Chapter 34

Three Bells

Steve let Paul and Marco out of the car and watched as they went inside their house. At the door they turned and waved. He turned to Mary and said, "Well I guess we better go and pick up Emmy, the school bus should just about have arrived by now," Mary nodded and put the loan car in gear.

They merged with the late afternoon traffic and Mary said "Is Chris okay?"

"Yeah just a whoppa of a headache. He says the doctors will let him out in a few days, after they finish the tests." She nodded, "And Mike and Frank "Hmm…well there I'm not too sure, they seemed to have disappeared," he shrugged.

"Oh wait a minute, I saw Frank's junk yard gate open, I think maybe his back home.

Frank was helping a customer load an old coke machine, on to his trailer.

They finished heaving it up and Frank gave a hand tying it down. The customer turned around about to shake hands, when he saw it.

"Hey what's that under the tarp?" "What? Oh that, someth'in new… just came in." "How much?" "What? You don't even know what it is." "Okay then what is it?" "Someth'in pretty special, worth way more than an old rusting coke vending machine. Anyway it's not for sale, I'm just holding it for a friend." "Well if your friend wants to get rid of it, give me a call." Frank thought for a moment, "What makes you think it's worth anything?" "Well the tarps brand new and it's wrapped up real well and if I'm not mistaken, that's an army tarp. I'm think'in it's worth a whole lot to someone and is real interest'in to boot."

The junk yard was empty once more, and Frank looked down at Slime, "Come on boy, let's get something to eat," Slime's tail wagged happily as he walked beside Frank back up the driveway and past the tarp covered machine, origin unknown.

Marco put down his worn and dusty backpack on the carpet. He sat down on the end of his bed and flopped back into it closing his eyes, soon the last two weeks went spinning through his mind. He opened his eyes, if only to stop the images. He turned his head to look out the single window of his small bedroom. From the second floor of his parents little wooden house he could pretty much see the whole neighborhood. Way off in the distance was the highway that went past Frank's junk yard, where it had all began. The room suddenly felt stuffy, so he got up and flung open the window sash and let in the gentle cool breeze feeling it cool him down as the gentle wind wafted through him. He turned about and saw his very worn back pack lying neglected upon the floor. He sighed to himself and started checking through it's contents, throwing out the smelly socks and other odd bits into the corner, most of it missing the clothes basket by a good margin. He zipped open the top pocket and reached in carefully and brought out the little black square. He made sure to not bend the long whip arial that came out of the top of it. He placed it in his bedroom's pride of place atop a row of shelves above his bedside table. It didn't move, didn't even make a beep. Sitting on the bed he looked at it.

It had become silent since the thing had gone, whatever it was. It was like it's power had been turned off. Now it was just a memento. It sat there in the middle with his furry dinosaur, and an old teddy bear that his mom had given him when he was very small and still insisted should stay there.

He stared out the window for awhile, and wondered. Was it's life now somewhere else, he hoped it was. Then he heard his mum call, "Dinner's ready, Honey." He walked over to the door and took one last look back at the static square sitting there and, then closed the door and ran downstairs.

The room was quiet now as a gentle breeze moved the curtains, waving them over to the square sitting on the shelf above the bedside table. The whip arial was dorment drooping ever so slightly to one side. Slowly it straightened. The curtains went calm, then the room filled with, a quiet tentative beep...

The End.