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 21, 2006

Chapter Ten

Exhausted by worry, Eric dozed, face down on the carpet with tears drying on his cheeks, his arm under his head. He hadn’t cried for a very long time. When he woke he would have been in total darkness but for the light from the kitchen door.

He could hear his parents worried voices in low conversation. Timmy’s coughing seemed to alternate with wheezing. He lay there trying to force himself to think of what to do.

If he had snowshoes he could walk out to the highway and flag someone down. If it was daylight he could strap on his skis and go cross-country to the Emerson’s. If only there was a way to signal for help. Tomorrow maybe he could figure out a way to do smoke signals.

Now he was sitting up, his thoughts racing. There was something else, wasn’t there? Something they had talked about when he was a boy scout. What was it?

He looked around the room, staring but not really seeing, until his eyes caught the outline of the flashlight on the table by the door. Then he remembered. Twelve boys on an overnight camping trip using their flashlights to send messages in Morse Code to each other, following instructions by one of their leaders.

Suddenly he knew what to do. The code for help was SOS. Three short, three long, three short. Soon he had all the lamps lined up at the windows, five in all, all plugged in to a single power strip. When he was ready, he flipped the switch. On, off, on, off, on, off. On, pause, off, on, pause, off, on, pause, off. On, off, on, off, on, off. Then he paused for the count of ten before doing it over again. Over and over and over. He wondered how long the generator would hold out. He went and turned off the kitchen light, went back and did some more. For half an hour he did this, then sat back for a minute. It wasn’t working. He thought that maybe the Emerson’s could see it, or even the Pearson’s. But then he thought maybe I need to be higher.

His dad had mentioned that the barn generator was working fine, which gave him another idea. What if he signaled from the top of the barn? Surely then someone would see him. Why from that height there must be fifteen or twenty farmhouses that could see the light.

Carefully he planned his next move. He would grab one of the big lights from the tractor barn and haul it up to the roof with a long extension cord. If he sat on the peak of the roof, he could signal for a while.

Climbing to the top of the roof was easy in the summer when the attached ladder was clear and dry, but in the dark, the ladder covered in snow and ice, it was hazardous. The first time he began to slip he realized that he needed both hands to grip the rungs so he sat down, tied the extension cord to the light and wrapped it around his waist so the lamp could dangle free. Continuing the climb his feet slipped out from under him as the roof was covered in ice just below the snowy covering. He banged his knees and his elbows, even hitting his chin once as his feet completely slid away from him and he clung by both hands, before he reached the top.

He straddled the peak of the roof catching his breath for a few moments. As he did he looked around in amazement at how many lights he could see. Surely someone would see him.

Through the light of the upstairs window he could see his parents huddled around his brother’s bed, holding hands and praying.

He turned to the task at hand. S. O. S. he flashed the code. Waited, then flashed again. Again. Again. His face was cold. Something was odd. What was it? Again he flashed the code. Again. Then he realized. The snow had nearly stopped. This would never have worked if it was still blowing hard. Intently he watched the neighboring farm houses for a response.

He saw his dad look up and see the code. A smile came over his face as he turned to his mom and gestured to where Eric was flashing the code. Again.

Again. Again. Again. Each time he tried to hold the lamp facing a different direction. Each time he peered out into the darkness between codes, hoping and praying for a response.

The wind was lightly blowing bitterly cold across his face. He began to shiver. Again. His fingers fumbled with the switch. Would they notice if he got the code wrong this time?

Three short, three long, three short. Again. Again.

There. What was that over there? Off over the ridge a house blinked back. He couldn’t remember the codes, but he was pretty sure that the flashing on off, on off was a sign he had been seen.

He flashed again. S. O. S.

The light went dark. Then flashed on off, on off. One more time for good measure he flashed the sign. S. O. S. Their lights flashed on and off over and over again.

Now that he had been seen what should he do? Keep doing this or hope they would send help? Eventually he decided to tie the light up there, leaving them a light to follow.

Slowly he climbed back down the roof.

When he got back in the house his dad greeted him at the door. “That was good thinking son. Was there any response?”

“I think the Parkers flashed back at me.”

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