Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Childhood (09/03/09)
TITLE: The luckiest kid in the World
By Colin Nielsen
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(Acts 16:16) NLT
Timothy grabbed the cold steel guardrail, climbed over the top, and edged carefully towards the cliff edge.
Everyone calls him the luckiest kid in the world: The boy who witnesses the future in his dreams. If only they knew the truth.
He closed his eyes. Cool saltwater wind caressed his face, urging him ever forward. Sandstone and gravel rubbed beneath his bare feet. He had already witnessed this scenario last night; unfortunately his father pulled him out of the trance before it ended.
Tim pulled out his cell phone. Any minute now, he thought.
It rang as expected.
"Hello Dr. Michaels. How are you?" Tim said.
"Tim. Where are you? Your parents are worried sick."
Sure they are. They could not care less about you.
Tim tapped the side of his head. The harsh voice refused to leave.
Why don't you jump? Set yourself free.
He opened his eyes. The violent dark-grey sea smashed on the sharp shoreline rocks sixty feet below. He wanted to throw himself into the sea of forgetfulness. He took another step and stood right on the edge. One more and it would all be over.
"Tell Mom I love her."
"You're not doing something silly, are you?"
"I'm going to sleep." Tim smiled. Sleep: the one thing his father forced him to do without every weekend.
With his decision made, a peace washed over him like a warm rain. "I'm going to jump off Lover's Bluff," he said calmly.
"Don't do it. You're so young. You have your whole life ahead of you. We talked about your condition already. You can control the schizophrenia with medication."
Anger swelled like a dangerous whirlpool. "You have no idea. Sure. I can sleep when I take the meds, but I also can't see the future. From Friday to Sunday night, Dad refuses to give them to me. All day he forces me to watch football, and hockey, and horse racing. Tells me that if I don't give him the winners, he won't give me the meds. I'm so tired. I hate it. I can't stand the voices anymore."
The phone went silent for a few minutes. Tim put a foot over the edge. A fresh updraft rushed along the cliff face. Clean ocean air filled his lungs.
"There's another way. I can operate . Even though your Dad will never agree, I‘ve got an idea. A car ran over a homeless kid this morning. I can lead your parents to believe you had the accident and perform experimental brain surgery. I'm confident we can fix this. There's a great chance you could be a normal."
He craved normality. This morning he gazed with envy through his second storey window at deliriously happy children playing, running, jumping at the park across the road. The kids kicked footballs with Dad's as Mom's talked.
He wanted a real childhood.
Tim stepped away from the edge and threw his phone into the malevolent waves below.
"Mrs. Charles, this is Dr. Michaels. We found your son. There has been a hit-and-run accident. Timothy is stable now, but I had to perform emergency surgery to save his life. We just moved him from ICU to general admission. You can see him whenever you want."
"Oh my. Thank you doctor. You have no idea how worried I was when he disappeared last night."
Six months later, Tim opened his eyes, yawned, and smiled. The sun shone through his open bedroom window. Dad disappeared along with his visions. To help his Mom, Timothy took on extra responsibilities like cleaning the yard and mowing the lawn.
She opened his bedroom door and greeted him with a hug.
"Sleep well, darling?"
"Like the dead. Hey Mommy. I've decided what to do some of the money you saved."
Thankfully, while he still possessed his ability, his Mom placed anonymous bets and held the winnings in a trust fund.
"What?" she answered.
"A hospital for homeless who can't afford health care."
"Sounds like a wonderful idea, honey."
"And mommy, one more thing I want to do."
"Tomorrow the Jets are playing the Patriots. Can we go?"
"Sure. Who do you think is going to win?"
Tim beamed a huge smile. "No idea."
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