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.

My Photo
Name:

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, February 18, 2009

Chapter Thirty-Four

Timmy swam in his own head, fighting to hear his own music, fighting to hear the music that surrounded him without being lost in it. The star kept calling to him.

Spring was coming. He knew it in rare moments when his mind would clear. Each time his awareness returned it seemed there were different people around him. His classmates who he recognized from their regularly scheduled visits, remained the same, but it seemed each time he was able to swim to the surface of his mind, there was someone new.

There was the lady in her colored turbans who showed up one day and seemed to be there each time. He would look around the room and see an Asian-looking man watching him silently in bright silk jackets embroidered with insects or birds.

They never spoke when he looked at them, so he briefly wondered if he should talk to them, but the moment was gone and he was pulled back under.

The next time he came out of it, he felt more alive, more excited than he may ever have been. He looked around the room and his eyes rested on a young girl seated next to him. Her eyes were looking right at him but she appeared not to see him. He watched her and for a moment the whole universe of sound that had been stealing him away disappeared. There was music that was cold and still and broken, weirdly atonal, simple and slow. It was captivating and uncomfortable at the same time. He listened for a while, wondering about the odd girl and her unseeing eyes, but he could not escape the music forever. The universe called. This time as he felt himself sinking back into the music, he slipped more slowly and found himself pondering in his last conscious thought about the new weird music that seemed to emanate from the girl with the dead eyes.

Renoi stared intently at Timmy. For a while his eyes were seeing and conscious, though his gaze never wavered from Samantha. The singing around him never ceased, but he did not seem to be aware of it. He did seem to be more alert than she had seen him in the days, or was it weeks? since her arrival. The tinkle of silver bells announced the arrival of Magda, whose gasp, though small, was still audible.

"I thought I heard laughter." Magda turned to Renoi in puzzlement. "I was so sure of it that I ran down here."

"There was no laughter." Renoi's spoke quietly, her words smooth, and rich, carrying in them the sounds of her native country. Her hands sat still and peacefully in her lap. Magda felt some of her own anxiety slip away.

"How do you do that?"

"Be so quiet and calm when things around you are so chaotic." Magda's voice was quiet but intense, taking her eyes from Timmy and Samantha for no more than a second. In that time she felt the warmth and deep calm of Renoi and heard her song, like deep, slow-moving waters through steaming jungles, or the lazy move of a lioness conserving her strength in the bright heat of the desert sun.

"We take things more slowly in my country. But then, you know that." Renoi turned her dark liquid eyes toward Magda, who turned back and sighed, "Yes, I know. I'm just so jumpy and frustrated. I was so sure something had changed, only to find everything still the same."

"Things are not the same, Magda." Her voice grew thicker as her eyes seemed drawn to the two children. "Samantha makes them bring her here. She refuses to be still until they do. Something is happening here."

Magda stood silently, watching the two children. Timmy's eyes grew focused and then glazed over, repeating the pattern over and over. Each time his eyes seemed to focus on Samantha, Magda thought she heard laughter. Without turning, she called softly to Renoi, "Are you hearing this?"

"Hearing what?"

"Listen."

Magda waited until she heard laughter twice more before she turned in triumph. "There. You had to hear that."

"Let's go talk."

The two women left the room as quietly as possible, and found the main room empty. They pulled two chairs close together in front of the fireplace and sat facing each other. Magda sat silently, waiting for Renoi to speak.

Chapter Thirty'Three

Word had traveled all around the world to the dismay of Benedict and Magda. Listers arrived from Thailand and Australia, from Peru and Iceland, and all lands in between. The school was crowded with guests. Those who were known were put up wherever they found room and those they didn't took rooms in nearby hotels, emptying the local car rental lots and filling the parking area to overflowing. The driveway, circling the fountain, emptied for winter, had cars parked bumper to bumper and cars were parked in the street. All day long people were asking, "Whose blue Escort is blocking my red Alero?" People came and went at random until Magda set up a check=in station at the door.

"We must know who is here and when," she declared as she stomped through the house, bells tinkling and managing to sound as angry as she.

No one argued with her.

And so, one week passed and another. The uninvited guests would take turns sitting with Timmy, as he was surrounded by his teachers and fellow students. The new guests made them feel very protective. His guardians increased the time they spent with Timmy, giving up sleep, their own studies, somethines their own classes, and spending less time with their families than they would like. They listened as they sang Timmy's song to him. Were their discordant notes? Was there anyone in particular there when Timmy grew worse? Were their others singing a foul song?

