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.

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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 14, 2006

Chapter Seven

Timmy woke with his forehead pressed against the window. He had fallen asleep on the window seat, curled up, staring at the snow. The snow had fallen all night and now it covered the ground in a thick blanket that smoothed all the rough edges.

His father had already made tracks for the barn, so Timmy hurried to get dressed and go help. His mother had already set out his coat, mittens and boots for him, and was beginning a pot of hot cocoa on the stove.

“Hurry back,” she called as he opened the door to go out. “The cocoa will be ready in about ten minutes.”

He slogged through the knee deep snow as fast as he could, trying to stay in his father’s footsteps, though at times they were further apart than he could reach. He fed the remaining cows and horses, while his dad finished with the milking. In the old days, when the farm had been a dairy farm, there would have been hundreds of cows to milk, equipment to clean and sterilize, and tons of manure to haul away, but with just five cows, winter was a little easier than it had been for his grandfather.

Although sometimes his father would sing as he worked, bellowing out silly old songs like “Bill Grogan’s Goat”, today he was silent. The snow and cold often meant a quiet morning of chores.

He began cleaning out the stalls, but barely was done with one, when his dad got up and said, “The rest can wait a bit. No school today, so let’s go get warm and have some breakfast, okay?”

No school! Yippee!

Timmy grinned and followed his dad back into the house. Eric sat at the table, a cup of hot cocoa in his hands, pleased to have gotten out of a morning’s chores.

“After breakfast, we’re going to finish a few things in the barn.” His father turned to look at Eric, “You too.”

“Then we’re going to take the day off. As long as the animals are taken care of, the rest can wait.”

“Really?” both boys asked in unison, their faces shining with excitement.

“Really.” Their father sounded stern, but the corner of his mouth could not keep from turning into a grin.

Living on a farm, even a smaller one meant working all the time. It seemed there were always fences to fix, harnesses to mend, equipment to repair—a never-ending list of chores. Most were done by their dad and mom, but if the boys were home, most of their time was spent doing homework or doing chores. A day off was a rare treat.

Breakfast was hurried, and chores were completed with no complaints.

The two brothers came up with a whole list of things they wanted to do that day. Every possibility seemed open to them. An endless array of excitement awaited them. There were forts and snowmen to build, games to play and videos to watch. With only a day, they wrote down their list and tried to agree what to do. As they sat at the table going over their lists, they realized that their father was sitting at the table removing his boots.

“You aren’t working today?” they exclaimed.

“Not ‘til evening chores.” He replied. “I thought maybe you guys could clean your rooms, and help your mother clean the kitchen.”

At their groans, he grinned as if he couldn’t help it. “Well then. What shall we do today?”

Bringing their lists to him, the three put their heads together, deciding what to do.

“Save the movie for the afternoon.” Their mother suggested. “Then I can sit down and watch it with you.”

In the quiet excitement of their small farmhouse, the joy of the day filled them all, and though Timmy could still hear the music, today, the song was a still quiet interlude, one he could keep beneath the surface of his mind, a peaceful arrangement that did not threaten to overtake him during the entire snow day.

It was the kind of day one wishes could last forever, but if every day were like that, of what would memories consist? It is the standout days, the moments of peace and reflection, of a quiet interlude in an otherwise busy life that are special enough to be highlighted in memory for the rest of your life.

It is the day of marshmallow treats, of hot cocoa, and of families sharing games, snowball fights and movies that make the hard times easier to get through. It is the light in the darkness. No one in this little family knew what dark days were coming, and perhaps that is best, because the day which would become their fondest memory would have been tinged with anxiety and fear if they had known what was in store.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Heather said...

I absolutely love this quote!
It was the kind of day one wishes could last forever, but if every day were like that, of what would memories consist? It is the standout days, the moments of peace and reflection, of a quiet interlude in an otherwise busy life that are special enough to be highlighted in memory for the rest of your life." Brilliant!

1:49 PM  

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