First blog post

This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or this my first post ever. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.
My name is Hasan Ibrahim Hamdan.  I am the author of Flying For The Scent . I hope to have people to review it and give me there honest opinion.  The novel is published in Amazon Kindle. This is a brief description of the novel.
Failure is never a fear when success is a belief 

Sang Tom Rigs , a Scottish teenager whose life had been transformed from an abused bullied low self-steam Ninth grader to a smart, confident student and a famous British singer. 
In Tom’s life, misfortune had always been a loyal companion since birth. His misfortune had triumphed when his parents disappeared when he was six, and his grandmother died when he was eight only to leave him at the mercy of his abusing mean “lunatic” uncle, Lonny Rigs.
Being bullied by his classmates and the villagers of Brightmoon an imaginary village near Glasgow, Scotland, he was nicked name “ugly dumb” Tom after his big oddly nose and a left drooping eye and bent back. 
His first love ever Rose, a wealthy British new classmate who is smart but unfortunately crippled. His love for Rose had completely changed him from dumb to smart, from hopelessness to hopeful, from no self-esteem to a poet. For her and only for her, he proved to his math teacher that he could score a full mark on his algebra test. For her and only for her, his wisdom shined and stopped the arrogant attitude of his monotonic Science teacher, Mr. Brown who Tom had nicked name “super monotonic brown man.” Through his ordeal with his biased English teacher, he learns that

In life, If hope is the wisdom of imagination then ignorance is the wisdom of stupidity.

But in Tom’s life, good things do not last longer than the blowing wind over a field; Rose dumps him over his handsome cousin. From that moment on his life goes into a spiral of disastrous, sad and some lucky events that goes from being jailed to wealthy to a fugitive and ending up as a famous British singer in a duet “Grandpa and the Alien.” The duet has Tom as a singer and an elderly homeless, Mr. Willie, as a Highland bagpiper. He learns through his ordeal that 

With fame comes fake love and true hate 

The ups and down of his sad life were no more than the crucial steps he had to take to meet his destiny as a famous singer that is trialed for stabbing an elderly London woman in a highly publicized case that has Mr. Willie, the bagpiper as his lawyer. The crime happened the night Tom fled with his life from the palace of one of London’s wealthiest woman, Mrs. Mecwaltery who took care of him and died the same evening. His name had been altered in the National Identity Archives to prevent him from getting the inheritance of Mrs. Mecwaltery after she had placed him as the sole beneficiary of her Will. 

His innocence is nearly impossible to prove, now that there is no evidence to prove his true identity since his uncle had testified that he was not Tom Rigs of Brightmoon and the London’s sheriff and the stabbed elderly had identified him as the attacker?
Would he remain in prison for 40 years? Or would he be able to get out of jail and regain his freedom and become London’s wealthiest teenager? 
Would he go back to his first love, Rose or would his heart forever remain shattered and hate become their shared soul mate? 
Discover the many misfortunes in Tom’s life which reinforce that sometimes one’s misfortune could be his best fortune and that for a talent to be nourished freedom has to be granted. 




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CHAPTER FOUR

                  CHAPTER FOUR

 

First weekend

 

 

The sun rays shined on Tom’s new fancy room. It was his first weekend away from his attic. The rays delivered a message of pleasure mixed with the hope for a new life on a bright Saturday morning.  It felt occurred for Tom to wake up with no mice to welcome him or to run to the barn to let the sheep out to drink water. He felt amused to go downstairs and encounter a happy face rather than a nasty disgusted woman that is his uncle’s wife.

 

“Breakfast is ready,” said Mr. Wise with a smile

 

The sight, the smell of the food, brought many happy memories to Tom, memories of his grandmother when she used to serve him breakfast.

After he was stuffed with the delicious cheese and the fresh bread and scrambled eggs, he and Mr. Wise went to the porch. Then, as usual, Mr. Wise was talking about the heroes of the past while Tom’s mind was wondering about the beautiful room that he had slept. It was as if Mr. Wise had preserved it for someone special.

Though he was an old man, Mr. Wise was very keen. He had sensed that Tom’s mind was anywhere but in the events of his heroic tale.

 

“So, where was I in the story,” said Mr. Wise while holding his pipe with his right hand?

Tom took few seconds to realize that Mr. Wise had finished talking.

 

“What is on your mind?”

 

That is when Tom asked him about the room.

“the beautiful room which I slept in. Is it preserved for someone?”

 

Mr. Wise kept silent for few minutes then he said while his blue eyes became a pond of tears.

