Caribou Hunting

Caribou decided to go hunting in the city. He often went hunting but rarely caught anything. This was probably because Caribou liked to hunt for things that didn’t exist. He’d hunt for purple unicorns in busy shopping malls. He’d stalk invisible woolly mammoths down bright alleys and colourful lane-ways. He’d seek evidence of the flying spaghetti monster in dingy Chinatown noodle bars. He once surprised himself by finding a leprechaun’s lair in the back rooms of the city library, but it turned out to have been long abandoned. Or possibly just a random pile of musty old books that nobody cared about.

Today Caribou decided he was going to hunt telepaths. The difficulty with hunting telepaths is the fact that they look just like anybody else. They’re not all bald Shakespearean actors in wheelchairs. Though Caribou made a mental note to keep a very careful eye on anybody he saw who matched that description, just in case they were hiding in plain sight.

If you couldn’t tell who was a telepath by observation then the only option was to make them reveal themselves and Caribou had worked out a sure fire method. He picked an area with lots of people scurrying to and fro and found a suitable wall to lean nonchalantly against. He then thought up the most disgusting, obscene and repellent image he could imagine and attempted to broadcast it with his mind at people as they walked past.

He was certain that a telepath would not be able to help receiving the image and it would so shock and horrify them that they’d stumble or stop and gaze wildly around them trying to figure out where it came from or shriek and run away as fast as they could.

Coming up with the image wasn’t hard for Caribou. His mind often came up with disgusting imagery at the most inappropriate of times. Caribou had mostly learned to keep these images to himself. Especially around members of the clergy.

Caribou spent most of the afternoon attempting to mentally unsettle, shock or horrify people as they hurried, strode or ambled past him. They all seemed to be fully intent on whatever thoughts and images they conjured up for themselves and completely oblivious to the repugnance that Caribou was attempting to inflict on their minds. He received the occasional puzzled glance but he knew he couldn’t count those as any sort of evidence. No doubt a strange man leaning against a wall with a furrowed brow and an intense random glare would receive puzzled glances from non-telepaths just as much as from those more psychically gifted.

As the afternoon drew to a close with no telepaths detected Caribou considered two possible conclusions. There could be no telepaths in that particular section of the city on that particular afternoon. Possibly telepaths stayed out of busy areas altogether in order to avoid being bombarded by whatever twisted mental imagery other people could produce.
Or maybe telepaths were so used to being flooded by horrifying thoughts that they had become completely immune to them.

Caribou looked suspiciously at everyone who walked past him. What if they all had disgusting, obscene and repellent thoughts flowing through their minds at all times?

“Deviants”, Caribou whispered to himself while glaring at everyone he could see before calling off his hunt and heading for home.