The end was coming. Bradley Fleishman had seen it. He awoke from a trance with the vision of the entire city in flames, consumed by a fire that would rage uncontrolled for three days. Nothing would be left.
It wasn't uncommon for Bradley to go into a self-induced trance or to have visions of the future while he was in one. More often than not, a vision would evaporate like smoke, leaving behind only a few crystal-clear images. He had tried to tell his friends, but they didn't listen. Half of them weren't even his friends anymore. His family? Not a chance. The cops? Twice, and he'd been laughed out of the police station. He had seen a vision of a store robbery and was left with a crystal vision of the window smashed in by a cement block. “Archer's Jeweler” was the place. The letters in bronze paint on the plate glass window right before the cement block went sailing were burned into his mind.
The police didn't listen then, just like they didn't listen about the graffiti on the Second Avenue Thrift Store before that. He'd been right about that too, hadn't he? One crystal vision, clear as day, of a hand and a can of white spray paint, writing the name “Biff” on the wall. It had consumed Bradley's mind like a painful splinter in his eye, right up until he'd bought the paint.
And it wasn't until a full day had passed after he'd thrown the cement block that the vision of breaking into the jeweler's had finally settled down. The crystal-clear sight of the deed would just linger in his mind. He was lousy at school, impossible to talk to and could barely eat or sleep until he made the vision go away.
But no one would listen! Why wouldn't they listen? He was a psychic, for crying out loud! Everything happened just like he said it would, time and again. And they still wouldn't listen?
Bradley shook his head, muttering about the unfairness of it all. Muttering to himself was also a side-effect of the visions.
“You say something, kid?” asked the man at the gas station.
Bradley snapped his mind back to the present long enough to ask how much for the five-gallon gas cans.