"I am sustained by the certainty that life has meaning. As does death."
It’s no surprise that anyone who bears a moniker like Odd Thomas is a little on the unusual side. Of course, his parents share different opinions concerning the origin of his name: While his mother claims that it was an uncorrected error on his birth certificate, intended to be other Todd or Dobb (supposedly after his Czechoslovakian uncle), his father insists that his name was always intended to be Odd. His father also states that he has no Czechoslovakian uncle.
The history of Odd’s family is both a mystery and a tragic story, with a supposed trait of insanity that runs on his mother’s side. Although his suspicions have never been confirmed for certain, he believes he shared something in common with the aunt he never knew, Cymry: An ability to see the dead. Odd suspects that, driven mad by her gift or having not kept it quite as secret as he had, Cymry had been institutionalized. Following a fate similar to his aunt’s is a possibility that looms over Odd’s head every day.
Odd’s upbringing, if you could call it that, had been an exceptionally dysfunctional one. The marriage between his parents had been cold and brief. Son to a narcissistic father who was hardly around and a highly mentally unstable mother, it’s amazing that Odd hadn’t gone crazy himself. Somewhere down the line, his mother’s insecurities with the outside world brought her to seek the comfort of a gun, its presence bringing her peace of mind. At age five, Odd fell ill with a severe case of influenza. As Odd cried for attention and comfort, his mother saw this as too much responsibility for her to bear; the weight of other people’s problems, even if it be her own son, was a crushing force to her psyche. Rather than entering Odd’s room and lying down in his bed to tend to him as any mother would, she brought her gun to his room. As she laid there beside him, she threatened to kill herself. This stifled Odd’s wails and tears for a time, but it could not stop his sickly coughing. The perpetual noise a nuisance to her throughout the night, his mother came and threatened to kill herself again. When that did not magically cure her son’s coughing fits, she pressed the muzzle of the gun over the boy’s right eye. For a long time, they stood there in, young Odd staring at the shiny bullet at the end of the chamber. Killing her son, however, would have only further condemned his mother into forced interaction with other people. This was seriously the only reason she only resorted to psychological abuse rather than physical ones throughout Odd’s childhood. Shamed by the trauma his mother put him through, Odd had never spoken of this to anyone—not even to the people he trusted most later on in life.
Naturally, neither of Odd’s parents had ever been aware of their son’s abilities. The truth of it would have burdened his mother into a psychological breakdown, whereas his father would have certainly wished to exploit Odd’s abilities for profitable gain. At age sixteen, he could no longer live with an insane mother or an absent father, for obvious reasons. Odd found refuge with a number of close friends, and the one relatively sane (albeit eccentric) family member, Grandma Sugars. The chief of police and his wife, Wyatt and Karla Porter, served as the mother and father figures that Odd never really knew, as well as Terri Stambaugh, who took him in and provided him with a job and a chance to start over. Around the same time, Odd met Bronwen “Stormy” Llewellyn, and the two became high school sweethearts. They were soul mates, in every definition of the word. They had matching birthmarks. And a gypsy mummy at a fair told them that they would be together forever. Therefore, it must be true.
In all his twenty years, Odd had never felt the desire to leave the small town of Pico Mundo, California. But not because it was in any way a particularly spectacular town; it was one of those kinds of forgettable places tourists often drive through, and rarely ever stayed. Both the living and the dead alike were prone to passing through (one of the tales Odd recounts included ex-US President Lyndon B. Johnson who, still wearing the hospital gown he died in, had mooned him on the streets. He has also became good friends with the ghost of Elvis freaking Presley. Seriously). Odd’s definition of the American Dream is his small town life, making a living as a fry cook at the local grille, content with his simple routine that was so frequently complicated by the needs of the dead. With Stormy at his side, however, Odd persevered.
Odd’s narrative begins on the morning of August 14th. When the ghost of Penny Kallisto, fell victim to a sexual predator, appeared to the fry cook, Odd sought justice for the crimes done to the girl. Penny led him to Harlo Landerson, a former classmate of Odd’s. Although the dead do not speak, Odd began to sense the scenario of Harlo’s misdeeds unfold before him, and upon confronting his former classmate in an almost dazed state, Harlo bolted, and Odd gave chase.
