Genre: YA sci-fi
Word Count: 93,000
Everyone has wondered what it would be like to have telepathic powers and read the thoughts of everyone around you, but what if the opposite were true? What if everyone else was telepathic except you, cut out of society and looked upon with suspicion or pity? This is the struggle of Loustor Taikees.
In a world where people have telepathic nodes sticking up from their heads, Loustor was born with with a deformity that left him deaf and mute to the thoughts of others. After a rough childhood, he determines to leave his telepathic family and find a colony of nontelepaths like him. During his quest, he is attacked on the streets, framed for smuggling, drafted to the front lines of a never-ending war, and inspired by his fellow "entees" to learn that disability can never hold him back.
Loustor Taikees sat alone. The shades were closed over the window, walling off the world. The only light in the room came from a dim bulb hanging low from the ceiling.
He liked the dark. It helped him to forget the world around him. The world had forgotten him, so it only seemed fitting to return the favor.
A call rang up from downstairs. “Lou?”
Loustor sighed and ignored it.
He sat in a low wooden chair under the dangling bulb with just enough light to read. There was a book in his lap, a thick biological encyclopedia meant for students years older than he was. Books were everywhere in the dusty room around him, some shelved neatly, more scattered on the floor, and others sticking out from every corner in tall piles. The titles ranged from archaic philosophy to children’s adventure stories to modern engineering texts. He owned hundreds of paper tomes, and he had read and reread each of them time and again. Other than the shelves for the books and the chair in which Loustor sat, the room held only a little bed and a dresser whose drawers stuck open. It was all he needed.
“Lou?” The voice rang out again. He looked up, frowned, and returned to his book.
Another few minutes of silence passed.
“Loustor Taikees! You hear me?” the voice from downstairs called out louder than before.
Loustor tossed the book onto his bed and climbed out of the low chair. It was time to rejoin the world.