Jake lay back on his bed, immersed in the changing, swirling patterns. The
old kaleidoscope had once belonged to his grandfather and he clung to it now
for comfort.

He missed him so much. And he was angry – very angry. They wouldn’t even
let him go to the funeral.

Slow-moving, slow-thinking and heavy for his age, Jake had few friends. The
only person who could ever understand his twelve-year-old concerns was his
beloved “Pops”.

But a stupid family row had put an end to all that. It meant his parents
wouldn’t let him say his goodbyes.

While Jake slept, Pops’ voice whispered in his ear: “I can show you
patterns – such patterns as you never dreamed of….”

Dressing hastily, Jake crept into his parents’ bedroom, carrying his
cherished baseball bat. Urged on by his grandfather’s voice, he brought the bat up
and let it fall onto his sleeping father and mother more times than he could

Enchanted, he watched the patterns that Pops had promised him. They climbed
the walls, forming exotic deep red blooms that melded into the wallpaper
roses, changing with each measured blow.

Afterwards, Jake curled up in a corner, put his head in his knees and
sobbed. He’d loved that old bat – and he needed Pops as he’d never needed him

Mary Cook is a UK-based freelance writer and former newspaper reporter. Her
articles, short stories and poems have appeared in numerous publications,
both in print and online.

You can review some of her published work by clicking on the following links:

© 2005 Underground Voices