Jimmy and the Mysterious Ticking Ball
Author's note: This is a story adapted from a screenplay I wrote at the beginning of the school year.
A Day in the LifeThis story begins on a mild Saturday in September, 1947. Jimmy Grimes sat bolt right up in his “bed”. The place in which held his sleeping body was actually nothing more than a makeshift mattress constructed from a few stale towels stacked on top of each other, a lumpy army issued rucksack stuffed with shreds of his old clothes, and a thin blanket his mother knitted him when he was born. He pulled the soft baby blue fabric close to his cheek. She had been gone for what seemed like so long and yet the blanket still held every sensation of her warmth.
Jimmy got up from his nest and tidied up. He changed into his navy blue, slightly stained, corduroy overalls over top of his white, wrinkled short sleeve shirt that used to be his father’s. He pulled on his thick wool socks over his feet and topped his head with his black cap. He was ready for the day, today was a special, for it was Jimmy’s birthday. He peered over at his desk. In his entire ten years of life, nothing ever managed to stay on that desk, for it was slightly, awkwardly crooked. His colored pencils would roll down its surface and onto the floor, like soldiers evading grenades. Even the heavy arrow heads he and his father collected managed to tumble to the ground. Jimmy gathered up all of the fallen materials and placed them on the stool in front of the desk, where they would be safe. He looked out his window and one of the sun’s rays kissed him good morning and with that he exited his bedroom to see what the world had to give him today.
The ramshackle hovel had four and a half rooms. Jimmy and his father each had a small bedroom of their own, a bathroom with a toilet and tub; and then there was the kitchen with a small stove that worked on occasion, a sink that only produced water on Fridays, one cabinet that held three dishes, a mug and a cup, and finally a small table with two chairs for meals. Jimmy was used to being greeted by silence in the morning. His father worked eighteen hour shifts at a fruit factory every day and often times did not even get to kiss Jimmy goodnight; however, every year he would take the evening off on Jimmy’s birthday so he would be home in time to make his son a special dinner. Mr. Mahoney, the owner of the General Store by the factory sold him the same thing every September 9th: a box of spaghetti and a can of meatballs only a day passed the expiration date, all for only a nickel; for it was all Mr. Grimes could afford. Jimmy loved his special dinner nonetheless.
Jimmy’s favorite day of the year was his birthday. Since his mother’s death when he was five, there had been no Christmas in the Grimes’ household, for they had no money to buy gifts nor decorate, not even able to keep the house warm. It was only on his birthday that he felt he had not a worry in the world. He got to spend time with his father and he also received a gift. The size of the gift did not matter, but Jimmy was always excited to see what his father could surprise him with. Last year, his father had made him a paper airplane out of recycled newspapers…