 

“In life, some chances are missed. Some we grab while others we let go. Some of them we regrade that we had grabbed while some of them we regrade that we let them go. The saddest part of it all is when we have the chance to catch the thing we adore the most, yet we let it go only due to our fears,” passionately uttered Mr. Wise while the canaries sang to nature, “do not let your chance in love pass you. Hold on tight to it.” sadly said Mr. Wise as he slowly went down from the porch into the green yard.

 

Tom could not fully understand what Mr. Wise was talking about, but he could sense that the old man had been in love before.

 

Tom followed Mr. Wise and quietly asked him.

 

 

“Have been in love before?”

 

That is when Mr. Wise started to tear like a cloud of torrential rains and said,

 

“Do not let your chance in love pass you. Hold on tight to it”

 

Then Mr. Wise walked into the woods, in a clear sign for Tom to leave him alone.

Tom was surprised by Mr. Wises’ emotions, yet he was interested to find out about the old man’s past. So he thought to visit the best Mr. Wise’s best friend, Mr. Kent.

 

Tom milked the cows and rushed into the center of the village. Tom walked into Mr. Kent’s poultry store.

 

“Hello, Mr. Kent, are you inside?” asked Tom but got no replay and could not see anyone inside the store except the chickens

 

“Anyone in here!” shouted Tom, sending a wave of panicking into the nerves of each chicken. Yet no human answered or appeared.

Maybe Mr. Kent might have also been infected with the same disease of loneliness that Mr. Wise has, or maybe he had been in love with the same loneliness that Mr. Wise adores, except Mr. Kent’s case might be worse, Thought Tom.

 

“Who is out there? How can I help you?” a shallow voice was heard.

 

“Where are you?” asked Tom.

 

“Here in the middle of the store.”

 

Tom looked but could not locate anyone.

 

“Just walk straight. I can see you’”

Tom looked straight, but no one was there. He started to walk straight.

 

“Yes, you are close,”

Suddenly a short, slim man with a stoop back appeared.

 

“Please, bend down,” demanded the bending short man with his eyeballs and brows up.

 

Tom obtained and matched the old man’s bending over posture. The stooping man kept examining and examining Tom’s face from close proximity. He was like a kid taking a math exam.

 

“Is that you little Tom?”

 

“Yes,” answered Tom who thought Mr. Kent, would soon stand straight. But Mr. Kent was stock as well as poor Tom.

 

“You have grown very tall as tall as a giraffe, but with a big malignant nose,” paused, “What can I do for you?”

 

 

Tom continued bending over while telling Mr. Kent about his early events with Mr. Wise.

 

 

“My son, Mr. Wise is completely right, do not let your chance in love pass you. Hold on tight to it, grab it while you can, fight for it, because love is a feeling you might never experience with whoever you wish or whenever you wish,” dolefully uttered The stooping man, then continued , “Mr. Wise had been in love but never had the courage to fight for it. He felt in love with a woman at the Glasgow Autumn Festival. She loved him back, but his fears of being unable to provide her with a good life such as the one she had in Glasgow, prevented him from marrying her. He was probably the poorest man in Scotland.  He was a poor man who fell in love with a spoiled middle-class girl,” Said the stooping man while Tom still continued bending over.

 

“What!” said Mr. Kent while facing Tom’s face?

 

“What!” replied Tom quizzically.

 

“You do not have to remain bending. You can have a seat or stand up,” Said Mr. Kent forcing his head slightly above his stoop shoulders.

 

“Thank you,” said Tom.

What a relief quietly, Tom whispered

 

“What did you say?” asked Mr. Kent

 

“Nothing,” said Tom

 

“Oh, I thought you said something. Anyway, let’s go outside,” Said the old man with a semi-smile hidden between his many wrinkles.

 

One step forward and the chair and everything along the way started to fall one after the other while the chicken started to collectively and obnoxiously scream ( PUK…PUK…PUK..)

 

“Do not worry; this happens every time, today is number Five Hundred Thousand. I will pick them up later,” Said the Old man dejectedly.

 

Actually, Mr. Kent could not see further than one meter ahead. He looked like he had constantly been carrying on his back the lost golden treasure of the Knights Templar.

 

 

“My son, I believe that my friend had never given up hope; even at his age, he still believes that one day he will be reunited with his lost love,” chagrined Mr. Kent then continued, “You see, love with no hope is like a body with no soul.”

 

Those words struck hard in Tom’s heart, and he paused for a minute. It was all about hope; his love for Rose was his hope.

 

 

Fourth school day

 

The weekend of pleasure was over, and Monday would soon peak out from the night folds of the Sunday night. Tom went sleep, and his hopes were secured to meet Rose the next morning. He felt asleep with a smile and a hug to the white father pillow next to him.  When he woke up, he found a blue jeans and a maroon shirt next to his bed with a note.

