Chapter Books

Timmy hears things that no one else hears. Is he going crazy or is there something out there? If something is out there why doesn't anyone else hear it?

All work herein is Copyrighted and may not be distributed or published without the prior consent of the author. Copyright 2006, 2007. Kim Bentz. All rights reserved.

My Photo

Kim Bentz, Writer and Photographer, living in Viriginia (Washington, D.C. metro area). Graduate of Colorado Springs Christian School, Student at American Military University. Government contractor by day. 

Kim lives with her husband of 30+ years, nearly 2000 books, a great collection of jazz records, and thousands of photographs taken all over.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Chapter Nine

Progress was very slow, but Eric pushed the snow forward, then right, then left, back and forth, gaining a foot or two with each pass. He cleared a space large enough to turn the tractor completely around, before he began to clear a path to the house.

The snow was still coming down, though the wind didn’t seem to be a strong. He worked on. How long had he been at it, twenty minutes? An hour? The snow was mesmerizing.

He looked ahead and saw a polar bear making its way across the drive. It seemed unconcerned with Eric, the tractor, or the house, so he kept plowing, watching the bear, wondering what he would do if it turned toward him. He blinked and the bear seemed to fade away, until it was as if it had never been.

The snow was turning colors, pink and blue and yellow at the same time. Then things blurred. Blinking hard, he tried to clear his vision, then rapidly shook his head trying to clear what must be visions. Things still blurred, but he kept going.

He felt rather than heard his father climb on, so the tap on the shoulder didn’t take him too much by surprise. “I said to come get me when you had the plow mounted.” His spoke close to Eric’s ear so he could be heard.

“I was just going to go until I got to the garage.” He had to yell back to his father.

“It’s okay now, you should go in and get warm. You did great.”

“Will you come get me after a while?” He put the tractor into neutral and stretched.

“You know I will, son.”

Hopping down, he walked quickly back through the barn to where the rope would lead him safely home. Moving seemed to invigorate him and his vision cleared. No polar bear. No tracks. That was weird.

They took turns for the next few hours. Slowly they cleared a path to the garage, and then began to clear the long drive toward the main road.

When each was done with a shift, they would drive back to the house to trade off with the other. Each time, they plowed away the newly fallen snow, keeping the path clear.

It was easier being on the tractor in the cold and blowing snow than to sit helplessly by listening to Timmy’s wheezing, the stubborn cough, or to watch him as he seemed to grow sicker by the moment. His temperature was high, and his lips and fingertips seemed almost blue.

Each time they walked in or out the door, they checked the phone for a dial tone. Nothing. They were completely cut off.

By mid-afternoon, Eric’s dad came in the door. No tractor sounds had alerted Eric, so he looked at his father in concern.

“I put ‘er in the ditch and I can’t get ‘er back out.” He sat at the kitchen table and covered his face with his hands.

Eric put a sandwich and a cup of coffee on the table then sat down with his dad. “What are we going to do?” he asked.

“I don’t know, but we’ll think of something.” He ate quickly, then went up to check on Timmy.

A few minutes later he raced back down the stairs.

“What is it?”

“I’m going to put the chains on the truck, then we’re going to use the truck to help pull the tractor out. Get your coat and gloves.”

Quickly they put the chains on the tires of their big old truck, then started her up and drove down to the rise in the driveway, where the tractor was tilted at an odd angle off to the left of the road.

Grabbing the heavy tow chain, they connected the back end of the tractor to the back of the truck. With dad on the tractor and Eric driving the truck they worked together to bring the tractor back onto the road. The truck tires spun at the unaccustomed drag, and twice Eric stalled the engine. Then they began to make progress. Slowly, the tractor began to back onto the drive.

Eric watched in the rearview mirror as the tractor began to back at a steeper and steeper angle. Putting more gas to the engine, he pulled and pulled, but suddenly the tractor began to flip over. The truck was yanked sideways, but stayed upright, while the tractor came to rest on its side.

Eric slammed the truck into park, jumped out and ran to the tractor, calling, “Dad. Dad.” His dad lay in the snow a few feet from the tractor. He slowly sat up, flooding Eric with relief. He got to his feet rather gingerly, dusted the snow off and looked at the tractor in disgust.

“Now what do we do.” He muttered when he reached Eric and stood staring at the tractor.

Snow was already beginning to stick to the side of the upturned tractor.

“Let’s go.” Dad winced a bit getting into the truck, and drove back to the house in silence.

It was a grim family that sat in the kitchen a short time later. Timmy was no better. They could hear him coughing and wheezing in the upstairs bedroom.

“What he needs it antibiotics,” Mom sipped her coffee. “What he needs is a doctor.” She got up and picked up the phone. Holding the handset away from her head, she screamed, “We need the phone!” She began to shake and cry. Dad got up and put his arms around her.

“Do you know what antibiotics they might give him?” he asked.

“I don’t know. Penicillin or something like that, I guess.”

“I’ve got Penicillin for the cows. Maybe we could figure out a dose that could work. It couldn’t be that bad for him, could it?”

“All I know is we have to do something. He’s getting worse!” then she broke into tears again.

They’d been in and out so many times they had quit putting their coats, gloves, hats and boots away, and had left them beside the door.

Eric reached for his coat, but his father stopped him.

“I’ll take care of this one, son.” He put his hand on his shoulder. “I need to read the manual and see if I can figure out what to do.”

Night had fallen, covering the drive in darkness with just a pool of light from the windows in Timmy’s bedroom and the kitchen, and the rope he had strung up to guide his return. In just a few minutes he limped back in with bottles, syringes and an instruction pamphlet in his pocket. Setting the items on the table, he scanned the pamphlet, turning it over until he found the dosage instructions.

He scratched his head, pulled out a pen and began doing figures in the margins.

“How much does he weigh?” he called his wife, who had returned to Timmy’s side.

“He was about 85 pounds last month at the doctor’s office.” She called out.

He figured some more.

“I hope this is right,” he muttered.

“I need alcohol and cotton balls,” he told Eric, who ran to get them.

The family huddled around Timmy’s bed as his father prepared the dosage.

“I don’t know if my figures are right, so I’m giving him less than I figured, just in case.” His face was grim and tense. Timmy’s body shook when he coughed and he seemed to be sicker and weaker by the moment.

“These syringes aren’t meant for little boys,” he choked back tears. He pulled back.

“Eric, please go check the phone one more time.”

The line was still dead.

His father grimaced at the news then gently swabbed his son’s thigh and jabbed him with the syringe. Timmy didn’t flinch or cry out.

The lights began to dim, so his father left Eric and his mother to go work on the generator.

By the time he returned from re-fueling the generator, he looked at Timmy and asked, “What’s that?”
They all looked at the red splotches that began to dot his face and neck. Timmy’s began gasping for breath. The splotches rapidly filled with fluid, alerting his parents of the worst thing that could have happened.

Timmy was allergic to penicillin.

His father held him and cried as his mother ran to the medicine cabinet for allergy pills. “We need to get these in him,” she insisted. “Help me get him to swallow these.”

For several minutes they tried everything they could think of, but nothing seemed to work. It appeared that his throat was swelling as his breathing was more and more difficult.

Eric was in a panic, but unable to do anything to help. He felt helpless just standing there, certain he was about to watch his brother die. Both his parents had tears rolling down their cheeks as they worked on Timmy.

Eric fled downstairs, threw himself on the floor in front of the couch and cried.


Blogger Pat said...

The chapters keep getting long but I still want more MORE MORE

5:49 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

That's "longer"

5:50 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home