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.
Spaghetti and MeatballsUpon entering the house, the smell of marinara sauce and sautéed meat attacked and seduced his senses. His father was stirring the pasta on the stove, that decided to work today, and he greeted Jimmy with a smile.
“I was wondering when the birthday boy was going to return home. Go wash up for supper, it will be ready in a few minutes.” He told. Jimmy nodded, holding the ball behind his back, hoping to muffle the ticking sound. Jimmy hurried down the hallway and into his bedroom.
The ball was still tick-tick-tick-ticking away, almost mesmerizing him. He cleared off his stool and sat down. He placed the ball on the desk so he could take his shoes off. He bent down to unto the laces when he spun around, prepared to catch the ball. However, the ball did not move from its spot on the desk. It stayed sedentary. Jimmy cocked his head to the side, confused. He picked up a pencil and placed it next to the ball. The pencil sang as it rolled right off of the surface and crashed onto the floor. The ball simply sat there. Jimmy kicked off his shoes and studied the ball closely.
“What are you? What’s that ticking sound? I hear ya tickin’, but you ain’t got no doodads or springs or nothin’ in ya to make them tickin’ sounds.” Jimmy interrogated. The ball replied with more ticking. Jimmy scooped it up and began to toss it up into the air. At first the ball only went up a few inches, for he was not putting much strength behind his toss. Then, the ball began to fly higher up into the air…on its own. With each toss, the ball approached the ceiling more and more until it finally kissed it and stuck there. The ball was fused to the top of the room. “Aw, shoot,” Jimmy cursed.
He got up onto his stool, onto his tippy toes and attempted to yank the ball down. He was too small to reach. Even when he jumped to smack the ball, his fingertips barely brushed against it. Jimmy sat down and hung his head. He opened up his hands and looked down at his palms.
“I’m too small,” Jimmy muttered. Suddenly, the ball dropped down and landed into his open hands, tick-tick-ticking away.
“Jimmy, time for supper!” Mr. Grimes called.
“Coming!” Jimmy hollered back. He put the ball back on the desk and went to the door. He looked back over his shoulder at his new friend. The ball dismissed him with a tick-tick-tick and Jimmy went to dinner.
“So, how was the day?” his father asked, serving Jimmy a meatball. For an instant, Jimmy thought he had heard the meatball ticking, but the sound soon faded.
“It was spiffy! Well, the plane was really neat and I had lots of adventures but then I ran into a bit of trouble on the way home.” Jimmy reported, poking at his food. His father put down his fork and knelt down in front of Jimmy. He examined his son’s face for any bruises or cuts.
“Are you hurt?” he questioned. Jimmy put his hand on his dad’s.
“I’m okay, but I lost the plane. I’m really sorry. These three really big kids took it from me and I was too small to fight them and mama always said fightin’ was bad anyways, and,”
“Jimmy, it’s okay. I’m just glad you’re not hurt, that’s all. Shame on those boys for picking on you because of your size, you know I always say,”
“You don’t have to be big to be powerful.” They stated at the same time. Mr. Grimes smiled at his boy and rustled his hair. Dinner resumed and finished without incident. Jimmy thanked his father and retired to bed. Jimmy was lulled to sleep by the tick-tick-ticking of the mysterious ball.