 

(A new day is ahead, so be ready to be the best you could ever be)

 

Tom smiled and wore his new clothes which fit him perfectly; He rushed downstairs to an empty living room, the loud “good morning” produced no respond. As he was leaving, he noticed with the back of his eye, Mr. Wise waving goodbye from the porch. Tom turned around, but Mr. Wise had disappeared. Tom felt as if every Lilly was waving and smiling at him. He felt as if the blue sky above was filled with the same joy as his. He felt as if every cannery was singing for him, and he felt as if the chilly breezes were conveying to him their best wishes. He felt loved once again.

 

At the school gate, Rose was patiently waiting for him.

 

“You look elegant,” mentioned the red beauty with a joyful smile.

 

“Thanks,” said Tom

 

“Did you go shopping?” added the smiling beauty

 

“Yes,” Said Tom though he internally thought (yes, I wish ) but he could not expose the events that took place over the weekend.

 

With her clear crystal blue eyes starting at Tom, she added,

“I missed you, Tom.”

 

That had been said, hunted Tom with a thousand and one different emotions of happiness and confusion. He could not move a step back or forward, and he froze with a smile.

 

“I wished you could have stopped by my house and we would have a little talk.”

That had been said, further paralyzed every nerve and hair follicle in Tom.

 

“What are going to remain silent?” gently asked, the amused Rose

 

“I, I never thought  I would ever hear someone saying such crazy things,” Tom was as confused as a lunatic trying to describe the theory of relativity, and nonsense was all that poor Tom could utter.

 

“What do you mean?” angrily replied Rose

 

“I am sorry, I mean I am an idiot, and I never believed a girl would ever say that she would miss me, I am so confused and thrilled that the most beautiful girl on earth would say such sweet things to me.”

 

Rose giggled and said,” but it is the truth.”

 

The truth was, the school was about to start, and the kids were rushing to their classes. The truth was, the sweet moment had to reach an end for now.

 

The first two classes were Art and sleeping time with History.

The lunch break was to begin, but Loud laughter could be heard as the red beauty stumbled on Chris’ foot as she was about to pass him. He purposely put his right foot in her way .The cripple beauty amazingly rose up like a camel which made the show even funnier. The kids quickly got out laughing and left the two losers behind in the classroom.

 

Chris slammed the door ferociously on his way out. He tried to open it but could not, so he savagely banged it hard. The echo of the slammed and banged door filled the classroom and shook the old windows. The freaking noise caused Rose to fell again, though it was unusual for her since she always calculated every step she took, just to avoid “being harassed by embarrassment”. Although Hopeless Tom was worried, he froze like an old Roman statue yet with a soul. Rose was hurt and could not get up even with the many tricks she had learned, so Tom slowly moved like a Koala toward her and boy was he grateful that he was at least within centimeters from the red beauty’s face. He tried to lift her up from behind though scared that he will touch her as he had never touched a woman, any woman not to mention a red beauty. Slowly and with shaking legs, he bent and put his shaking hands below her back. Rose cried out of pain.

 

Suddenly the door was forcefully kicked down.

 

 

“What in the world are doing ugly dumb Tom? Why are you attacking Rose? You are nothing but trouble.” The giant principle roared like a lion sending the old classroom windows shaking again.

 

The huge giant freaked Rose while Tom and even “fear” took cover behind a torn disk.

Tom’s legs were shaking, and he wetted on himself while Rose was paralyzed without meds. Flames of fire were coming from the giant’s eyes toward Tom. Sometimes fear can make a frog jump like a monkey. As the fat giant pushed the desks and chairs off his way, Tall Tom became the monkey he never thought he could be while the scared girl screamed her lungs out from the horrific scene of Tom jumping from one disk to another while the giant’s arms swung to catch the jumping monkey. Finally, Tom made it to the door only to find the whole school watching the circus show. Shaking and paranoid, Tom tried to push his way through the mesmerized audience but had no luck.

The principle quickly kneed down to comfort the crying Rose.

 

“Let him go. You will bring your uncle tomorrow or consider yourself expelled,” The principle shouted.

 

It looks as if bad luck and sadness were always a step ahead of Tom. For a long time, he longed to be expelled but now and after meeting Rose he longed for every school day to come.

At the main gate, wize, as usual, was sniffing and wondering around but this time, Tom was running fast and with tears following him. Wize followed him to a faraway tree midway on the hill. His tears caught up with him, and so did his sadness and worries. How could he bring his uncle tomorrow!!! since he had been staying with Mr. Wise.

 

Even if I stayed at my uncle’s home, if I remained his slave. I am sure; he would never save my butt. I should not ask him since it is like asking the devil to be a saint for a split of a second. Tom thought sadly.

