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.
The Mysterious Ticking BallJimmy found a note on the kitchen table next to a small bowl of grits with peaches. He sat down at his seat and enjoyed his breakfast. He eventually opened up the note and read it-
Happy birthday, my boy! I am sorry I did not get to
see you this morning, but I hope this makes up for
it. Mr. Richman let me bring home a crate of peaches
and apples. I will be home tonight to cook supper, I
know you need your spaghetti and meatballs!
I love you, I hope your day is full of adventure.
Check under the table.
Jimmy put his spoon down and brought the note closer to his face. Check under the table? He reread in his mind. He dropped the note and fell from his chair, clambering to the floor. Sure enough, there was a small box underneath the table. It was his dad’s old ammo box from when he was a solider. Jimmy smiled wide and opened it up. There was a hand carved, wooden plane sitting inside waiting for him. Jimmy gently took it out and examined it close. He immediately ran to the door, slipped on his shoes and bolted into the outside world.
He made it to the park and that is where he spent nearly his entire birthday. He used that plane to travel across all of the oceans on the earth and several only known to his imagination. He defended his imaginary city against a dragon. He wrote his name in the clouds. He flew to heaven to see his mother. The sun began to grow sleepy and retreat; and Jimmy did the same.
Jimmy walked down the sidewalk and was nearly to his house when he heard a laugh crack like a whip through the silence. He looked over his shoulder, holding his plane close and saw three large boys strolling up behind him. He recognized these brutes from the playground. They were older than he was but they picked on him because they were so much larger than him. The boy on the left was Sal. He was pudgy and oafish. He had shark eyes, and his right iris lazily strayed to the side a bit. The boy to the right was Andy. He was gangly and awkward, but had massive hands. Jimmy had seen him crush a mouse once. Finally, there was their leader, the boy in the middle, Big Tony. Big Tony was actually very thin, but he was all muscle. He had large eyes that loved the sight of terrified victims and a malicious grin that defined him as a sociopath. Jimmy sped up, he heard their footsteps quicken.
“Get him!” Big Tony ordered. Jimmy began to run. He darted down an alley, dropping his plane. He hid between two buildings behind a dumpster.
“Where’d he go?” Andy questioned. Jimmy held his breath. Their laughs invaded his ears.
“We’ll get him tomorrow, we got his plane.” Big Tony scoffed, scooping the toy up from the ground. The team savored the victory for a second and then hurried out of the alley to torture someone else. Jimmy snuck out from behind the dumpster. He felt empty. His head dropped and he took a step towards home when an odd sound whispered in his ear. He turned towards the direction of the sound. It was a soft ticking, a bit faster than that of a clock. A ball rolled out from the shadows behind the dumpster. It tapped against his foot.
“Wowsers,” Jimmy sighed. The ball crooned as he picked it up, and continued to tick. The ball was marvelous. It was a bit small than a grapefruit and transparent. He could see there was a glow inside of the ball, but there were no moving parts that could possibly be making the ticking sound. He studied it, awe struck. He looked around, making sure that Big Tony and his lackeys were gone, and ran home.