Alex The Inventor - Chapter 9 (Pt.1)
Book 2 of an Illustrated Sci-fi Trilogy
Chapter 9 (Part 1) - Strange Change...Lunchtime for Alex had been absolutely delicious, he smacked his lips and let out a satisfied, "Ah", after guzzling down the last drops of his mom's homemade orange juice. Oh it was heavenly to be home with his mom all day long again. This was the best long weekend he'd ever had. Alex felt great if perhaps slightly lightheaded from all the work he had done that morning. He finally sat back on his chair in the kitchen, full and content. "That was the best", he sighed. Hot, gooey grilled-cheese sandwiches - oh, heaven! Alex took another deep sniff of the delicious, pungent buttery smell which still lingered from the nearby oven. A crisp, fresh breeze blew in through the open kitchen window and slowly dispersed the heavy cheese aroma as Alex finally sat back up with a smile and a full stomach. Getting up from the table, he ambled the few steps to the back door and put on his boots as he prepared to go back out to his workshop. Opening the door, Alex found his mom sitting on one of the porch steps, sipping a cup of coffee and gazing out on the heavy concealment of their backyard thicket. Alex sat down beside her and belched happily. Then much to her surprise he quietly said, "Zur-Haw", or some such odd word.
"I beg your pardon", Elizabeth laughed, taken completely off guard.
"I said I feel great, mom", Alex replied with a puzzled laugh of his own.
"Oh...r-really", she said, even more bewildered, "I'd hate to hear what, (I'm pooped), sounds like." "Honestly, I don't know where you kids come up with these new words." Alex cast his mom a quizzical, side-long stare.
"Uh...ya, well...okay", he said in a slightly worried tone of voice. Mrs. Faraway gestured toward the old barn, "what are you doing in there?" she said, trying to sound calm and casual.
"I'm fixing up Big Ben - well as much as I can anyway", Alex said as he pulled a straw of wild hay from near the bottom step.
"Just be careful Alex", she said quietly and took a strong sip of her coffee.
"Sure", he said giving his mom another long, searching look. They sat there for a short while, sharing the quiet together. Neither of them said a word, it was enough just to sit silently, watching the small birds and insects as they flitted from plant to flower to tree branch and back again. Everything was just so light and softly quiet and warm that they wished they could hold each small sight or moment much longer than what was allowed them. Once they caught a fleeting glimpse of a small toast-brown rabbit nibbling on a patch of tall grass before it vanished back under the protection of the blackberry thorns. For whatever reason, the calmness of the thicket all around brought Alex's thoughts back again to his long-missing father. Almost in a whisper he asked, "do you think father will recognize me when he comes back, mom?" Mrs. Faraway caught her breath on hearing her son's shy and simple question. She put her free hand reassuringly around Alex's small shoulders and hugged him against her warm fleece jacket.
"Yes, definitely", she answered with an uplifting smile, "you have your father's eyes, you know son, nice deep blue eyes." "Your dad will know you from a mile up the road when he comes home, just you wait." Alex chuckled quietly at that, "How could he see so far?"
"Well, it's more the character of someone that you see at that distance, Alex and you have more than most people ever will." "Your father will know you alright." They shared the quietness of their beautiful backyard for just a little while longer, with the rays of the noonday sun warming their shoulders. At a certain point, Elizabeth thought to look down at her only child and found that he had drifted off to sleep as he snuggled against her soft, warm jacket. "Sweet dreams, little man", she whispered and she remained sitting patiently there, having not the heart to wake him yet. Elizabeth looked on her son then and felt a pang of bitter-sweet sadness that he was growing taller and a little farther away from her with each year that passed her by. So, she held her boy and let him rest as she rocked him in her arms and stopped time for just a little while under the slowly turning sky. It was exactly as she had done so many times before and so easily too, when Alex was but a baby. Oh, I wish, I wish things didn't have to change so much, she thought as she suddenly recalled much simpler times. A single tear blurred her eye for a moment or two and as Mrs. Faraway moved her hand to wipe it away, her only son shifted slightly and opened his eyes again. The moment had come and gone and those deep blue eyes which were so like her husband's gazed keenly toward the old barn, beyond the protection of the backyard.
"I should get back to work on Ben, I guess", Alex whispered. Elizabeth took a single deep breath and bravely tousled his thick brown head of hair.
"Yes I suppose you must, son." "I'll call you in for dinner in a little while, okay."
"Okay...thanks mom", Alex said and gave her a little kiss on the cheek before turning away.
The afternoon moved slowly by for Mrs. Faraway as she went back to her daily chores, but it seemed to fly by for Alex. There were many shelves lining each wall of his workshop with a collection of hundreds of odds and ends and spare parts that he had found in the scrapyard. Big Ben's arms were actually easier to repair than his engine had been - which was a pleasant surprise. The high-pressure hoses and fittings had sustained the most damage and so were the main components needing replacement. All that remained afterward was to tighten the hoses to prevent any leaks then top-up the hydraulic fluid. After finishing the arms though, Alex decided that to even consider the kind of repairs old Ben's software brain required would be pointless for the time being. So it was that the evening hours after dinner found a tired but contented Alex working away on a very different machine. The machine - or rather the vehicle - was the same one that he'd been working on a few days ago, before re-discovering the big old robot, and was what Alex had decided to call a, “Gyro-Jet”.
Next: Chapter 9 (Part 2) - ...and a Weird Doctor
Even as the ghoulish doctor Kirstt shambles towards his home that night, Alex slumbers in a dreamworld and is, indeed, very faraway; but he is not alone. A door is about to open, just a little, and across it, a new threshold awaits.As of 2017-12-06, Chapter 9 (Part 1) is at:Deepskystories.com