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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, January 04, 2007

Chapter Twenty-Five

Mrs. Tucker burst into tears. The professor stopped smiling and Mr. Tucker pulled her head to his chest and wrapped his arms around her.

With a grim smile he said, “You’re going to have to do better than this.”

“Valter?” the professor turned to him sounding uncertain for the first time. “Vould you explain please?”

“Ahem.” Walter cleared his throat nervously. “Mrs. Tucker. Mr. Tucker. Can we sit down?” Without waiting for an answer, he pulled out a chair from the table and sat. The professor and the Tuckers followed suit.

“Being a Lister is dangerous, but since he is one already, the only thing we can do about the danger is to train him. We cannot do this without your cooperation. We have a small school and one-on-one training…” He hesitated, cleared his throat, then took a different tack.

“He is likely having a lot of trouble in school, given the amount of distractability I have already witnessed.” He waited.

Mrs. Tucker hung her head. “The school did talk about putting him in special ed or putting him on medication.” Her voice was quiet, and when she lifted her face to look him in the eye tears glistened. “How can you help him?”

Walter leaned forward and clasped her right hand in both of his. “I know what he’s going through, and I went through the training myself. It’s hard when you are so overwhelmed by the music that you can’t play, can’t study, can’t talk to your family. You can barely eat or dress yourself, and school is a nightmare. You can hardly think your own thoughts anymore.” His voice grew intense and his eyes bored into hers. “If he is to have any kind of life he needs to be trained. Untrained Listers wind up in mental hospitals or they succumb to illness like Timmy nearly did.” He released her hands, leaned back, glanced at the professor and then continued.

“We would like to take him to our school. We have only four students at the moment, and the training is extensive. What we do…what was done for me is to train Listers to be able to shut out the music like you would tune out the ticking of a clock or the hum of the refrigerator. That’s simplistic, but imagine you had to hear each and every tick of every clock, or really hear the hum of the refrigerator, the dishwasher, the furnace, the hum of the lights, or any of the dozens of electronics most people have running in their homes.”

“It would drive me crazy,” she said.

“It does that to some people. Most of us can learn to be more normal, but the wonderful thing is that each Lister seems to have a particular specialty…music that they hear more clearly than the rest of us, and because of that we have areas where we can recognize problems as they develop and sometimes avert crises.”

“What’s Timmy’s specialty?” Mr. Tucker sounded confused.

“We don’t know yet, but over the years Listers have been able to aid the earth in cleaning up environmental disasters like acid rain and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. We have been able to slightly alter the course of asteroids to do less damage to the planet, help forests recover after fires, and some are healers.”

“More importantly, we hear the beauty of the universe, and this helps us to write beautiful music which lifts the souls, to paint or sculpt art that feeds the spirit or teach others to appreciate the glories of Creation.” Walter’s face almost glowed as he spoke.

“This is a great gift, and if properly trained, can provide great joy to your son.”

The Tuckers looked at each other. It appeared that an entire conversation was had with flickers of the eyelid, a raised brown, a brief, almost imperceptible nod and a slight head tilt, in the way that some couples have of communication. In mere moments they turned to Walter and the professor. “Tell us how this will happen.” Mrs. Tucker’s voice was resigned and unhappy.

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