Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The Boy Who Was Grounded Forever

Nobody believed him.
Not then, not now, not ever, it seemed. He knew he wasn’t lying but then maybe it was all in his head. Maybe he was going the same way his grandmother had gone. She had started talking with people that Jimmy couldn’t see. People who wore dark things and sat in dark corners of his grandmother’s room.

Maybe they were there as well. I mean if his story was true, then why couldn’t his grandmother be telling the truth?
All he had been doing was taking, Harry, his dog, for a walk. They had been up at Creekmore Ridge, Harry had done what he needed to do, and then him and Jimmy ran back down the hill as fast as the two of them possibly could. Harry barked – it was his way of saying that he was with his best pal and the world was good.
They had just come around the back of the old miner’s shack when, Jimmy – and he swears on the Bible that the next bit is true – when Jimmy feels all weird and dizzy. Like he’s going to be sick, and then fall over – the way he felt when his uncle had given him that glass of hooch to drink. Jimmy had crashed out back then, and all his uncle had done was laugh. He’d said that if Jimmy told anyone, no one would believe him, as he was a kid, and uncles are uncles (as if that explained everything).
Jimmy should have known something was wrong ‘cause Harry had started barking the minute they came close to the hut. Jimmy thought it was just probably an old tramp – ‘cause sometimes they slept in the shack between rain storms. But when Jimmy looked through the wooden panels – he saw nothing.
“Be quiet there, Harry,” whispered Jimmy.
But Harry just kept on barking and barking. Then Harry ran away and he had never done anything like that before.
Suddenly Jimmy was floating – floating higher and higher and all the time he was feeling mighty dizzy. Mighty dizzy, indeed.
Then he passed out. The funny thing was, when he came to, he could hear folks talking in English. The crazy dude, with the eyes on either side of his head, told Jimmy that he would hear them speak in his own language.
Jimmy thought that maybe he’d tripped and bumped his head and that all of this was just a stupid dream. When the other dude with the eyes on the side of his head too, leaned over Jimmy and squeezed his nose real hard, Jimmy let out a scream. This told him all he wanted to know that he wasn’t in a dream. Dreams didn’t usually hurt that bad.
The strange folks asked Jimmy to sing a song and all he could think of was Happy Birthday, as he’d sang it to his little brother only last week.
The dudes smiled at him and then turned their heads to the side. Jimmy wanted to know if Harry was here, too, but the weird guys just ignored his question.
Another one of them came over with a tube of some sort and pressed it against Jimmy’s arm. That was when he passed out. The next thing he knows, it’s morning and he’s been sleeping up at the miner’s hut.
When he opens his eyes, standing over him is none other than his pa, who’s real mad. His pa grabs Jimmy by the collar and hauls him up.
He’s shouting about this and that, how his mother has been up all night believing the worst has happened to her boy. Jimmy thinks to himself that being abducted by aliens probably isn’t one of the things, his ma thought about.
It’s when his father says that Jimmy is grounded for the rest of his life, that he feels he has to tell him what really happened.
And that is why Jimmy has been grounded for two lifetimes.
Apparently that story was a bunch of old crock and if that was the best he could come up with, then he wasn’t any son of his pa’s.
So Jimmy’s thinking maybe his uncle did slip some hooch into Jimmy’s glass of milk – the drink he always had before taking Harry for a walk.
He guessed that since he was to be grounded in his room for two lifetimes, then he’d have a lot of time to think.
It was then that Jimmy’s life changed. He had decided he better check his half-drunk glass of milk beside his bed for hooch when a weird thing happened – the glass of milk appeared next to him on the table. Like it had been transported or something on Star Trek or whatever.
Jimmy sniffed the milk and it was okay – or maybe his uncle had been making hooch that don’t smell of nothing. He took a sip and nothing much happened – just good plain milk.
Jimmy looked around his room to see if there was something else he wanted – sure enough, he saw his comic book, and wished he could read it. It happened again, this time it was the book which appeared in front of Jimmy.
“Well, if that ain’t the weirdest,” said Jimmy.
His pa must have heard him, ‘cause he knocked on the door and shouted something about, Jimmy better not be enjoying himself, on account of him thinking hard about lying and stuff to his pa.
Jimmy wished his pa could just be quiet and perhaps be outside in the rain.
When Jimmy looked out the window, there was his pa standing in his pyjamas getting soaking wet in the rain.
Jimmy couldn’t help but laugh. Then it struck him that Jimmy hadn’t seen Harry since the previous night. So Jimmy thought about Harry being in his bedroom and sure enough Harry appeared sitting next to the boy.
Harry barked and Jimmy was sure that Harry was smiling, cause the next thing Jimmy knows, is that Harry and him are outside, going for a walk.
“Did you just do that? ‘Cause I don’t remember thinking that we should go for a walk.”
Jimmy looks at Harry and realizes the Harry can do the things that he can do. Every time Jimmy wishes himself back in his room, Harry wishes Jimmy out for a walk.
“Well, I’ll be,” thought Jimmy. This is going to be trouble.

bobby stevenson 2016

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