 

Wize moaned and put on a funny show, but it did not work.  Tom cried, cried and wize moaned and moaned.  It’s time to think of the impossible but that is the beginning of wishful thinking. Tom decided to get up and run fast and far, far away from the school or even from his shaddow.

 

 

He hoped, maybe wisdom will meet him half way and guide him. Between the Green Valleys and the yellow lilies, between the bees and the butterflies, between the Canaries and the geese, between the blue sky and the green land, Tom found little comfort from his worries. But he kept running till suddenly he stumbled on a hidden rock. For sure going down the hill was a nightmare. Tom lay down with a smile and many tears while wize was moaned and hit his back.

 

 

“Uncle, the principle would like to meet you,” Softly and sadly said Tom.

 

“Sure, my beloved son, I would be more than glad to meet him,” Gently replied the uncle.

 

“Uncle, it is in regards to my expulsion from school,”   Vividly Said Tom.

 

“No worries son, I know there must be a mistake, a bright, handsome boy like you, would never be in trouble,” Replied Tom’s uncle.

 

“Your kid is the devil with a good looking face,” Yelled the giant principle with a fierce look of anger on his face and his brick- thick hand pointing at Tom, who mingled himself behind his uncle.

 

For sure, the deep dark blue eyes, soft straight black hair and nice small nose gave Tom a boost even if he was called the devil.  Among the angry crowd of kids and teachers, the tiny dragon, Mis Dragone popped up and screamed:

 

“Poor Rose had to suffer because of him,”

 

“Beat him,” the whole crowd screamed as they run toward Tom.

 

Tom tightly clung himself to his uncle back, only to find him, laughing loudly and sarcastically at him and trying to catch him. Now Tom run faster than his heart beats.

 

“Ugly Tom you can run, but you can’t hide,” the angry voices of the wolfish crowd traveled inside uncle Lonny’s living room.

 

Frightened Tom took shelter underneath the dusty covered and shabby round table. To his surprise,   it was completely dark.  Bones were shaking, and drums were beating in his heart with no breath out. Tom hoped he would not sneeze and stay the remaining of his life underneath the table.  Yet as he wondered about that, two huge yellow eyes shined in front of him. The bright yellow eyes light up his hideout. It was a humongous bee with a sharp nostril.

 

“bezzz bezzzz bee ugly” the bee attacked Tom’s nose which caused it to slowly swell and swell until It became as big as an air balloon. But he bit his teeth and remained silent.

 

“Ugly Tom you can run, but you can’t hide,” The angry voices of the crowd got closer.

 

His best buddy wize started to bark loudly and wiggling its tail.

 

“Hush, Hush,” vividly said Tom.

 

Wize sneaked underneath the tablet, and it was no tiny wize but a monstrous angry Bulldog with shiny long sharp white teeth.  It was ready to bit.

Tom screamed “stop, stop, I am Tom, wize, I am Tom.”

 

“Bit him, make him ugly, and make him ugly,” the vicious crowd applauded. Wrestling with such a huge dog was no fun. If anything he was fighting a dragon, he once loved.

If anything the ugly Bulldog bit everything in Tom except his arms, hands, and beautiful face. For now, the nasty dog showed his sharp teeth and jumped toward Tom’s face. Crying, sweating and frightened Tom pleaded Wize,

 

“No wize , no wize keep my good looking face,” Screamed Tom.

 

“Make him ugly. Make him ugly,” Faster and repeatedly the crowd demanded.

 

( Bezzzz bezzzz beee ugly) the monster bee sang.

 

The beast sharp teeth were within inches from crying Tom’s eyes. Weeping and frustrated, Tom swung his arms forcefully to push the beast’s ugly face from his chewed face. His heart pounded like a drum. His tears were mixed with the Bulldog’s jaw as it ripped through his beautiful face. Everything went dark even his hope for life, frustrated and frightened, Tom kept swinging his hands in the air but heard the loud shouts saying -Make him ugly, make him ugly- and the bark of the Bulldog on his right ear and a “bZz” singing bee on his left.

 

Suddenly, the clear blue sky was above him. Tom’s eyes were wide open, and his heart is pounding heavily while wize’s throat was tightly squeezed by Tom’s hands and a crazy bee roaming above his head.

 

Thank God, nightmares are dreams and not part of reality. Thought the sweating Tom with his head spinning.

 

Tom informed Mr. Wise about his possible expulsion from school.

 

“do not worry son, I will go to the principle’s home and clear this matter,”

Tom waited patiently for his return. Two hours passed before the old man vividly walked out from the woods.

