Billy. Chapter 4

Just then Eddie’s cell phone began its tinny Riff Raff ringtone, and he only realised it after everyone was looking at him. Eddie answered the phone without saying hello, still in a trance as if waiting to hear more out of Sherry. It was so quiet in the room that everyone could hear Eddie’s mother, “Hello? Eddie? Eddie, you need to come home for dinner right away! Eddie?” As if out of habit, Eddie said, “Okay Mom, be right there.” He ended the call, put the phone back in his pocket, looked back at Sherry, and waited. Sherry realised that she shouldn’t have said anything in front of Eddie and said, “And…then I woke up. Yea, uh…it was just a dream. Ha!” She focused on him to see if he was buying the cover up, but Eddie looked like a kid waiting for ice cream. After a short stand-off, Ms. Watson finally said, “Eddie, aren’t you leaving?” Billy said, “See ya later my friend!” Eddie said nothing, looked at Billy, then back at Sherry, then back at Billy, and ran down the stairs and out of the house.

Sherry became frantic, “Mom! We’ve got to go!” Ms. Watson sat up, then stood up, and said, “Sherry! Come on! Tell me what’s going on!” Grandpa said, “Wow, this is getting interesting, but can we go back downstairs now?” They all looked at each other, and since no one had an objection, they headed downstairs. Sherry ran into Billy’s room first, and after a few seconds met the others in the living room. They were sitting, but no one reached for the remote. Sherry found her Mom on the couch next to Grandpa, “Mom, if we don’t go now, Eddie will tell his Mom about Billy, and she’ll come back here with the cops, and oh my God, we need to go!”

Ms. Watson looked at Billy as if she had forgotten his age had been altered, and was horrified, “Billy!”

“Mom! The hole! We found a hole to another place,” Billy said excitedly, and stood up. “Time is different there, Mom, I’ve been there for fifty years!”

Ms. Watson stood up, “Fifty years? I saw you this morning!”

Sherry broke in, screaming at Billy, “Fifty years Billy? I told you not to go without me! What the hell did you stay that long for?” She looked at her Mom, “Mom. That hole! That hole opened up and Dad was there! He grabbed my legs and pulled me in! And he was there Mom, in that fucked up land! And we went back a few times, Billy and I, to visit him, but then one day he was gone, Mom! And we couldn’t stay there looking for him Mom, because you’d notice. Everyone would notice.”

“What do you mean, notice, Sherry? And your father was there, Sherry, your father?” Ms. Watson looked confused. Sherry’s glance at Billy answered half the question, “Mom, yes Dad was there, and he told us not to tell you, and he told us the math of it, and I’ve tested it to see he was right. Every ten years there is an about an hour here. And so when I’d go there for a few days, I’d come back and check the clock. It was still the same day here, and only seconds had gone by. So we, Billy and I, were able to go and come back unnoticed. Sometimes we’d go for weeks, but we aged there, Mom. And if we kept it up,” Sherry paused and looked at Billy, “Fifty years Billy? A daughter? Oh my God! Mom!”

Just then the doorbell rang.

Billy. Chapter 3

Sherry dropped the vase, and almost diving to catch her mother, used the wall to help slow the fall to the hard hallway floor. Everything was in slow motion now as Billy, Eddie and Grandpa just stood there and Mom had lost consciousness. Sherry’s mind raced as she knelt on the floor. With one hand under her Mother’s head, and the other tapping her cheek, Sherry called out to her. Billy was still frozen. Eddie and Grandpa still seemed to be waiting for an explanation. Seconds seemed like minutes as Sherry called to her Mother again. She felt a frightening but somehow familiar empathy, as if in her Mother’s shoes caring for a sick child, and looked at Billy who might need help next. Again tapping her cheek, but gently now, her Mother’s eyes opened. Sherry let out a sigh of relief and felt some of the tension leave her body. After a confused look, Mom smiled a little and continued to look at Sherry who was stroking her hair now. Billy broke free of his stone demeanor and knelt next to Sherry. He was teary-eyed but also smiling now. Eddie and Grandpa came closer, they were all ears. Sherry looked her Mother in the eyes and spoke calmly. She told the story of the unsolicited parcel she found on the stoop after school one day. It had been addressed to her with no return address, and so she took it into her room, sat on the floor, and opened it. Her cat Ginger was glad to help and played with the brown paper and string. The parcel contained a beautiful wooden box about the size of a shoe box. It was painted with a beautiful harbor where a sailboat was docked and the sun was either rising or setting. The sides had lupines and roses painted in a chain around shiny brass hinges and a hasp with no lock. She had decided it would make a lovely jewelry box and opened it. It was empty and the bottom was strangely dark black. She dropped a quarter into the box and heard no sound. The quarter had disappeared! She turned the box upside down and the dark that was the bottom seemed to pour out onto the floor and under her legs so that she was suddenly sitting on the edge of a hole in the floor. Ginger and the brown paper disappeared into the black of the hole, and Sherry had tried to reach for her cat and hold on to keep from falling in herself. And then something or someone, unseen through the darkness, had grabbed her and pulled her down. Sherry noticed how intently her Mother, Eddie, and Grandpa were listening and paused to discern their belief. She looked at Billy who smiled slightly and nodded for her to go on. Sherry looked back into her Mother’s eyes. Ms. Watson nodded too.

