Alex The Inventor-Chapter 13 (Pt.2)
Book 1 of an Illustrated Sci-Fi Trilogy
Read Chapters 1 - 13 at: Deep Sky Stories
Chapter 13 (Part 2) - An Unexpected Visitor...
Elizabeth was beside herself with worry, where was that young scoundrel now? She paced the floor of her living room, ringing her hands. He was in that scrapyard, she was most certain of that, but where?It was so big and like a maze, with all those hills of scrap and wandering trails in amongst them. It could just as easily be a forest, there was so much to it all, and what if he was stuck somewhere in there? Maybe his foot got tangled in something while he was clambering about in the dark. Mrs. Faraway was quite independent and could get through most crises on her own, but this was her son!
"Alexander Faraway, you are going to get such a grounding when I see you again," she fumed anxiously. "That's it, I'm calling the police," she said to the still, quiet house, and she reached down to pick up the little cellphone on the coffee table.Just then, Elizabeth saw the headlights turning into her driveway and she gave a sigh of relief. "Alex..." she whispered hopefully. The car door shut and footsteps came up the walkway and then up the steps to the front porch. They sounded like adult steps though...no Alex.Elizabeth turned on the porch light and looked out the peep-hole at the person who had just stepped in front of it. She squinted to get a better look. This was puzzling. Why was he here? Maybe he knew something about... Elizabeth quickly unlocked the door and stared across the threshold at Mr. Chater, waiting to be allowed inside.
"Hello, Mrs. Faraway," he said somewhat awkwardly.
"Hello, Mr. Chater... may I help you with something," she said, then, "have you seen Alex, by chance?" Mr. Chater was taken aback to her sudden question, "no… I-I'm sorry, no I haven't... hasn't he been home yet?"
"No... no he hasn't and I'm getting worried sick, he's never been out this late before." "Please come inside," she finally said and let Mr. Chater in. "What is it that you've come about then," she said, quickly getting to the point.
"Well... I'm not sure exactly, you see I'm very confused about Alex as well," he replied in a distracted manner. Elizabeth then noticed that he had some papers in his hand.
"What are those about," she asked. Mr. Chater held the papers up with a dazed look on his face.
"These," he said in a quiet, stumbling voice, "are Alex's geography exam papers..."
"Oh." "I see," was all she could think to say.
"Yes... well... that is... there is something... the exam – Alex did it very well... rather fast actually," (a nervous chuckle), "look may we sit down with these... there's something I think you should see."Elizabeth numbly showed Mr. Chater a chair at the kitchen table. Had Alex cheated? Copied someone else's exam? Mr. Chater sat down with a ghostly expression coming over his face. There was clearly something he wished to tell her, yet he seemed just as afraid to tell it. After taking a few deep breaths though, Mr. Chater looked up from the faded floral tabletop and began."Mrs. Faraway, I have been a teacher for almost twenty years, yet...this evening, you see, I was marking the children’s geography tests at home. When I came to Alex's test, I was really quite pleased because...he did it all so well - nearly perfect, actually, except for his first few.I happily read down through all his answers and ticked a check-mark beside each correct one... But then... well... then there was this."Elizabeth looked down as Mr. Chater slowly turned over the stapled stack of five exam papers so that the back of the last page was showing. There was something...there was a drawing of some sort. It had been made all in dots too like an art project.Some dots were light while others were darker so that there was a wonderful shading of shadows to the drawing. It had an almost three-dimensional quality to it as if it could leap up out of the paper.As she took up the page to gaze at it, Mr. Chater went on. "Mrs. Faraway, I must tell you not only what I have discovered, but also what I witnessed today in my classroom.Alex, you see, has not been doing well in geography this year and I was not expecting a lot from him during this test either...Something remarkable...he finished this entire exam with only ten minutes left on the clock, do you understand - a test which should normally take forty-five minutes to complete, done so swiftly that I was stunned - the whole class was stunned.But not only that, but then to do this...this drawing within that same time-frame...well, it – it’s impossible – it’s unnatural."Mrs. Faraway looked up sharply at that last word, with an angry retort on the tip of her tongue. "Please–please, Mrs. Faraway, I apologize for that last - please, I must finish this." Mr. Chater took the paper from her hand and turned it a certain way before her eyes.
Next: Chapter 14 - Converging Paths
Elizabeth struggles with Mr. Chater's revelation of her son's unnatural insights into alien world and Miss Vee sends the two children off on their dangerous quest for Parathagon fuel. Yet, even as they are about to set off, Legs, the scavenger-bot brings home something very unexpected from the scrapyard. As of 2017-05-29, Chapter 13 (Pt.2) is loaded at: Deepskystories.com