 

“Son, tomorrow you can go back to school,” happily noted Mr. Wise. Tom jumped up and down, “Thank you,” said Tom ecstatically.

 

 

Fifth school day

 

The sun rose and brought Brightmoon back to life, it brought Tom’s hopes back to life. It was sending its warm rays to the playground in preparation for the “apology” show.

 

“I am sorry,” said Rose

“It was not your fault, but the principle still believes I attacked you. He also told Mr. Wise that He will not tolerate any “misconduct,” and that he will be observing my behavior at school,” sadly said Tom.

 

“Do not worry, I like you and that is the thing which matters to me,” said Rose while staring at Tom’s eyes.

 

The kids started to rush to the school and the new admirers had to cover up their “emotional crime”.

 

Fat Chris jeered at Tom, “You are a dumb boy”

“and you are a fat stupid boy” added Rose with a wry smile.

The kids engulfed Rose and Tom as fat Chris scowled at their seats.

 

Quickly the kids run back to their seats when Mr. dragone waked into the class.

 

“Good morning,” pitched the fast train siren of her voice.

Today I will have you write your opinion about a philosophical question,” Mrs. Dragone ambled in the class, she looked at the class and added, “If love and hate meet up for a race which do you think will win? Please, write down your opinion”

 

Some kids wrote love while others dictated hate.

 

“ hate is faster since love is weak” said Lewis the Smart Martein, whose real name was Lewis Martin , but that is how Tom always nicked named the smartest kid in the Brightmoon.

 

Rose agreed with the notation of hate as faster than love.

 

“ hate is faster since most people experience it more than love”

 

Tom, as usual, was the last in everything, even today. Before Tom answered the kids asked the short blondie dragon of her opinion. She leered, smirked then added, “Hate is faster, since love requires trust but hate does not,”

Off course, her answer would be the perfect answer any dragon could ever give you.

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CHAPTER THREE

                    CHAPTER THREE

 

Third school day

 

The morning rose, and Tom was already on his way to the school. His hopes to be alone with Rose grow stronger with each step forward.  No hope seemed far away, and no sadness would slow him down. He reached the school yard to find no one but the chilly air breaths exhausted out from his lungs. He heard no one except the echo of his footsteps. No Rose to welcome him.

It seemed, this time around Tom was faster than his wish to meet Rose. His dreams were slashed, wiped out and evaporated as fast as his chilly breaths.   As he disappointedly sat on the dirty footsteps of the main door, he noticed the shiny car approaching the school. Once again his wish was fulfilled, he smiled, and his heart started beating fast, after all,  his wish was once again fulfilled. For once Tom’s army of hopelessness was asleep, and his courage to talk to Rose was freed.

“Hi,” said Tom happily with the widest smile ever.

Rose smiled while limping “I thought I was always the first to enter the school yard!”

Tom smiled and added, “I had to drop a bag of cheese to someone close by here.”

Rose could easily notice that Tom did not change his cloth or comb his hair. He looked like he had slept in the woods.

Rose wondered, but still not convinced by his story.

 

“It must have been a very important bag of cheese for it to be delivered this early in the early morning” joked Rose, “do you sleep with your clothes on or were you kick out from home?” Said Rose with a tiny smile and her eye barrows up.

To his chagrin, Tom tilted his head down, turned his back and started to walk slowly away from Rose.

Rose realized that she just unintentionally had hurt his feelings. She tried to follow him, but her crooked steps hindered her from catching up with him.

“Tom, Tom,” repeatedly she called his name but got no reply back…

Tom sadly sat on the steps, trying to hide his tears of self-petty.

“I did not mean to hurt you. I was just trying to……” and before Rose could finish her statement. Ugly Tom got up and start running fast toward the main gate, quickly he disappeared.

He ran fast along with his sorrows and chasing away his misfortune of not having a loving home. He cried, cried and cried till his eyes turned completely red like a red rose.

He did not cry because of the things Rose had said, after all, he got used to such remarks. But his tears were due to his belief of being in a misfortune life

His tears were due to his fears of being unable to compete especially for love.

All chairs were occupied except Tom’s.   One class finished and another started, yet probably no one seemed to notice that ugly Tom was absent.

Tom decided not to miss his English class. From behind the closed door, he overheard the short blondie asking

 

“Where is Tom?”

 

“He never showed up,” Said fat Chris.

Shortly the door knocked.

 

“Come in,” commanded the teacher

 

It was ugly dumb Tom.

 

“I am sorry for being late,”   Said Tom

 

“No worries. What matters, is that you are here to shows us your homework,” Said Mrs. Dragone

 

The students started to read their free writing assignments. All the kids had written simple paragraphs about their life, till it was fat Chris’ turn.