Billy. Chapter 2

Sherry popped out her ear buds and ran up the stairs hearing another scream, “Mom what’s the matter?” There in the hall was her Mother and a stranger! Sherry grabbed the vase from the hall table and raised it to strike the man. He raised his hands saying, “Wait! It’s me! It’s me, Billy.” Ms. Watson just stood there, horrified. Sherry looked at Billy, then at her Mom, and then back at Billy. Shoving him she said, “No! You didn’t! I told you not to go there without me! What the hell is wrong with you?” “But Sherry, I couldn’t help it! Karen came out and said she needed my help. So I went with her, and I couldn’t find my way back.” Eddie and Grandpa appeared at the top of the stairs, both quietly listening. Ms. Watson was listening too. Sherry teared up, and reaching out to touch his face, “Oh my God Billy, you look so old.” “Billy?” asked Eddie. Ms. Watson came out of her trance, “What the hell is going on?” Pointing at Billy and looking at Sherry, “How did he get like that?” Sherry seemed to know the answers. Everyone was waiting for her, but Sherry didn’t know where to start. Ms. Watson looked at Billy and yelled, “How did you get like this?” Again, Ms. Watson screamed. “Mom calm down,” said Sherry. “Calm down?” asked Ms. Watson throwing her hands up, “What do you mean, calm down? Will someone please explain to me why my fourteen year old is now seventy-five? And who’s Karen?” “I’m sixty-four, Mom,” said Billy, “and Karen’s my daughter.” Sherry stared at Billy as if finally realizing the ramifications of her discovery, and she joined her Mother in asking, “Your daughter?” As if not wanting to hear Billy’s answer, Ms. Watson fainted.

Billy. Chapter 1

 

Hello everyone! This is my first post on this blog which will feature some creative writing and who knows what else. I’m happy you’re here, and  I hope you enjoy reading my posts.

Sherry put down her laptop to answer the door. It was Eddie. “Here to eat our food again?” “Hey Sherry, no, um is Billy around?” Eddie seemed a little more anxious than normal and so Sherry waited for him to say more, but he just stood there looking past her and fidgeting. She left the door open and went back to the couch to continue working on her essay. Eddie stepped in, closed the door, and paused unsure where to go. Grandpa was in his chair looking at his cigar and said, “He’s upstairs.” Eddie made it to the top of the stairs trying not to reveal his urgency and bumped into a tray of seedlings being carried out of the laundry room. “Oh! Hi Eddie, I’m sorry I didn’t see you. Billy is in his room.” “Hi Ms. Watson, thanks.” She picked up on Eddie’s nervousness and asked, “Is everything alright?” Eddie was careful not to look her in the eyes and fumbled with, “Yea sure, why?” He really wanted to tell her how beautiful she was and that he couldn’t find any of his friends. “Well, I haven’t heard Billy all afternoon, and usually he’s not this quiet. You two aren’t into any trouble are you? Billy! Eddie’s here!” “No Ms. Watson.” Eddie walked into Billy’s room and then came out again. He looked at the bathroom door which was wide open, and then back at Ms. Watson and said, “I don’t see him.” “Maybe he’s in the kitchen,” she said, and then louder, “Billy!” They waited. No response. Eddie went downstairs and Ms. Watson put her seedlings on the hallway table and followed. Eddie walked into the kitchen and came back out as Ms. Watson entered the living room and looked at him. Eddie shook his head and shrugged. “Sherry, where’s Billy?” “I don’t know Mom.” Grandpa looked at his cigar and then at his daughter, “He’s upstairs. He’s been up there since he got home from school.” Ms. Watson went back upstairs and began a thorough search. Again she called, “Billy?!”  A man walked out of Billy’s room and met Ms. Watson in the hallway, startling her. She froze and muttered, “Who?” He just stood there in his suit and tie looking at her. She slowly walked toward him and wondered what the hell this old man was doing in her house. As she got close enough to see his face he said, “Hi Mom.” Ms. Watson screamed.