Taking down Harlo Landerson had only been the start of Odd’s interesting day. After allowing Penny Kallisto to pass on to the next life, Odd was relieved by Chief Porter as Harlo was arrested by the authorities. Afterwards, Odd casually goes to work like the man of action he is, flipping pancakes at the Pico Mundo Grille. Because that’s what a man of action does. No one would have suspected the morbidly obese man, who Odd charmingly dubs “Fungus Man” (seriously), to be a psychotic killer hellbent on mass murder. His bodach entourage, however, indicated otherwise.
In Scottish Gaelic mythology, bodachs are something like bogeymen. To Odd, they’re not that much different. He assumed this term when Odd encountered the only other person who could see them—a young British boy who called them bodachs. When it seemed that the bodachs were aware that the boy could see them, the child had been immediately run over by a runaway truck, after its perfectly healthy driver suffered a fatal heart attack. Bodachs are shadowy creatures that assemble in locations before an imminent disaster, so they serve as warning signs than anything else.
All the more reason for Odd’s unrest upon watching a whole platoon of them escorting the oblivious Fungus Man, who proceeded to order food and “eat like a ravenous swine”. Afterward, Odd consulted Terri and then went to meet up with Stormy after work, telling her of their unsettling customer. Stormy did not like the idea of Odd pursuing the Fungus Man, for fear of what would happen to him, but Odd’s moral obligation compelled him to pursue Pico Mundo’s potential threat.
Odd followed Fungus Man to his humble abode within the neighborhood of Camp’s End. There, he unearthed Fungus Man’s link to unexplained phenomena when he discovered a mysterious black room in the fat man’s house. Strangely enough, upon entering this room, Odd soon himself back in time a few minutes before he’s thrown a bit into the future.* The room disappeared afterwards, as though it had never existed in the first place.
Over the course of the next twenty-four hours, Odd relentlessly pursued the peril that was soon to fall on Pico Mundo, fueled only on Pepsi, No Doz, chocolate, and sheer determination. He recounted an earlier moment he had with Elvis Presley who, unable to speak as the dead do not talk, expressed concern for Odd. It didn’t help that Elvis had been an emotional wreck the entire day. Odd figured this was because the day the tragedy is bound to strike the small town fell in between the days of Elvis and his mother’s death-days, but who could say for certain that the King of Rock and Roll might’ve foreseen the events that were soon to take place. Either way, it didn’t stop Odd from trying to prevent a mass murder and warning as many of his friends as he could about it.
Eventually, Odd found himself the one pursued by Fungus Man, who was actually given the unfortunate name of Robert Robertson. The Bob formerly known as Fungus Man wound up assaulting Odd and Stormy while they were having lunch at St. Bartholomew’s, vandalizing the church in the process. Some time later, after reporting Robertson’s assault, Odd returned to his flat only to discover the body of the fat man lying in his bath tub, murdered. Odd proceeded to dispose of the body in his place fast, for fear of being setup for murder and potentially getting killed himself should the murderer still be inside with him… Odd tossed Robertson’s body out the window, into Terri’s car, and off into the desert to divest himself of the evidence. Later on when Odd returned to the house on Camp’s End to further look for clues, he encountered Robertson’s ghost who, in blind rage, turned into a poltergeist. Odd thereafter sported a poltergeist-induced injury when a flipped fork flicked his forehead.
With time running out and Chief Porter out of commission when someone he apparently knew had attempted to murder him, Odd was on his own. He used his tracking ability, also called “psychic magnetism”, in order to find where he needed to go next. After making a few stops to his parents’, first his father, and then his mother, Odd realized that his psychic magnetism led him to his mother in order to swallow his fear of guns. He was led to the Green Moon Mall, where the real culprits were planning to make their move. As it turned out, the bodachs manipulated Odd into believing that Robertson was the real threat, when he had only been the pawn of a greater scheme. Bern Eckles and Simon Varner were members of the Pico Mundo Police Force, and had taken an interest in Satanism when they were much younger. As police officers, they were in the ideal position of authority. Varner had been the one who killed Robertson and attempted to set Odd up for his murder upon finding out that the fry cook had been onto their case.
