Friday, December 4, 2009

Chapter VII. The Beginning Of Terry's Troubles

C 2004 By Gracie Prior

Terry's dad hadn’t been feeling too well again and Terry wanted to make sure he wasn’t needed at home. As he came in from the side door, he saw that his older brother Philip was home. Philip lived alone a few blocks away. Terry became concerned. He looked at Philip and asked, “What’s going on?”

“Dad was coughing pretty bad again last night and Mom wanted me to come and check on him. He seems rested now. She had to go to the store and didn’t want to leave him alone.”

“Is there anything I can do?” Terry looked closely at his brother. He didn’t sense any alarm in his face.

“Just relax. I’ve got things under control here. What are you doing today?”

“Butch, Mary, and I were going to ride bikes, but not if you need help.”

Philip smiled and ruffled Terry’s hair. “Go on and do what you want. I’ll be here when Mom comes home, and I’ll tell her you checked in. You won’t be in any trouble.”

Terry felt bad that Philip thought he only cared about whether he was O.K. with Mom. He was very upset about Dad and wasn’t sure he should go and play. He sat down and rested in a chair, thinking it over.

Mom came home then, bringing her groceries in the back door. Terry and Philip ran to help her. They all put the food away together. “How is Dad doing?” Terry asked.
Mom looked at him and smiled. “He’s resting fine, isn’t he Philip?”

“Sure is,” Philip said. “I told the squirt he was fine, but he didn’t believe me, I guess.”

Things weren’t going the way Terry liked. “If he is fine, I’m going riding with Butch. Is that alright?”

Mom looked at him and nodded. “Get some sunshine. This nice November weather can't last forever. See you at dinner.”

Terry rounded up his Blue Racer bicycle and peddled over to Butch’s house. Butch pulled out of his driveway and they decided to go and get slowpoke Mary. The boys were surprised to see the strange car in Mary’s drive. When she came out, Terry asked, “Who is that?”

“Oh, that car belongs to a friend of my dad’s. He’s going to be coming to town for a special event later,” Mary said.

“What event?” Butch asked.

“Oh, nothing,” Mary said. “Where's Jimmy?"
"He's not much of a rider," Terry said. "Ready?"
Mary nodded. "Let's ride."
The three of them rode around the neighborhood for a long while. Their street was mostly deserted with only a few cars coming and going. There was just a little snow left from an earlier snowfall. Terry remembered that it wasn't unusual for the street to be empty for a whole day. They regathered at the bottom of their street near Mary's house. Butch said, Race you all to the top of the hill.

“You can’t get all the way up that hill, Butch.” Mary said. “It’s too steep.”

“Sure I can," Butch said. “Let’s try it. Ready set go!”

Terry was ready and shot off like a rocket. Butch was right behind. Mary had a late start. Terry looked back briefly and realized Mary didn’t know their game yet. Get the other person distracted, then go. He was pumping heavily and there was only a little more street to go but his energy was going fast. Butch was by his back wheel. Mary was just coming to the steep part. Terry gripped the handlebars, made one last effort, and pushed up to the top of the hill. He straddled the bike waving his hands in the air. Butch crossed the imaginary line next. Mary was nearly to the top, but got off and walked her bike up the rest of the hill. “Awe, Mary, you could have made it,” Terry said.

Mary wiped her face on her sleeve, “Sure I could, but why? You are the winner. Let’s go try it again.”

Butch looked at Terry. “You up for it?

“I have to get home. Next time we’ll make sure you’re ready, Mary,” Terry said.

“Next time I’ll beat you,” Mary said.

“Bet she will, too, Butchie Boy,” Terry shouted as he flew down the hill.

No comments:

Post a Comment