The Velvet Vision. Chapter 1.

17 Feb

Raxis Absum knew only the poverty of the countryside until he moved to the metropolis of Tinok.

His family had for generations worked rocky land, growing jalap and mangosteen for the urban markets. Work was hard and backbreaking for the small farmer and his wife, Burla. Their sole object of joy was the boy born to them, whom they named Raxis after his maternal grandfather. Their son proved to be strong, sharp, and vigorous. Both parents set their sights on a future full of promise for their one and only child. If they could obtain adequate schooling for him, their dreams would have a good start to them.

But an undetermined illness struck down the twelve-year old Raxis, forcing him into bed for several weeks. It so happened that there was a new medico in their rural district, a Dr. Arbre who had experience treating farmers and their ailments.

Short and fat, with a friendly round face and intelligent custard eyes, the physician won over the patient and his parents at once. Raxis waited expectantly for when his healer was scheduled to make a visit. And his health was restored with the potions and pills brought by Arbre. With incredible speed, the boy was back on his feet, running and playing again. What was expected to be the final examination by the doctor provided Preux Absum an opportunity to express concern about his son’s future.

“What will become of Raxis in years to come, I cannot say. The hope of his mother and me is that we can find a means of obtaining some education for our son. But this particular district has always been bereft of schools and teachers. I do not know how we can provide training for his natural talents, which everyone can see for themselves. What is to be done, Dr. Arbre?”

The latter hesitated for a moment, but then extended an offer to the desperate father, one that could not have been foreseen or predicted by him.

“I do not have a wife or a family, so my evenings are free for my own reading and study. Is Raxis literate, may I ask?”

“Indeed, he is,” affirmed Preux. “Both my wife and I have taught him the Velvet abecedarius. Raxis knows the letters and their sounds quite well. He is a quick learner and already is able to read the farming journals and manuals that I subscribe to.”

“Here is the idea that occurs to me,” continued Arbre. “Why not allow me to supervise the independent schooling of this bright child? It can be done in the evening when I return home from my medical rounds in the district. If Raxis has chores to perform, he can surely complete them in the hours of daylight. What do you say to this proposal of mine? I will carry out his education free of any charge. It can be seen as a sort of hobby of mine, because I believe that your son has much learning potential.”

“Let me discuss this with my wife, then my son. I am certain they will agree with me to accept your generous plan. We would be guilty if we allowed the talents and intelligence of Raxis to go to waste.”

Both the boy and his mother expressed delight with the plan for private tutoring and reading under the physician.

Thus it came about that young Raxis Absum began on a course of study and learning whose destination no one could have predicted at the time.

The medico had brought a wide collection of scientific volumes with him to the hamlet cottage that he rented. His broad spectrum of interests provided his student an ever-expanding range of subject to delve into and become acquainted with. The nature and character of human beings turned out to be the continuous and permanent interest of the teenager’s quick mind.

Human anatomy and physiology were areas of interest and exploration, but also the many regions of human psychology.

What especially drew intense interest and fascinated the youth from the start was the topic of telepathy and psychic influence. Dr. Arbre sensed this immediately and made a major effort to direct his pupil’s probing into that sphere of thought.

“I myself am not at all telesthetic in the sense of sending and receiving mental messages,” he confessed to Raxis. “That is a subject I have only read about from the outside. It cannot be taught to anyone who does not have natural, inborn talent. But there is one special area in which I have developed my skills in. That is the field of mesmeric hypnotism. It can be very helpful to a medical doctor like me, I have discovered. The practice aids me in the treatment of sicknesses that have a mental or emotional component.”

“Did you use it on me when I was ill?” unexpectedly inquired the boy.

“No,” smiled Dr. Arbre. “There was no need for me to do so. Your malady was a completely physical one without any mental complications at all. But there are numerous patients who need the mesmeric suggestions and promptings that can result from hypnotic trances. I never use it without a patient’s knowledge and informed approval. It took me a long time to develop the skills that I have.”

“It is a most interesting subject to read about, sir,” said Raxis, growing excited.

“You must read all the volumes I have on hypnotism, then,” concluded the doctor. “Should you ever go on into a medical education, it will be a great help to you to know how to apply that sort of therapy.” An idea suddenly stuck the instructor. “Would you come along with me on a visit to a patient so that you could witness how I apply that method of treatment?”

“Oh, yes!” volunteered the young Raxis with enthusiasm.

In the back of his mind, the boy saw himself as able one day to perform the method on his own.

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