Short Story “11:11” by Tausha Johnson
This story appears in Uncommon Minds where we enter into the hidden world of the mind, where the laws of nature don’t apply and nothing is as it seems. Twenty authors tell tales of tragedy, triumph, and bittersweet gratitude. You’ll find augmented realities and mental persuasion that force you to question everything. Stories of military suspense, psychological horror, dream walkers, and psychic mediums await their turn to crawl into your head. Tausha Johnson is one of those twenty minds.
I have long been a fan of Johnson and this has to be one of my favorite stories of hers. It follows psychic medium Renee Rowland who was only eight when her father jumps from the 11th floor of a Las Vegas hotel. This premonition comes true when she is ten. Fast forward to her interview with journalist and skeptic Jack Moore. Her readings have all been the same until now—and she’s been waiting her whole life to meet with him.
What do I love about this story? Lots of things. For one, the title “11:11” has a spiritual meaning. Many people get excited when they see that exact time on the clock because it means that whatever you were just thinking about or have just experienced is worth paying attention to. The time also signifies that your angels and guides are near or there is some spirit on the other side trying to contact you. Johnson is fully aware of all of this and weaves the deeper meanings into the tale.
This story is fast-paced and full of incredible detail. Also, her characterization is outstanding. Here’s the kicker, though. Once I got to the end I didn’t really know exactly what happened. I had to go back and read through the story again. My recommendation is to pay attention to everything while you read. Johnson builds a mystery that can be interpreted a few different ways. You might have to go back to see the clues she plants for the reader. That’s actually part of the fun of the story.
I will continue to follow what Johnson writes, as she is extremely talented in story-telling (and also poetry if that’s your thing). She has several works out in various anthologies, so check them out. I know I will… Oh, and I’ll be reading the rest of Uncommon Minds, since I’m sure the collection has some other gems in it.
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