Odd arrived at the Green Moon Mall in complete mayhem. He took down Bern Eckles with a baseball bat and, after reluctantly taking his gun, Odd shot down Simon Varner just in front of the ice cream shop where Stormy worked. Unable to find Stormy, Odd convinced himself that she was all right, and went to subdue the third gunman. The third member of the little satanic circle turned out to be Kevin Gosset, a school teacher, who shot Odd in the back twice while he’d been in the process of disarming a bomb set to go off in the mall. Odd passed out just as soon as he’d pulled out the wires, and woke up in the hospital, where he was greeted by all of his friends—Stormy included.
Once Odd was released from the hospital, he spent the next several days together with Stormy in her apartment, not answering phone calls and ignoring the relentless media pounding on their door. Over the period of time Odd was content with only Stormy’s company, as they had plans to get married soon. Unfortunately, the miracle never happen when Odd learned from his worried friends that Stormy had been among the nineteen fatalities at the Green Moon Mall massacre. It was then that Odd was forced to accept Stormy’s fate, say their goodbyes, and allowed her to move on to the next “great adventure”.
For the next six months, Odd had since left his tiny living space above his landlord’s garage and moved into Stormy’s apartment. He was awoken by the ghosts of Elvis Presley and a familiar Dr. Jessup. Odd learned that his childhood friend, Danny Jessup, had been abducted, leaving Dr. Jessup murdered in the kidnapping attempt. He confirmed Danny’s status among the living after paying a visit to his house, finding Dr. Jessup’s body, but no Danny. He was then assaulted by an unknown attacker.
Against Chief Porter’s advice, Odd chased the kidnappers alone, under the strict order from the kidnapper that if he did not, then his friend would die. At first, Odd and Porter suspected the culprit to be Danny’s biological father, Simon Makepeace. After some cryptic phone calls from a strange woman with a “smoky voice”, however, Odd began to learn that Simon had nothing to do with this (in fact, he learns later on that Simon was actually currently in prison). On top of that, he’d been told to go alone, or else Danny would die. The kidnapper decided to up her game by threatening to break Danny’s face—the only healthy part of Danny’s body that remains un-mutilated due to his dysfunction.
Using his psychic magnetism to locate Danny, Odd trudged through the water tunnels to an abandoned hotel, where he found his friend with a bomb strapped to him. Odd learned that Danny made several calls to a sex operator named Datura. Danny suffered from brittle bone disease, which made him lonely and deprived enough to even call a phone sex hotline, and that was where Danny made his huge, grave mistake: After developing an infatuation with Datura, Danny learned of her interest with the paranormal and proceeded to tell her several things about his psychic friend, Odd Thomas, in order to impress her. As a mean of getting to Odd, Datura kidnapped Danny in order to draw him out. Unable to disarm the bomb without blowing both Danny and himself up, Odd sought out Datura and her two silent partners, Cheval Andre and Cheval Robert. As it turned out, the reason Datura wished to meet Odd so badly was because she wanted him to show her ghosts. Unable to do this as the dead are visible only to him, Odd tricked Datura into pissing off a poltergeist. Distracted by the poltergeist’s rage, Odd was able to escape back to Danny and take care of the bomb by using Datura’s detonator to defuse it. He then told Danny to hide in an elevator, while Odd went back to take care of Datura and her compadres so they could escape.
After finding a shotgun in Datura’s room, Odd was attacked by Cheval Robert. Much to Odd’s dismay, he was forced to use the shotgun in order to kill Cheval Robert, knocking him out of the hotel window. Through reverse psychic magnetism (an opposite effect of psychic magnetism that draws others to Odd), Datura was able to find Odd. So was a certain mountain lion, which had attacked Datura from behind while the two were locked in conversation (because Datura just being a crazy enough bitch to believe that Odd could actually shapeshift into a cougar). While the big cat was distracted with Datura’s corpse, Odd made his way through the hotel, only to be hunted by the remaining Cheval Andre. Furious by the deaths of Datura and Robert, Odd was chased into the sewers where the two fought. Odd was able to use a knife to lay a fatal stab wound on Cheval Robert, but not without taking a slash across the chest himself.