“So you did not write anything, or the copy machine was not working?”

asked Mrs. Dragone sardonically

 

The kids burst out laughing. Surprisingly dragons could, after all, have a sense of humor. Fat Chris remained sealed his lips since he had not written anything.

 

Next was Rose.

 

In life, there is always hope.

The hope to be despite the sad tears

The sun rises to be the hope for a leaf to survive.

The moon lights up the night to be the hope against darkness.

The stars fill the night sky just be the beauty of the sky.

The earth rotates just to be the hope for a new day.

Everything in the universe is the driving force for the hope to be, regardless of all the sad tears.

The hope for a true love that might never be

The hope for the sad to be happy

The hope for the bad to become good

The hope for one’s sadness to disappear

The hope for peace to be and war to disappear

The hope for you and I to be the hope for others.

 

“Excellent ,excellent Rose,” applaud Mrs. Dragone,”You are a gifted writer,”

“Next,” shouted the teacher.

 

Tom was next.

 

In life, Hope is the reflection of desire, the admirer of happiness.

In life, Hope is the torch of persistence.

In life, Hope is the ignition of inspiration,

In life, the hope to achieve start with a wish and ends with a disbelief

All words said about hope are just wishes yet to be fulfilled.

In life, the hope to be like the rest or the best is the rhythm of enthusiasm.

In life, the hope to be in true love is the melody of loneliness.

In life, the hope for no hope only exists in a despaired soul. Yet, no hope will ever bloom in the garden of despair, and no love will ever bloom without hope.

In life, I find no comfort in the tunes of hope as I find no hope in hope.

The hope to be was never for me. The hope to never be is my melody.

 

Ms. Dragone was speechless, and so was the entire class.

By now the English teacher consulted all her bright brain cells, looking for a similar script or insert, only to reach one conclusion (nothing was ever before written exactly as Tom’s writing).

 

Once again Tom was denied the pleasure of satisfaction.

“Next,” said the tiny blonde Mrs. Dragone, but there was no next as Tom had always been seated at the last seat in the classroom.

 

“I am sorry, “whispered Rose.

 

Mrs. Dragone noticed Rose.

 

“Rose, are the brain behind Tom’s homework?” asked Mrs. Dragone with a fierce look on her face.

 

“I am sorry Mrs. Dragone, but I was not done reading my free writing homework,”  uttered Tom.

 

“Well, what else would you add?”

 

In life, if hope is the wisdom of imagination then ignorance is the wisdom of stupidity,” Tom softly smiled , paused then said , “Thank you,”

 

Silence loomed in the room for a few seconds.

The short blondie teacher stood next to Tom’s desk and took a peek at his paper.

 

“Give me your paper,” demanded the teacher.

 

Oh …how can anyone read your handwriting, it is so bad, and no one can tell if it is English or German.

 

The kids laughed loudly and with no regards to any of Tom’s feelings.

She hardly was able to read it, but she noticed that Tom’s last sentence was not included.

 

“Well, tomorrow’s assignment will be assigned in the class.” Said the blonde teacher.

 

Well, no one in the class knew that Tom never wrote any of his assignments at home, but rather they were written during the English class. They were written fast but truly filled with devotion and honesty.

The bell rang, and a new hope for Tom rose up as Rose smiled at him with the gorgeous smile that she always had.

 

“I did not mean to hurt your feelings …I was just joking with you.” Softly said Rose with remorseful begging eyes. For Tom, the magic of her smile can undo the worse spill. It could bring him happiness even if he was hit by a train. All of Tom’s early morning sorrows and shaded tears evaporated as soon as Rose smiled at him.

 

In life, pleasure is never forever, for of it was, then this would not be earth but heaven. Tom’s pleasure soon ended when fat Chris started to loudly mock Tom before the kids left the class.

Fat Chris screamed at poor Tom “ugly dumb Tom…ugly dumb Tom. It is Friday, Hurra , no school tomorrow Ugly dumb Tom”

some of the leaving kids followed Chris’ chant, by now Tom and Rose could only hear the loud screams ( ugly dumb Tom).

Tom remained sadly and hopelessly glued to his seat but knew it was late to run away from the kids or even hide and off course, it was too late to hide his weak personality from Rose. For sure the truth will never be kept hidden no matter how strong the lies could be. For sure the last thing Tom wished for was to look like a truly weak ugly dumb guy in front of the only girl he had ever loved.

 

“You are neither dumb ….nor ugly,” said Rose.

