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.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Chapter Thirty-One

Timmy was drowning.

It wasn't water that surrounded him, but sounds. He could hear each person as they passed his room, each of his "keepers" as he thought of them whenever rational thought returned, the song of the house and it's creaking timbers, the dry rot under the kitchen pantry, the leaking pipes. He heard the song of the lake in the back, the grass in its winter slumber, the birds overhead and as they sheltered in the crook of leafless trees. He heard the windsong, the stormy beats in far off places, the insects in their furious labor underground.

All these he heard without understanding. It was as if a thousand symphonies were playing all around him--different pieces, different keys, different timing. There were minors and majors all at the same time. For brief periods he had respite, and had been learning to block out some of it, but for the past few days, he was capsized in the sea of sound.

He was unaware of the time passing, and could not pinpoint a moment when he began to drown again, but somehow, in the part of his brain that could still maintain rational thought, which was a very small part indeed, he had the vague notion that this latest drowning had something to do with the arrival of the dark man.

His keepers were so taken up with the excitement and so distracted by the meeting downstairs that they were only going through the motions of singing Timmy's song. Straining for sounds from below, they would sometimes forget to sing at all, or would slowly begin to sing something other than his song. Catching themselves they would start in again, only to be distracted again.

This came to an abrupt halt after several hours.

The discussion had been going on for quite some time, and had become quite animated. Benedict quietly listened, sometimes leaning forward with a thoughtful question that told each person they were being heard. Debates became sometimes heated, and meals had come and gone. Magda sat back with a frown, listening not just to the words but to the tune that accompanied each speaker. As the day had worn on, most had stopped shielding their music and she was dismayed to discover that some had other reasons for wanting to be here.

Growing weary, she shut them out for a time and began casting about for other songs. Slowly she listened to the approaching storm, before becoming aware of what was happening in Timmy's room. His song had grown cold. From half a building away she could hear his rapid breathing, his thready pulse and feel the cold sweat on his brow.

"No!" All conversation abruptly halted as she leapt to her feet with a shout before running out of the room.

"What's wrong?" Benedict called to her retreating back.


And almost with one movement, the various Listers jumped to their feet and followed.

Benedict's long stride had him ahead of the pack and arriving in Timmy's room almost at the same time as Magda. They rushed to his side as Magda curtly dismissed the keepers who had once again forgotten their duties. Magda reached for him, crooning out the one tune that seemed to bring him to himself.

As she did so, one of the healers sang some strength into his heart and steadied his breathing. The others began to sing with Magda, some with the same heart tune, and some weaving in strands of other heart songs that Timmy exuded.

Only Benedict remained silent. Eyes closed, he listened intently to all the music that was coming out of the little boy. Fear, joy, dismay, cold, puzzled, longing...all were there. Hearing the tunes the others were singing, he listened to as they eminated from Timmy. In them he could see warmth, family, peace and all at once he saw a living room, a movie was playing on TV and there was a woman, a man and another boy. He felt "Mom", "Dad", and "Eric". He smelled hot chocolate and warm buttered popcorn. He felt safe, warm, love. He heard laughter.

His eyes popped open. He was shaken. Usually he was just left with impressions of feelings. Most people's songs did nothing else. Timmy's song was so powerful that he could see.

Magda looked at him with knowing eyes. She saw the shock on his face, and was sure there was some of that on her own face. She had seen it too.

She sang on as he closed his eyes to listen some more, listening for the smaller songs, the powerful notes. He grew cold, as he heard great sounds of winter, knowing that somehow the boy had become vulnerable to the season's rages.

After a time he heard what he hoped was the key. It was a small but cheerful note, repeated over and over and unexpected. It was spring in the midst of darkest winter.

"A duck?" He said out loud.

"What?" Magda stopped her singing long enough to ask.

"Do you hear a duck?"

She laughed and shook her head no.

Gesturing to another to take Magda's place, he grasped her hand and pulled her to her feet. With his head he motioned toward the door and she followed him outside.