Published on February 28, 2008
The Gifted Child John's Saga Book Blurb Chapter One: The Gifted Child John's Saga Book Blurb Chapter One Chick once to turn the page. Slide2: Daddy was standing in the door, using the doorframe to rub an itchy spot in the center of his back that he couldn’t quite reach with his hand. This was a typical weekday in the Johnson household and he was about to leave to do some tough construction work in Columbus, Georgia. “Barbara,” he said while putting on his boots. “I am going to have to get another truck. I think I have just about worn this one out.”“Another truck? Can we afford another truck right now?” she said rolling over onto her side to look at him.“Whether we can or not, I have to get one. I work on this job and you know I am trying to run my own business on the side, a good truck is something I have got to have.”Daddy looked at Momma and the look of disappointment in her face. He knew it bothered her that he had not broken ground to lay the foundation for a brick home for us like he promised, and now he was talking a new truck.He shook his head and said, “Don’t fret, baby, I am going to build us that house,” and leaned over and kissed Momma on the forehead, and turned to look at my sister, Diane. Slide3: “Come here, Poot. Give Daddy a hug before he leaves.” Diane was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed; she was a morning person and rushed toward Daddy’s arms at the first sound of the invitation. Before she could get to him, a bottle ricocheted solidly off her head and caused tears to flow. Daddy knew the routine and started to threaten me at once. “Come here, boy! I am going to put this belt on you!” He shouted as he fought to pull his belt out of his trousers. I ran around the old potbelly wood-burning heater in the center of the floor and crawled frantically over Momma, who held her hand up to shield Denise, my newborn sister, as I clumsily scampered over her, fleeing from my Daddy. I bounced over them in between the wall and bed, trying to find a safe haven. Daddy was determined to give me something I didn’t want. “Come here, boy!” he shouted. “I am not going to tell you again!”Threaten as he might, I was not interested in what he had to offer and started to bawl loudly. Momma finally stood up and placed her hand firmly into his chest, blocking him from getting to me. Slide4: I was safely tucked away on the other side of the bed. My refuge was buffered by Momma, and she pointed out something better he could be doing by saying, “Jay, go to work and leave the boy alone before you are late. I don’t feel like hearing all this noise this morning.” Momma had grown tired of our game. She knew I was active, but Daddy was always a little too eager to get me for any little thing. She wasn’t willing to turn him loose on me just yet. She turned and scooped me up from my hiding place that was in plain sight, and laid me beside them in the bed. Daddy paused for a minute and looked at me peeking and grinning at him from over Momma’s shoulder. He looked at her, and then at me again. He looked at Diane, who was still crying with tears locking together beneath her cheeks. His temper was barely held in check as he took the time to point his finger at me and shake it vigorously, but he could not get his words to follow right away. It was obvious the thought of me making it to safety was about to give him an aneurysm. Slide5: With one eye still on me, he scooped Diane up and rubbed the spot where the bottle bounced off of her head, and then promised me all kinds of butt-whoopings I would carry for the rest of my life. This caused my smile to widen into a mocking grin, irritating him even more. I was only two and this is what two-year-old little boys do. Daddy knew there was no way Momma was going to let him hit me, so he was resigned to find gratification in making empty promises and wasted threats as he threw a few more my way, reminding Momma of the offense I had just committed. “Barbara, he hit my baby upside her head with that bottle and I am going to beat his little bad butt!” “It didn’t kill her, Jay. Leave the boy alone and go to work before you are late.” Daddy looked at me again, said some things to himself under his breath, which were probably a few more resolutions as he stomped out of the house in a huff. I was working his nerves and he was determined to live up to his promise, if he ever caught me straying far enough from Momma. Slide6: I heard the exterior door open and Daddy walking outside into the early morning darkness. Dawn had not the strength to loosen the fingers and break the grip of the lingering shadows that still inhabited the earth. I was a little anxious to get down, but I had not heard his truck crank yet, so I wisely stayed under Momma, knowing Daddy had gotten me a couple of times by doubling back and catching me before I could make it to safety. I was resigned to waiting him out, listening for his truck to start. I listened and I could hear him stumble clumsily about in the yard, falling over things and cursing more about Momma spoiling me, then him banging his foot. He tossed his masonry tools into the air and I could hear them crash angrily into the bed of his truck and the door open and slam shut. The engine turned over and then died. The door opened again and the hood could be heard opening, crying out in the stillness of the morning air. Slide7: A short time later he tried to crank it again. And again the truck engine just barely turned over as if it was saying, I don’t want to move this morning. He struggled with the engine a little while longer and cursed a few more times, because now he was officially going to be late. As harbingers of day, the first rays of light, peeked over the pines he pulled out of the yard and was gone for the day.With the coast all clear I climbed out of the bed and started antagonizing my sister again, giving her the business by wanting every toy with which she wanted to play. It would do her no good to protest because I would cry and pout until Momma would finally say, “Give that boy that toy and sit down somewhere, Diane.” Chick Here to Return to Meroe’s Home Page.: Chick Here to Return to Meroe’s Home Page.