It was implied that, after being washed down the sewer water and passing out, Odd died. He proceeded to undergo what might very well have been an out of body experience where he visited his friends, making sure that they were all right. He had no idea how he ended up outside of the Blue Moon Café, back in Pico Mundo, alive but not well: He was a mess, although mysteriously healed from the injury that should have otherwise killed him. Chief Porter then accompanied him back to the hotel where they rescued Danny, where Odd finally revealed the news to Danny of his father’s murder.
A couple months later, Odd spoke with Stormy’s uncle, Father Sean Llewellyn and rector of St. Bartholomew’s church, requesting that he seek peace with himself at a monastery. There, Odd spent seven months living as an honorary guest at St. Bartholomew’s Abbey in the Sierra Nevada mountains, accompanied by several monks and sisters, and a new friend named Boo, a golden retriever/German Shepard mix. But as expected, his peaceful life was hardly permanent when bodachs started appearing in the abbey. Pulled in by the new happenstances that began emerging at the abbey, Odd was drawn to the bedroom of a couple of fellow residents—two severely brain damaged children, Annamarie and Justine. Justine, who could not talk, began attempting to speak, while Annamarie, who could talk, began to speak for her:
Loop me in, Odd one.
Stormy’s words. Or rather, her catchphrase, whenever she asked Odd to fill her in on the latest supernatural scoop. From what Odd understood, it seemed that Stormy had been trying to reach out to him from the afterlife through the two girls—to warn him.
Not long after the bodachs started making their presence known, Odd stumbled upon Brother Timothy’s body in the midst of a snowstorm, only to be assaulted by an unknown attacker. Later on, the body had disappeared, and Brother Timothy was nowhere to be found. Odd suspected that Rodion Romanovich, a guest just like himself, had something to do with the nefarious plots that were seemingly going down at the monetary, and confided in Brother Knuckles who he had grown close to in the seven months he’d been living there. He also confided in the abbot and mother superior—the only other people who were aware of Odd’s gifts—warning them of the imminent dangers.
As if Odd didn’t have enough to worry about, strange noises began manifesting in the snowstorm, where he encountered a strange “galloping boneyard” and began seeing shifting, bone-shaped patterns against the abbey windows. While the bodachs began assembling into larger groups, Odd learned of the “Neverwas” from one of the St. Bartholomew’s residents; a man with Down’s syndrome, Jacob. And later, while visiting the ghost of Brother Constantine (a monk who supposedly killed himself, but Odd learns that his hanging had been no suicide), Odd also encountered the traditional image of Death at the abbey’s bell tower.
With time running out, the storm worsening, and the monetary ten miles away from the closest town, the abbey residents were on their own: Odd decided to gather the monks to the school in order to protect the children of the abbey. Drawn by his psychic magnetism once again, Odd was pulled to the location of Brother Timothy’s body, who had been serving as an incubator for another one of the bone creatures stalking the abbey midst the blizzard. Once the children were taken to the school and away from danger, Odd intended to leave Rodion Romanovich at the abbey. During their trek through the storm, Romanovich’s SUV was attacked by one of the bone creatures, and the confused monks just barely made it to the school with their lives.
Soon afterwards, Odd learned that Romanovich was actually an NSA agent, who’d been in cahoots with Brother Leopold. The two of them had been sent to investigate one of the resident monks, Brother John. Brother John, Jacob’s father who also known as the Neverwas (dubbed this due to having never been around when Jacob was a child), was a physicist who had been experimenting with reality within the very confinements of the abbey, claiming that he had discovered proof of God. With Romanovich’s assistance, Odd located Brother John’s laboratory where he conducted a computer model that could manifest thoughts into reality. Brother John was able to create the bone creatures and the Death specter simply because he thought them into reality; he was even able to will the life of a creature (also called a floppy) into existence, and will it out of existence just as easily. But the thoughts were beginning to get out of control, as the bone creatures were relentless in their attack on the abbey. Romanovich took his chances and shot Brother John, killing him instantly and destroying his creations as a result.
