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, December 05, 2006

Chapter Seventeen

The entire family went home, back to their farmhouse, back to chores, back to milking, back to peaceful days and dark starry nights. Everything was the same, but there was an uneasy feeling in Timmy’s parents and in his brother that Timmy’s restored health wasn’t enough. Everything was the same except for Timmy.

Timmy tapped his fingers and moved his feet to rhythms they could not follow, and hummed tunes they had never heard. He would get up to go do his chores, but once outside the door he would wander off with a far-off expression on his face. He wasn’t deliberately careless, but his distraction was so profound that his parents exchanged worried glances over his head and he didn’t seem to be aware that his mother had begun taking the boys to the bus stop and waiting there until they got on the bus.

His teacher began reporting strange behaviors, and kids began avoiding Timmy. Eric saw it and was embarrassed and angry. Why couldn’t his brother just be normal? Why did he have to be so weird?

Mrs. Clark was more frustrated than anyone. It wasn’t that Timmy wasn’t cooperative, he seemed more delighted than anyone with recorder class. He played the music with passion and invention, adding notes that weren’t written on the music. It was really astonishing the notes and harmonies Timmy coaxed out of the cheap instrument. She would have enjoyed it but for the strangeness and the way it disturbed the other children and, well, her if she was willing to admit it.

There is no way he should have been able to have the tone, the purity or been able to play with such dexterity and precision. It simply disturbed her. He was beginning to seem autistic, yet the symptoms had come on too late for that. Similarly savant tendencies usually revealed themselves far earlier than this. She began to dread going into that classroom. The happy clowning, endearing kid had been replaced by a happy dreamy completely distracted kid. The suddenness of the transformation was unsettling.

To keep order in the classroom she decided to give Timmy a solo in the recital, and to allow him to play whatever he wanted to play.

“Can I make up my own song?” he asked eagerly.

She thought for a moment, unsure why the idea was so alarming. “Well, okay, but you have to write it down in advance. I’ve got notation paper which I will give you after class and explain how to use it.”

That night and in every spare minute, it seemed that Timmy would gaze off into the clouds, or stare at the hills, or the trees. Sometimes he would lay down, ear to the ground and then get up and rush to put notes on paper. It disturbed the peace of the family, yet seeing him so caught up in it, his parents were reluctant to put a halt to this new endeavor, and provided him with the tools he needed, more notation paper, dark pencils, a metronome, to help with the timing, and simply stared at the pile of pages accumulating around their living room.

Timmy’s mother was particularly concerned and as soon as the boys got on the bus one Monday morning, she pulled out onto the main road leading to the highway. Beating the bus to school, she parked and went in the office.

“I need to see Mrs. Clark.” She said, setting her large tote bag on the counter.

“Well, Mrs. Tucker, so nice to see you.” The Taylor’s oldest daughter called out from her desk at the wall furthest from the counter. She had only recently gotten her certificate from the business school in Dulanth, and was desperately trying to appear more grown up and mature than she was.

She picked up her handset. “Mrs. Clark? Mrs. Tucker is here to see you.” Pause. “Un huh. Timmy’s mother.” She listened for another moment. “Okay. Bye.”

She looked up, “If you will have a seat, she’ll be right down.”

Nervously, Timmy’s mother sat on the edge of the old turquoise vinyl chairs edging the waiting area, her tote bag clutched on her lap.

“Mrs. Tucker?” a studied professional smile was on Mrs. Clark’s face.

Rising, “Please call me Emily. Is there somewhere we can talk?”

“This way.” Mrs. Clark briskly passed through the swinging half door separating the public and private portions of the front office and down a side hallway to a small room furnished with old bulky metal chairs and table. Dingy paint and dingier floors indicated years of use, particularly by the door and at the front of the table.

With a jerky hand movement, she indicated the chair on the left while she sat at the head of the table. They sat for a moment saying nothing, looking at each other and waiting for the other to speak.

“You wanted to see me?” Mrs. Clark asked, quickly checking her watch for the time.

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