 

Tom could not believe the things Rose just said; he could not believe that Rose thought that he was not ugly.  It has been beyond the longest time ever since anyone regarded Tom as not ugly or dumb. The ugly dumb Tom chants got more vivid as the kids got farther out. Yet this time, he cared less to hear them, because Rose’s view of him gave him a dose of self-confidence .It was like a magic spell that would change a frog into a charming prince. It was like he was in a fancy fairy tale far away from all the misery he had ever endured. Tom felt very confident for the first time in his life, so confident that if the whole kids in the school and the whole village kept loudly chanting (Ugly dumb Tom, ugly dumb Tom) day and night till the end of time: he would not care for them, and it would not even bother him any bit.

“Never mind the stupid kids; for if they were smart, then they would respect us. For me, I see sympathy in their eyes. I am always reminded that I am crippled. Their sad looks at me, is like a mirror which reflects my sad reality, the reality of my crooked legs. I grow up looking constantly at a pathetic mirror that is my parent’s empathic look at me, for sure I always wanted to smash every stupid mirror  but I could never smash the sad pathetic look everyone had for me. I always wished to be like Cinderella for just a minute and not a whole night.  I wish for just that minute so to walk normally in front of my parents and see them smile at me with joy and cheers. To be hugged with joy, not sympathy or disgrace. Yet the reality is Cinderella is a fairy tale, and I am crippled, and now I live in a wired town, but I am glad you are around,” said Rose.

 

Tom started to weep as he had experienced the same sentiments that Rose had. He, too wished to smash the dirty old mirror at his uncle’s house. Among his tears and grief he had a moment of joy, he was thrilled that Rose was happy to have him by her side.

Tom realized that he was late on going back home to the bitter reality of dealing with his rude uncle and his family, but for once he was free from all his fears. He did not care if his crazy uncle sent every metal bucket flying to the school yard where they would forcefully bounce everywhere only to be followed by every paranoid sheep which would land in front of the principal’s office.

 

But every fairy tale has an end so did the cheerful moments that Tom spent with Rose in the classroom. Tom could see the shiny car from a distance, and he knew it was time to disappear before the giant principle meets up with him.

Tom picked up his bag and mixed emotions of sadness and happiness were drawn on his face. He had a sad eye and a wide smile, he waved goodbye and vanished as he knew that the giant principle would shortly appear. As usual, Tom would hide between the woods to get his last glimpse of Rose for the day.

 

By now Tom had to rush home faster than Rose’s shiny car in order for him to take the sheep out and avoid his uncle’s insults and punishment. Well from a distance not far from the barn Tom could hear all type of obnoxious insults coming from his lunatic uncle’s mouth, the loud annoying sound of the bouncing buckets and the paranoid maaa..maa sound of the sheep made Tom hesitated to show up in the barn, so he waited for a few minutes while his heart started pounding  so hard that he started sweating and shaking but he noticed that his uncle went inside the house, after  getting done with shoving all the buckets in every possible direction. Tom quickly sneaked into the barn and successfully took the sheep out before his mad uncle made it back.  When his uncle came out Tom had just left the gate, yet he could hear some buckets bouncing near him and his uncle screaming at him.  He knew such behavior would not go without a punishment, but he hoped that his uncle would be much calmer when he is back.

Enjoyment is the sweet flavor of happiness and cheerfulness is the sweet flavor of hope and both always taste sweeter in someone’s desperate heart, such as Tom’s heart. Regardless of his fears and worries, he was immune to sadness due to the few and simple encouraging words that Rose had told him.

Tom could not help but keep recalling Rose’s words

(You are neither dumb ….nor ugly)

 

 

Everything around Tom became a melody of joy. Passing the many pine trees and  all the yellow lilies in between ,Tom would  merely sing to them ( I a not ugly nor dumb) There was no place for sadness in Tom’s heart…no sadness toady not even at his favorite place underneath the huge tree where he had used to long for his parents and cry.  There he wished the most that he could tell his parents about Rose’s words (You are neither dumb ….nor ugly )

 

Tom felt asleep on the sound of the cool breeze racing through the leaves which sounded to him as the sweet voice of Rose repeatedly singing ( You are neither dumb ….nor ugly )

It was the first time that he ever felt asleep there with no tears .It was the first time ever that he felt asleep with a smile. It was the first time ever that he slept for long hours and cared less about Mr. Wise’s cows. It was the first time that he ever felt the superb comfort of falling asleep while reliving a beloved memory.

Sweet Dreams are fantasy shows free of charge, a gift from God to humanity and a short escape from one’s bitter reality. To be with Rose underneath the huge tree and far from the sarcastic kids was Tom’s sweet dream for the time being, before wize would start to nag him. Regardless of how sweet a sweet dream might be, the fact that it is only a dream is a bitter reality.

