breath made in the surface of the water…
Something moved in her mind’s eye and she almost jumped out of her skin. The vision of the Gilkey common room had suddenly become clearer, for just a moment, and something had moved.
Was she imagining it? Or was she really seeing at a distance?
She took a deep breath and gazed into the bowl again, trying to find the way her mind had relaxed. She’d just been focusing on the way the water moved.
She was in the vision again, as though she were staring in through the common room door. Someone was sitting down on the couch with a large bowl of popcorn on the table and a laptop in his lap. She recognized him now—Eric, who lived on the second floor. She barely knew him and didn’t find him attractive. She would not have imagined him in this scene.
Excitement mounting, she closed her eyes and tried to choose a new location. Would Edie be in their dorm room right now? She wasn’t sure. That was perfect.
Corrie pictured her dorm room very clearly, as though she’d just walked in the door. Then she opened her eyes and focused on the slight movement of the water.
Again, the image appeared with perfect clarity in her mind. Edie wasn’t there, which was disappointing, but Corrie could see her screen saver spinning through its colors—she’d left her computer on.
What location could she use as an even better test? She couldn’t be sure of anywhere that movement would be happening that she would be unable to predict.
Still, a grin was spreading across her face. This was completely different than the frustrating attempts she’d made with other kinds of psionic magic. This time, she was sure, she was succeeding.
She wondered how far her abilities could reach. Could she see her mom at work? Would she be able to focus on a person?
If she could use a person as her focus, she should try it with Edie. She pictured Edie very clearly, then Dawn. To her disappointment, though, neither of them appeared in her mind’s eye.
She could still see how far the ability would stretch, though. She called up a picture of her room in her mom’s apartment. When she relaxed her mind in the water, an image of the same room came up—but this time, with three baskets of laundry on the bed, two of them messy and one neatly folded. Her mom was using it as a laundry staging area.
Corrie finally allowed her head to lift, grinning like a maniac. She’d done it. She had finally found a psionic ability she could use!