Friday, January 8, 2010

Chapter XII. Tumbling and Turning

C 2004 By Gracie Prior
(Terry has had such problems lately. Let's see if something good may be on the way.)
Terry sat in a tan brocade wing chair with little doilies on the arms, waiting to talk to his dad. He looked up at the swirls in the ceiling. The pattern started in the center in circles and moving around the room, the swirls moved out to their corners. Terry thought paintbrushes had made this pattern, but Mom said it was the plaster that did it. After a time, Terry's dad came slowly into the living room and sat down.
"I didn't hear you last night," Terry said. "Are you doing better?"
Terry's dad rubbed his knees and said, "It wasn't too bad. Didn't have to get up. Maybe that medicine is helping."
"That would be great Dad. I've been thinking. Do you...I mean is there something I can do for you, to make you feel better? Am I too loud, or in the way, or anything?"
Terry's dad smoothed his long black hair back and smiled. "Why Terry, you act like a stranger. Why would you bother me? Your noise doesn't bother me. I've had too many kids for that." He sat thinking. "What can you do? Well, your mom's taking care of me and your brother is helping too, so there isn't much to do. I'll be all right. Just do the best you can in school, so I don't have to worry about you. Is there anything new at school?"
Terry thought for a moment. "Oh, the gym teacher, Mrs. Osgood, wants me to be on a new tumbling team she's starting. We'd practice every night for awhile after school and then she would take us traveling. We'd get out of school. You know how I can turn a cartwheel and do a handspring, and stand on my head? She's working with people like that. But I told her no, I couldn't."
"What would you do a fool thing like that for? I'd have given my consent. Go and tell her you'll do it. You'd like to get out of school wouldn't you? Say, you're not hooked on that neighbor girl, Mary isn't it? You wouldn't do this to be in class with her? You and your friends have gotten awfully chummy with her."
"Awe, Dad." Terry felt himself blush all the way to his forehead. "Dad, really. Mary is just a friend. No, I said no because, well, if you guys need me, I want to be here. Not running around somewhere."
Terry's dad wiped his face with his hands. He coughed. It was not a deep cough. He put his hand out as if to wait. Terry, I want yo to do the tumbling thing. If you want to do it, it would make me proud. Very proud. I'll even come and see you."
Terry walked over to his dad and put his arm around his shoulders and messed up his long hair. He was taking a chance, here, but Dad was smiling and he needed some giggles. "Thanks Dad, I'll tell Mrs. Osgood tomorrow I changed my mind. She'll let me back in. I'm the best on the team."
Terry's dad smoothed his hair back. "Better watch it, Buddy, you're getting pretty cocky." Then he gave him the thumbs up sign and it looked to Terry like he mouthed the word. "Good."
(Next time, presents reveal a lot about the Scribblers.)

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