Episode 3: Acquired Tongue
William Conrad stared down blankly at the open book before him, struggling to keep his eyes open. He rubbed his hands across his red eyes and tried to make sense of the alien language written across the page. If the words appeared foreign, it was because they were—Spanish, to be precise. Glancing at the clock beside him, Will could make out the red digital numbers flashing 1:30 AM across the screen.
Will was burning the candle on both ends this evening, trying his best to cram for his Spanish Honors final that was only a few hours away. He needed to get a near perfect score if he hoped to get an A in the class and maintain his 4.0 GPA. Sighing to himself, Will closed the book dejectedly, frustrated by his lack of progress.
Will was one of the brightest in his class, however it didn’t come easy. While everyone just assumed he was some kind of prodigy, they neglected to see the hours he put into his academics, particularly when it came to his foreign language elective. While math and science all seemed logical to him, properly conjugating words into the past perfect tense in Spanish felt like staring at gibberish.
How the heck am I supposed to pull this off? Will thought as he shook his head. I might as well call it a night and just take the loss. Not like I’m gonna keep that 4.0 anyway.
Slamming his head against the textbook, Will closed his eyes and wondered how he was going to be able to get into a premier ivy league school after managing to only eek out a B in Spanish. Lifting up his head, exhausted, he knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep until he had figured this out. Still, he felt like he was about to pass out from fatigue.
Opening up his book, Will tried his best to keep his eyes open for just a few more minutes. He could feel his eyes slowly roll up into the back of his head, a fuzzy sensation suddenly taking over him as he grew light-headed. To his surprise, rather than falling into a state of unconsciousness, Will found himself strangely lucid staring at a world of grey-filled images. Somehow, he was seeing the words in front of his face despite the fact that he could feel that he wasn’t actually staring at them with his pupils.
What the hell?! Will thought as he scanned the pages before him. It was difficult to describe or even conceive what was happening to him. The language he saw was no longer in Spanish, or English, for that matter. From what he could tell, the words and symbols weren’t even human! Yet somehow, he understood them perfectly.
Beginning to feel the sensation wearing off, Will quickly tried to copy down the images before him in the hopes that he could decipher them later. He felt his eyes tilt forward, the grey contrast returning to the normal, colorful hues he was familiar with, and just like that, everything seemed back normal. Shaking his head, Will glanced back down at the sheet below, his mouth dropping in surprise. Rather than seeing some alien language on the sheet of paper, Will saw only several paragraphs of perfect Spanish written in his handwriting!
Pausing for a moment, Will reflected upon what this could possibly be. When the realization finally did hit, Will broke into a wide grin. After years of searching for his powers, it had finally happened. His parents were gonna flip!