THE NOTIONS

Turn around, take a look behind you. No, no, don’t make it too obvious. Act like you’re just checking a speck of dust you found on your shoulder or something. Alright, good. Now behind you is a wall, right? Drywall or brick? It doesn’t matter. I don’t even care if there isn’t one directly behind you. If your eyes could see far enough behind you they’d eventually run into a wall, right? Don’t be a smartass, okay?

Point is, there’s a wall somewhere behind you and you have no idea what’s inside it. Oh sure, open it up and you might find plaster, insulation, and the like, but that’s not what I’m talking about. No, what I’m talking about isn’t so much a what as it is a who. Right now, as you read this, there exists a race of beings called the Notions who live in the wall behind you. Stop looking at me like that, I mean it. They’re in the wall in front of you, too. Basically any wall that’s ever existed or will exist has housed/will house them.

Keep looking at the wall, now. Stop reading, and just look at the wall for a second, will you? Okay. See a few cracks and bumps? Maybe a couple marks that you thought were sloppy brushstrokes from the last time the wall was painted? That’s the Notions. They live in the bumps, you see. Yeah, I know the bumps are tiny. But so are the Notions, so it works out pretty well for them. Your house would look pretty tiny to a giant, now wouldn’t it?

Alright, stop spacing out and imagining giants, this is important. Think of something, right now. Don’t ask what, that’s for you to decide. Have you thought of something yet? Good. Now that thing you just thought of came from your brain, right? Wrong. The Notions thought it for you. I know it sounds crazy, but I’m serious. Wait, wait, wait, don’t click away just yet. It’s vital that you read on.

Alright, thanks for hanging in there. Now, as I was saying, whatever it was that you just thought of, whether it was about elephants or salad or a treasured childhood memory that no one else had any clue you had, the Notions just thought it for you. Maybe thought is a bad way of putting it. You see, the Notions are thoughts, basically. Let’s say you want to think of an elephant. The Notions in your walls will then have a meeting to decide who’s up for the task (their time’s much faster than ours, so their hour-long discussions are nanoseconds in our world) and whoever they pick leaps out of the wall and into your brain, forming into the shape of whatever elephant it was that you wanted to imagine at that moment, tusks and all. They’re really good at what they do, too. They’ve had a lot of practice at figuring out what it is that people want to imagine or think about, so they can usually get it right the first time. I say usually, because the Notions have run into a bit of trouble lately.

They’ve been having some reproductive trouble, to be more specific. I’ll spare you The Talk, as I’m sure you’ve been given the human version already, but here’s the gist: the Notions thrive off of our energy. Whatever we want to imagine, the Notions form into for us. And then, when we see that little Notion in our head (which we assume is our own thought), we give off energy. The Notions then feed off of that energy to survive, so they can go on to have little baby Notions of their own. Normally, this is fine. It’s a pretty reciprocal relationship, wouldn’t you say?

The only problem is, the Notions can’t distinguish between what kind of energy they’re given. When you think of something happy or at least somewhat pleasant, everything’s fine. The Notions get nice and full, you feel good, what’s not to love? But when you think destructive, angry thoughts, that energy is sent out to the poor little Notions. And their bodies just can’t process that kind of negativity, you see. They wither up and die before they even get the chance to become mommy and daddy Notions.

Historically, this hasn’t been a problem. Negative thoughts killed off Notions here and there, but there were always plenty more happy thoughts to keep their population going strong. But that isn’t the case any more. Their numbers have dwindled considerably, and they’re on their way to extinction. What’s that? You’re wondering how you come in in all of this? No, don’t worry, this isn’t going to turn into some sad commercial with a Sarah McLachlan song playing in the background, asking for your donation to help a Notion in need. Money wouldn’t be able to help them, anyway.

No, what you can do, right at this very moment, is to think about something positive. It doesn’t matter what. Remember that time you laughed so hard your stomach physically hurt? Or how about when your best friend called you that one time you really needed it? Or even maybe that time you said that really nice thing to that total stranger, just because you felt like it? Remember the smile on their face, maybe a bit of surprise mixed in with it? Good. Keep thinking like that, it’s working.

We won’t be able to pull their population back from the brink overnight. It’ll take a fair amount of time, and a lot of positive thoughts will have to be conjured up. But we can do it, you and me. It might be hard, but nothing worth doing was ever easy. I think I read that in a book once. Or maybe it was a quote I saw online. Either way, it doesn’t matter. The Notions need your help, and only you can save them.

Okay, I’m done. You can click away now.

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