You are here

قراءة كتاب Jack of No Trades

تنويه: تعرض هنا نبذة من اول ١٠ صفحات فقط من الكتاب الالكتروني، لقراءة الكتاب كاملا اضغط على الزر “اشتر الآن"

‏اللغة: English
Jack of No Trades

Jack of No Trades

No votes yet
دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 1

Jack of No Trades


Illustrated by CAVAT

[Transcriber's Note: This etext was produced from Galaxy October 1955.
Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright
on this publication was renewed.]

I was psick of Psi powers, not having any. Or didn't I? Maybe they'd psee otherwise psomeday!

I walked into the dining room and collided with a floating mass of fabric, which promptly draped itself over me like a sentient shroud.

"Oh, for God's sake, Kevin!" my middle brother's voice came muffled through the folds. "If you can't help, at least don't hinder!"

I managed to struggle out of the tablecloth, even though it seemed to be trying to wrap itself around me. When Danny got excited, he lost his mental grip.

"I could help," I yelled as soon as I got my head free, "if anybody would let me and, what's more, I could set the table a damn sight faster by hand than you do with 'kinesis."

Just then Father appeared at the head of the table. He could as easily have walked downstairs as teleported, but I belonged to a family of exhibitionists. And Father tended to show off as if he were still a kid. Not that he looked his age—he was big and blond, like Danny and Tim and me, and could have passed for our older brother.

"Boys, boys!" he reproved us. "Danny, you ought to be ashamed of yourself—picking on poor Kev."

Even if it hadn't been Danny's fault, he would still have been blamed.

Nobody was ever supposed to raise a voice or a hand or a thought to poor afflicted Kev, because nature had picked on me enough. And the nicer everybody was to me, the nastier I became, since only when they lost their tempers could I get—or so I believed—their true attitude toward me.

How else could I tell?

"Sorry, fella," Dan apologized to me. The tablecloth spread itself out on the table. "Wrinkles," he grumbled to himself. "Wrinkles. And I had it so nice and smooth before. Mother will be furious."

"If she were going to be furious, she'd be furious already," Father reminded him sadly. It must be tough to be married to a deep-probe telepath, I thought, and I felt a sudden wave of sympathy for him. It was so seldom I got the chance to feel sorry for anyone except myself. "But I think you'll find she understands."

"She knows, all right," Danny remarked as he went on into the kitchen, "but I'm not sure she always understands."

I was surprised to find him so perceptive on the abstract level, because he wasn't what you might call an understanding person, either.

"There are tensions in this room," my sister announced as she slouched in, not quite awake yet, "and hatred. I could feel them all the way upstairs. And today I'm working on the Sleepsweet Mattress copy, so I must feel absolutely tranquil. Everyone will think beautiful thoughts, please."

She sat down just as a glass of orange juice was arriving at her place; Danny apparently didn't know she'd come in already. The glass bumped into the back of her neck, tilted and poured its contents over her shoulder and down her very considerable decolletage. Being a mere primitive, I couldn't help laughing.

"Danny, you fumbler!" she screamed.

Danny erupted from the kitchen. "How many times have I asked all of you not to sit down until I've got everything on the table? Always a lot of interfering busybodies getting in the way."

"I don't see why you have to set the table at all," she retorted. "A robot could do it better and faster than you. Even Kev could." She turned quickly toward me. "Oh, I am sorry, Kevin."

I didn't say anything; I was too busy pressing my hands down on the back of the chair to make my knuckles turn white.

Sylvia's face turned even whiter. "Father, stop him—stop him! He's hating again! I can't stand it!"