Magda became convinced of it, though she could never catch anyone. Occasionally she stepped into the hall and called Benedict or Gerald and had them check out one spot or the other on the property or in the mansion, but they never caught any perpetrators. It was driving them mad.

Benedict was consumed with worry, striving to figure out what was happening with Timmy before he was lost to them like Samantha, who wandered the mansion in a daze, talking to no one.

The strange people seemed to interest her, and she followed them around, particularly if they came in colorful costumes of their native lands. A tall, slim woman from Kenya, Renoi Rondumbai, came in beautiful dresses in bright oranges, reds, yellows and greens, with a matching scarf wrapped elegantly around her head. Her dark skin and beautiful voice combined with her bright clothing seemed to fascinate Samantha. When she was in the house, Samanthat followed her as she went for a meal, as she sat studying at a table in the library, and when she sat with Timmy, Samantha entered the room and sat by the door. Her eyes roamed the room settling only on Magda, Timmy and Renoi by turns.

"Is that the child we lost?" Magda heard the question and turned toward Renoi to answer. It always amazed her to hear the distinctly British accent mingled with the native accent from people in such distinct parts of the world. India, Parts of Asia, and even from Africa, many of the people she had met from these various lands all spoke in that precise English that denoted a British influence.

"It is," she answered. Samantha's piercing blue eyes stared at them blankly. "She seems quite drawn to you, you know."

"Yes. I had noticed. She is also drawn to Mr. Metharom, our visitor from Thailand. Had you noticed?"

Magda shook her head. "I don't believe I know him."

"He just arrived today. He wears beautiful silks, and today has on a green silk jacket with dragonflies embroidered on it. She seems to like it."

"Do you know him?" Magda tore her eyes off of Samanthat to watch the other woman's face as she responded.

"Fah is a good man." She smiled widely as she spoke, perfect white teeth blazing from a wide, beautiful smile which set off her ebony skin. "He is gentle," she continued, "and he is wise."

"What is she doing?" The hushed question came from one of the young students singing in what now seemed a choir around Timmy. Looking quickly over, Magda watched as Samantha broke through the circle, eyes on Timmy and sat next to him. She sat quietly, her face a blank stare.

Magda listened intently, but heard no disruption in the song, and was saddened to hear nothing but a void coming from Samantha. One of the students, Henry of the red hair and freckles, made a quacking sound in the midst of his song, but seemed shocked and embarrassed as he did, looking around sheepishly at the others before taking up his song again.

Shifts changed; people changed. In and out they came, but for the next several weeks some remained constant. Renoi Rondombai and Fah Metharom, were among others who showed up regularly, but each of them arrived each morning early and left just prior to most students heading to their beds. Most of the others stayed for a few days, spending a few hours at the mansion if they weren't staying there, before heading home. It was chaos and Benedict was clearly getting fed up.

"Do we have to let them come?" He asked Magda in a rare hour spent together.

"You would know better than I," Magda responded. "You should know how your parents started this school and how they expected it to be run."

Shaking his head with weariness, he responded, "They never wanted any lister turned away, but what would you do in this situation? They never put it into writing, but left this sort of thing up to my discretion."

Madga did not respond right away and they sat in companionable silence as they each thought their own private thoughts. Finally she replied, "As much as they are adding to the chaos of the house, I sense something different in Timmy since they began coming. I don't know what it is, exactly and I can't tell if it is for good or ill, but he doesn't appear to be fading as much as he was." She paused for a moment, "but I'm not the one worrying about the expense of having all these people using your gas and water and eating all your food."

Benedict laughed dryly, "The professor took care of that. He's charging room and board for those staying overnight, and is charging a daily fee for most of those coming to the house. He says that is covering their meals and a fee for using our facilities. He says most of them just sit around talking to each other and doing nothing. They're simply here to be able to say they were there during this time."

His laugh was bitter. "I guess if Timmy never gets well, they will have a stoy to tell their grandchildren."

"Bastards."

Benedict was so startled hearing Magda cuss he burst out laughing. He laughed and laughed until his sides hurt, but the laughter didn't stop. Magda broke down too. Peals of laughter rang throughout the mansion. Below them, and half the mansion away, surrounded by his singing guardians and with Samanthat sitting silently next to him, Timmy began to laugh.