Some time after the incident, Odd decided to leave St. Bartholomew’s Abbey in order to go back to his life in Pico Mundo for Christmas. However, drawn by his psychic magnetism, Odd promptly told Ozzie to stop and got out of the car, explaining the feeling which he could not entirely explain: “It has everything I need. Maybe trouble, but maybe peace. I can’t tell. But it sure is calling me.” And Odd began following that pull all the way onto the highway. He’d been wandering ever since.
*This is the original canon point in which Odd arrives to Nautilus, albeit breifly. However, he immediately went back through the Gate in order to return to the black room which he came in from.
With the exception of his gifts, Odd Thomas is the very definition of the everyday man. Most people would consider him to be simple-minded and a freak: He has no great ambition, no grand goal in life. His prevalent drive is to ascend from his position as a lowly fry cook to working in the exciting and fulfilling shoe business or, if he’s truly lucky, take on the career as a tire salesman. No, really, this is all he ever wants in life.
Because Odd lives such an unusual life, he strives for all the simple pleasures it can offer him. He hardly considers himself to be a vigilante, neither does he consider himself justice personified. He is not a hero, or, at least, does not actively seek out to be one. What Odd does possess, is a sense of moral obligation. Due to his gift to see the dead, he is under the firm notion that he is meant to make use of it, which is what has always compelled him to act. However, he prefers to remain as under the radar as possible, despite hanging around the Pico Mundo Police Force even if it does earn himself a reputation as a “cop wannabe” who “doesn’t have what it takes”. In spite of his instinctive heroic actions, Odd doesn’t struggle to make a name for himself, and fame would only pile on needless worries and stress to his worrisome existence. That said, he expresses a respective nature towards authoritative figures, but he usually refers to just about anyone as “sir” and “ma’am”.
So as not to overcomplicate his already complicated life, Odd prefers to live as simple as possible, and doesn’t take what he has for granted. He doesn’t keep credit or debit cards on his persons, and he doesn’t own a car. His neurotic need to keep things simple can almost be seen as on par with his mother’s psychosis, going so far as describing a sweater vest as introducing “an unthinkable level of complexity” to his wardrobe (to which he promptly returned the piece of clothing the next day). His obsession with simplicity leaves him wearing the same style of clothes every day, feeling only daring enough to own a few black T-shirts but mostly white ones. The farthest he’ll stray from his selection of blue jeans are the two pairs of white chinos he owns. Being able to live off of bare essentials, Odd Thomas is the type of person that could go backpacking across the country with just the clothes he has on his back. That is, if he was the type to care for travel.
As it stands, he isn’t. To tack on to his simple-minded, small town mentality, Odd prefers to avoid big cities and over populated areas, rarely ever straying from his “little world”. Wherever the dead tend to linger most, Odd does what he can to stray from it, for his own sanity’s sake. This is more for his own personal benefit. Though he feels the need to stay in small, barely populated locations, he expresses guilt for the world’s many problems, as though he could prevent so many tragedies if not for his crippling fear of the outside world. He’s someone who’d sleep better at night knowing that he’d saved everyone as opposed to merely reducing casualties. “What has gone wrong with our world when nineteen dead can seem like any kind of miracle?” Odd wonders, upon reflecting on the reduced fatalities at the Green Moon Mall incident.
