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.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Chapter Nineteen

The day of the recital came, and Timmy could not contain his excitement. He sat at the breakfast table with his recorder clutched in his hand. He carefully laid it down next to his plate as if he was afraid to let it out of his sight, and between bites would put down his fork and reach out a finger or two to stroke the instrument.

His parents exchanged puzzled glances but did their best to keep up their usual morning banter. As soon as breakfast was done, Timmy grasped his recorder firmly in his hand, moving it from one hand to the other only long enough to shrug into his coat to head for the barn.

Recorder in hand, he went to the barn. Once inside, he looked into the rafters as if seeing a vision or hearing voices.

“Timmy,” his father called Timmy back to his chores with a warning tone.

Timmy turned with a smile on his face, and went to do his chores. His first task was to feed the chickens. He placed their food out, then pulled out his recorder and began to play. The chickens did not respond, but Timmy didn’t notice, using musical rests to check their nests for eggs, which he carefully placed in his pockets.

“Timmy.” His father called out in warning. “Let’s get a move on.”

He went through his chores in the same distracted, half aware mode, leaving his father to make up for the work he did not get done.

When the time was up, his father sighed, gathered the eggs from Timmy and sent him into the house to gather his things for school.

Even in the school bus the recorder never left his hand.

Sheet music was not needed, for he had only written the song he heard in his head.

The morning went slowly by, but all Timmy could think about was the music, and at 10:30 a.m. precisely, Mrs. Clark arrived to walk the class to the auditorium to prepare for the recital.

Parents and guests were already gathering in the hall when the class was ushered past them into the auditorium and onto the stage for final preparations and one final rehearsal.

Timmy’s eyes shone feverishly bright, as he stared at the back of the velvet curtain. The music was swelling in his head. He was aware of what was happening around him, but only as a backdrop to the music filling him, surrounding him. The music found its way into his bloodstream, playing a strange rhythm to the beat of his heart. It found its way into the tingling nerves at the tips of his fingers and toes. He heard it in the rustle of musical scores and the scraping of chairs, in the tap, tap, tap of ladies heels and the scuffle of men’s loafers as they walked to their seats. He heard it in the tap, tap, tap of Mrs. Clark’s baton on her music stand as she called the student’s attention. It was in the whoosh of the thick velvet curtain as it was opened in front of him revealing a seated audience.

He looked at his parent’s and smiled. Beamed actually, and were it not for the unnaturally brightness of his eyes and the flush upon his cheeks they would have thought he was the same boy he had always been as he grinned and gave them a short little wave.

There were two classes of fifth graders, and first the other class played their selection, then his class played “Twinkle, twinkle, little star”, and before you knew it, it was time for Timmy to play.

He was so excited he did not notice the nervous look which passed between Mrs. Clark and his mother. He did not notice the man in black, sitting in the second row sit up straighter, with an air of anticipation.

He pulled his recorder to his lips and played. He played the notes on the pages before him with whispering softness in one section and joyous abandon in another. He skipped up and down the musical scale, keeping time to the music only he heard, elsewhere. The musical accompaniment in his ears was rich and full; each day he heard more and more, as if new players had come to join the symphony. Somehow he knew that these players had been playing all along, but that he had been unable to hear them before.

He trilled and they twittered, he scaled and they played a deep strong rhythm. And though their music continued, his portion was done for the moment, so he set aside his recorder in triumph, and with a flourish, set it on the stand before him before taking the bow that Mrs. Clark was gesturing for him to do.

For several minutes he had been unaware of her, of the room, of the audience, even of his instrument. He played because he could not do otherwise, and now that he was done, he sank into his seat, exhausted.

There was a stunned silence. First one clap, then another, and soon the whole room erupted in applause. It was a nervous applause, as if people could not register what they had heard. Most of them, expecting a simple fifth grade concert complete with squeaks and squeals, and off note hear and there, were merely disbelieving.

Mrs. Clark came and had the children all stand and bow, and a second round of applause broke out. This one was a little easier. This was the expected thing. Parents came to school proud of their children but anticipating an often painful listening experience and prepared to clap politely as a way of saying “we love you” rather than “encore, please”. They looked at their own children, playing as children were expected and were a little disappointed that their child was not a prodigy, but mostly they were relieved that their children were not freaks.

The Tuckers held their heads up, proud and baffled, pleased and worried at the same time.
The crowd slowly filtered out, everyone in a hurry to get back to their jobs or their farms, but the man in black stood to the side, trying to figure out who the Tuckers could be.

They were among the last to leave, but he spotted them waving to Timmy and approached them.


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