Lost Again

 

Mandatory words: bench, reindeer, court, teddy bear, leader

Above is the photo for this week’s blog hop challenge; below is my story that goes with it. Enjoy!

***

Green, blue, orange. Green, blue, orange. Timothy repeated the pattern in his head, moving his lips silently in order to secure the pattern. He couldn’t lose it this time. Getting lost is dangerous. You can land in unfamiliar places and then have to sit in a horrid court room and answer hard questions.

The clunk clunk clunk of his sneakers against the wooden planks fell in pleasant rhythm with the pattern.  His own voice, his own shoes, his own mind—Timothy Duncan was the leader of his own world, a safe place where he had all the control.  Green, blue, orange. Green, blue, orange. Up and down the narrow porch, Timothy ran his hand along the railing, feeling the rough, peeling paint under his hand and total peace in his soul.

Green, blue, orange. Green, blue—

“Daddy, what do reindeer eat? Does Santa feed them healthy stuff? Do you think Santa has to eat gluten free like mommy?”

The little girl ahead was loud and bubbly. She carried a fuzzy, brown teddy bear in one hand and grasped her father’s hand with the other. Clip clack, clip clack, clip clack. Her red shoes were different on the wooden planks. The sound didn’t match the pattern… where’s the pattern? What’s the pattern? His chest began to tighten.

“Green, blue, orange. Green, blue, orange,” Timothy said out loud, his voice tense. He can’t get lost. Green, blue, orange. Green—

Clip clack, clip clack. They were getting closer. “Daddy I know all the colors in the rainbow. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, purple! Did you know there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?”

“NO!” Timothy shouted. He slammed his hands over his ears and began running from the girl and her dad.  Clunkclunckclunkclunk—his feet raced along the planks. Where was he going? He didn’t know where to go. He was lost. He can’t be lost again. They’ll find him and drive him away. He reached the bench at the end of the porch. Trapped. He was lost and trapped. His breath drew short and fast; sweat glided down his cheeks.

“Help me!” Timothy cried. He placed his hands on the railing and threw his body over. Landing with a thud in the sand below, he scrambled to his feet and ran.

“Timothy! Timothy! Come here, buddy!” Someone shouted behind him. Timothy looked over his shoulder and saw a man chasing him.

“You can’t take me! NO!”

“Timothy, it’s daddy. It’s daddy, son. Stop. Please!” Mr. Duncan pleaded.

Timothy stopped. “Daddy?”

Mr. Duncan caught up to his son and embraced him, gasping for breath and kissing the top of Timothy’s head. “Got ya buddy. You’re okay,” he said.

“Daddy, I got lost. I didn’t know where to go. I thought they were coming for me. I was so lost.” Timothy said through a rush of tears.

“I know Timmy. It’s okay now. Daddy has you. You’re safe.”

 

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