Contrary to the accusations of certain monks, Odd does occasionally has something of a silver tongue. He could probably tell you that you’re being stalked by a rabid Right Wing porcupine and say it in a way that it would somehow sound believable one way or another. Either that or what he says is so fucking absurd that you just don’t pry. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that his dry sense of humor makes it difficult to tell whether if he’s being serious or not. This talent helps in tight situations where it’s almost imperative for him to keep his cool; it wouldn’t be the first time he’d been called a freak because of this, as he oftentimes seems like he’s off on another planet. But even so, his talent in lying has also aided in the case of keeping his abilities secret most of his life. Odd is also known to having a slight twitch in his eye when he does lie, so as often as he does it, it’s very possible to differentiate when he’s not telling the truth.
With his experience with the paranormal and his ability to see the dead, it is not rare for Odd to question the state of his own sanity, sometimes going so far as doubting the authenticity of his gift. He’s pretty confident that he’s all right upstairs, but nevertheless faces the possibility that he just might be a couple sandwiches short of a picnic. After all, insanity has a way of running on his mother’s side of the family; they have a habit of retreating from reality for awhile. Odd is not guiltless of this after the death of his soul mate, either, having fled to his own world while shutting everyone else out in the process, locking his house and avoiding his friends for several weeks. That said, Odd is prone to episodes of insanity, believing what he wants to believe rather than seeing the truth. These instances are very rare, however.
Odd can be quite stealthy. You wouldn’t think that he’d be the type to have committed breaking and entering (preferred tool: His driver’s license), but he’s found himself in situations where it had deemed necessary. Because of this, he’s learned to be quiet and furtive in situations where it was required (his mother even once claiming that he “must have been a cat in a previous life”). In his youth, he’s also taught himself other handy skills, like how to hot-wire a car. Although a relatively bright young man, Odd lacks much knowledge in a lot of things; he isn’t very well-read (although that changes when he’s decided to give himself some free time), and didn’t spend much time in school. With the dead demanding justice, he didn’t have much time to live out the life of an ordinary teenager.
Like any guy hopped on hormones, Odd can have a pretty filthy mind. Stormy even called him priapic, or “perpetually horny” (the same woman also described Odd as being as smart as anyone she’d ever known, and yet simple; “Brains and innocence. Wisdom and naïveté. Sharp wit and genuine sweetness.” His friend, Little Ozzie, also described him as the poster boy for sincerity, and has all the guile of a lamb. So on and so forth). As fate would have it, though, this side of Odd seemed to have died along with Stormy, which comes to show that he really ever only had eyes set for one woman in his entire life.
She did, however, leave with him the idea that the life we live is called boot camp, which is to prepare us for the next stage of our lives, or afterlife, called service. That said, Odd is a man of Catholicism and faith, although his relationship with God is a complicated one. Regardless, he holds strong to his convictions and beliefs, beyond any shadow of doubt that there is a life after death, as he stands as living proof of it. Because of that, as much as Odd wishes for nothing more than to be reunited with Stormy, he chooses to live. He does not suspect that he will live out a full life, but if he does, then that will be enough. Stormy told him to be happy, to persevere. And to Odd, it’s all about perseverance.
Resourceful and impulsive, it is very rare for Odd to ever rely on a gun. Mind you, he’s more than capable of fighting, although he doesn’t consider himself to be much of a fighter (although he won’t deny that he is a “man of action”). Odd Thomas merely has a preference in a peaceful conversation over a fray. But combat opens up a whole field of creativity for him. I mean, who needs guns when you can make do with rocks, baseball bats, buckets, brooms, antique porcelain vases, frying pans, shovels, pop-up toasters, to even something as ridiculous and absurd as throwing around an angry, cross-eyed ferret as a mean of self-defense? Not even joking here. And his reason for avoiding guns is obvious: His mother. There isn’t much else to say about that, other than the fact that you can’t seem to be a Dean Koontz character if you don’t have the usual childhood traumas. The sixteen years spent enduring his mother left an unyielding mark in Odd’s psychosis, leaving him somewhat mentally damaged. On the surface, you wouldn’t take Odd for being anyone other than one of the most well-balanced people you could meet. But there is a darker, vengeful side to the fry cook as well. The damage done to both him as well as Stormy left Odd with a lack of compassion towards certain people, namely abusers of children; even stating that he would gladly face the consuming fires of Hell seeking out the damned souls that had ever hurt a child. To these people, he so malignantly promises: “I will know just what to do with you, and I will have eternity to do it.” This statement reveals a loss of innocence from the old Odd Thomas who spent his days with the living Stormy Llewellyn, carefree and happy. So much that he accepts the fact that he might go to Hell for it, never to see Stormy again in the life hereafter
First and foremost, Odd can see dead people. They are visible only to him. They can touch him, feel warm to him, but they cannot seem to physically harm him. As Datura found out, he does not possess the ability to make people physically see spirits, neither would he ever want to. Throughout Odd’s interesting life, he has met a variety of different kinds of ghosts. Sometimes they appear as normal people. Some spirits react differently to being dead. Odd had met some overly grieved by their death, except he’s also met one that was just as eager to entertain in death as he was in life. Other times, they can bear the injuries that killed them, such as little Penny Kallisto who did not reveal the strangulation marks around her neck until she’d been in the presence of Harlo Landerson.
