Image courtesy of photostock  at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of photostock
at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Only you, can make the world seem right.” When the nurses put him in his mother’s arms right after his birth, his mother sang to him Only You. Only You performed by The Platters was her favourite song. His parents cherished him, especially his mother always told him how special he was. She often cited Only You on these occasions. Her soothing voice calmed him down when he was cranky, she preferred Only You to the usual nursery rhymes.

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At the age of three, Danny Wilde started kindergarten. He and a girl from his neighbourhood became great friends. If the weather was nice, they were allowed to play in the garden. One especially sunny and bright afternoon, Danny detected a man outside the fence, crouched behind a bush. He didn’t in the least like how this guy stared at his friend Leila. The guy scared him, as he couldn’t take his eyes off Leila.

Danny stood and stared at the creepy guy behind the bush. He clenched his tiny fists and fumed. He sprinted to the fence, jumped over it, shoved the crouching man to the ground. The guy never knew what hit him.

“Danny? Danny! DANNY!” His teacher Ellie shook him gently. Danny realised he was standing at the same spot, as if he hadn’t moved at all. Ellie took him in her arms and carried him inside. She sat him down at a table and poured him hot chocolate. She was still shaken from spotting Danny, seemingly frozen on the spot. She watched him carefully while he was drinking the chocolate. He seemed his usual self and she decided to keep quiet about this incident.

What Ellie did not know until much later: That same evening, a man walking his dog found a man’s corpse behind this bush, lying on his side, his right hand inside his open fly. The police assumed that the man suffered a fatal stroke while satisfying himself. As they found him directly behind a kindergarten, they had to investigate the case even more thoroughly. Indeed he had a history of child molesting. Two days later, the medical examiner wondered about the bruise on the dead man’s upper arm. The bruise in form of two tiny hands with wide-spread fingers.

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When he was seven, in second grade, a new pupil came to join his class. “Class, this is Billy, I expect you to help him find his ways around.” The boy looked mean. During the following weeks, all pupils realised that he did not only look mean. Billy was extremely rude, and often mighty cruel. A very nice and witty, yet slightly plump girl in class was his favourite victim. “Maddy, fatty!” was one of more harmless mockeries he had in store for her. All of her classmates were shocked, didn’t dare to do something to support Madelyn, though.

One morning, Billy behaved even worse. Their teacher, Mr. Abernathy had asked Billy to come to the board for a quick test. On his way to the board, he pinched Madelyn in passing, singing “Fatty Maddy, wobbly, wobbly.” Danny clenched his fists below his desks, sprang up, sprinted forward, and tore down Billy’s trousers. It was so quiet, you could have heard a pin drop. Suddenly the class burst with laughter and even Mr. Abernathy couldn’t suppress a smile. “Get decent, Billy!” Danny was still sitting in his chair, he was the only one who couldn’t laugh. ‘I did this!’ he thought. Apparently nobody had seen him do it. When he listened to the others after school, it seemed as if Billy’s trousers had suddenly slipped down toward his ankles.

From this day on, Billy behaved. He even apologised to Madelyn. He had hated being the laughing-stock of the school. After a few weeks, this incident was a matter of the past. Only Danny kept on musing about what had happened. Was he too fast? Was he invisible? Was it only fury that did it, while he was sitting there at his desk? He didn’t find a satisfying answer to his questions. Asking his mother was out of the question. She would have quoted ‘Only you, can make the world seem right. Only you…’

+++++ +++++ +++++

For his 10th birthday, Danny’s parents had promised him a surprise trip. This trip took place three weeks after his birthday, on a nice and sunny Saturday. They started early. At the central station, they went to the tracks. “Look for track 9 3/4,” his father told him. Incredulously, Danny looked at his parents. Both were grinning from ear to ear. They walked along the tracks. Nothing. However, the wall between tracks 9 and 10 seemed different, indeed. There was a thread curtain, patterned like a wall. Danny and his parents stepped through. An old-fashioned steam train was already waiting for them.

They boarded the train. Danny was excited. They settled in a compartment and waited for the journey to begin. The train was filling rapidly. “Completely sold out,” they were told by the guard. Right before the train was to leave, a couple with their son in tow boarded the train and entered the compartment. Danny’s father introduced his family “Rebecca, Michael and Danny Wilde.” The other man nodded, and told them his last name, Jensen. His wife did not bother to even look at the Wildes. Their son was rather shy and stared out of the window.

The train ride could have been pretty funny. The landscape was commented in an entertaining way, always referring to their fantasy ride and the real landscape at the same time. Catering was yummy as well. But… Mrs. Jensen and her constant nagging lessened the joy. She complained about everything: the seat is not comfortable enough, there is a draught, the coffee is too bitter, the cake is too sweet, etc. A girl passed by, she was wearing a simple dress. Anger had started boiling within Danny, he clenched his fists, ready to act. Mrs. Jensen opened her mouth for uttering an insult and – started to cough. The coughing fit lasted nearly a minute. Mr. Jensen had started to pat his wife on the back. She gulped, barely audibly thanking him. They rode in silence for a while.

The next tray came in. The aroma of delicious looking pastries, steaming hot chocolate, cream, and coffee filled the compartment. Again, Mrs. Jensen opened her mouth to complain about something and – started to cough. This coughing fit lasted several minutes. Tears streamed from her eyes, her husband again patted her on the back, trying to comfort her – it must have been agony. Rebecca Wilde laid her hand on Danny’s shoulder and kissed him on the forehead. Mrs. Jensen immediately stopped coughing. “Have some water, darling,” her husband said.

Rebecca Wilde smiled and started softly singing: “Only you, can make the world seem right…” Suddenly, everybody in the compartment smiled – even Mrs. Jensen. From this moment on, the train ride was as fantastic as it should have been right from the start. The boys started commenting on the speaker’s comments, and even Mrs. Jensen had difficulties to hide her smile. Afterwards, both families shook hands, even parted with genuine smiles on their faces.

 

 

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Comments
  1. […] second work in progress is an urban fantasy novel. The now adult Danny Wilde (from my short story Only You) writes his memoir about his life as a superhero. Progress is easier, as it is just one story. This […]

  2. […] second work is an urban fantasy novel. The now adult Danny Wilde (from my short story Only You) writes his memoir about his life as a […]

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