One of the most unique spirits Odd met was Elvis Presley, who frequently changed his appearance and clothes and never revealed himself in the same state which he died in, unlike most ghosts do. Frank Sinatra, as well, shares some interesting traits, including his ability to serve as a potential poltergeist. In Odd’s realm, poltergeists are violent spirits that can summon enough spiritual energy to influence the living world. This energy lasts for a very brief period of time, and usually in a flurry of thrown objects and property damage. Spirits can be heckled into a blind rage, which Odd had done on a couple occasions in order to get himself out of sticky situations.
The dead don’t talk to Odd. But due to his psychic intuition, Odd can communicate with them on some level without the need for words. In addition to this intuition, he can also easily sense things, even unwillingly cheat at games such as Poker and Blackjack; “I just have a feeling for when my hand is stronger than those of other players and when it’s not. The feeling proves to be right nine times out of ten.” For this reason, Odd chooses not to gamble, as it feels like cheating. Sometimes, he’ll have prophetic dreams or visions, which goes hand in hand with his psychic powers.
Odd adopted the term psychic magnetism from Stormy, who also calls it psychic magnetism syndrome, or his term of PMS (which is a terrible acronym, I know). By letting his instincts to take control, psychic magnetism allows Odd to be drawn to places or people of importance, which you would think makes him an ideal tracker. On the contrary, psychic magnetism is terribly unreliable… and dangerous. In the event that the one he’s looking for happens to be a murderous psychopath (this is often the case in Odd’s life). It also has an inverted effect called reversed psychic magnetism. This draws others around Odd to him, no matter how harmless or dangerous they may be.
Although it is never really delved into, it seems that Odd revealed some kind of astral projection ability when he “died”, in that his soul was able to be in one place while his body had simultaneously acted out on its own. It also seems that Odd has neither any control nor understanding of this ability, so it’s all entirely speculation, really.
Another thing that is all speculation is Odd’s ability to induce a person into a mild hypnosis. He learned this trick from a magician friend he once knew: Using a coin, he can supposedly use someone to contact the Other Side via hypnotism, but apparently it only works if the medium had already died and were brought back to life.
Along with his ability to see the dead, Odd can see shadow-shaped creatures known as bodachs. They are described as liquid-shaped, with no real substance. Many of them are doglike, but as big as men. They’re also silent and, like ghosts, they appear only to a few people. They assemble in places of imminent doom where several people are going to die (i.e. before terrorists attacks, shootings, et cetera), serving as signs of warning before disaster is bound to strike in a general location. Odd develops an interesting theory that, because of the mysterious black room he had encountered in Robertson’s house that sent him into a momentary time paradox, that maybe time travel becomes possible in the future. He also speculates that our descendants can’t physically travel to the past, so they have to create virtual bodies that are only visible to certain psychics who can see them. Odd figures that the bodachs take on their shape of their deformed souls, but they resemble like any other human. For what reason that those of the future would take such interest in places of mass destruction is anyone’s guess; Odd certainly has no desire to dwell on a future where our descendants travel back in time simply to watch our suffering.</blockquote>
Important relationships and connections.