Tom opened his eyes with disbelief that the sweet dream had come to an end and that he is underneath the tree alone without Rose, though he was sad for being back into the bitter reality of his life. Yet he was happy for the after effect of joy that the sweet dream left inside his heart.  Never before Tom had felt such mixed emotions but after all, sweet dreams are made of cheerful imaginary events that evaporate as soon as reality kicks in, that feeling of waking up with the sweet taste of hope.  Well, it was sunset when Tom walked up from his mere dream. By then it was too late for him to make it to Mr. Wise’s farm.  It was the first time that Tom ever missed his regular daily visitation to the old man.

 

“Come on! Wize I have to rush home with the hope that Uncle Lonny would not find us at the gate,” cried Tom while his stomach played the loud annoying drums of hunger. His hope was only a virtual self-indicative lie or better said just a wish that would never come true knowing the behavior of his uncle.

It was the first time he wished to hear his uncle lunatic screams. Tom took every step slower than the previous one, but every heart beat rushed faster with every step forward.

Strange how fear can bring all sorts of crazy thoughts, Tom imagined that his uncle would be laying and covered by hay on the floor and would grab his leg as he passes him or that his uncle would beat him with shuffle on his head.

 

I have to pass the gate and get the sheep to the barn and lock it, then run before that lunatic guy kills me. Tom thought.

 

The sheep knew their way past the gate and into the barn.

Oh, Tom was so relieved, and all he had to do was to get the gate closed. He froze, and he could only hear his heart beat and the barking of the stupid shepherd dog.

“ Wize can you help me. Can you bark when you see Uncle lunatic Lonny?” demanded Tom.

His dog took off sniffing for Tom’s uncle; the little white dog passed the gate and went around the barn.

“My God, wize came back,”

So he is not inside, thought Tom.

Quickly Tom ran into the gates, hoping he could close them and run. So he did, while his heart beat was faster than his short breaths and his shaking legs.

Just as he got out safely, his uncle suddenly appeared in from of him, like a ghost , his eyes were red and wide opened and the smell of the beer coming from his mouth into Tom’s face like fumes of toxic smoke.

 

Poor Tom froze, his heart stopped, and his sweat poured like rain, his legs could nearly carry him. He was pulled from his shirt and dragged from his hair then slapped on his face forcefully, so forcefully that he heard a ringing tone in his ears. Tom was screaming for help, but only the owls could hear him and convey his fears throughout the forest.

His uncle squeezed his throat forcefully, poor Tom was suffocating and catching his last breaths; his eyes were relieving in slow motion, the few joyful moments of his childhood which he had spent with his grandmother and the cheerful smiles he had shared with Rose. It was a sad end to the miserable life of a sad boy.

 

Tom uncle’s family came out.

“Kill him,” fat Chris shouted.

His wife came running towards her mad husband.

“Honey, whose is going to take care of the dishes and the sheep?”

But the lunatic guy still had a tight grip on Tom’s throat.

As wise was getting closer to rescue Tom, he was attacked by the bloody Shepherd dog

 

“Kill him.”

“The mobbing of the floor honey,”

“Beat him.”

“Who is going to clean the dishes?”

The echoes of selfishness and hatred were the only sounds that Tom could sadly hear while his tears were his only solute for mercy. After all, hate is the mother of all evils.

 

Suddenly a loud gun fire filled the air and all the lunatic pathetic echoes vanished. The sound was so close to uncle Lonny, so he let go of Tom’s throat. It freaked everyone but Tom who was gasping for air. Strange how fast fear can run through an evil person, for courage is no evil.

 

“Please, do not shoot,” screamed the pathetic and fearful lunatic uncle.

The bullet came from behind the bushes near the barn gate. Mr. Wise Suddenly appeared, pointing his hunting shotgun at Tom’s lunatic uncle.

“Let the boy go, you pathetic coward scam back. You were useless all your life, useless ever since you were a kid, a grown up and still useless as an adult. You were a failure back then and still a pathetic failure. You could not even provide bread for your family if it was not for Tom’s father. The house, the sheep, the barn were never yours. You could not even afford the gates of the barn, you, idiot. This time, I will not shoot you, but I swear if you ever lay your hand on the kid. I will shoot your head faster than this flying bullet, you dumb”

 

the old man’s gun fired next to the lunatic man’s right foot, sending him running around like a panicking chicken that was about to be slaughtered.

“Oh, my God,  Oh, my God,” begged uncle Lonny.

 

Mr. Wise laughed so loud

 

“Come Tom lets go home and bring wize with you,” Said Mr. Wise,       grimaced at Mrs. Rigs, “the boy is doing no more dishes or mopping of the floors.  Let that fat boy of yours or that good looking lover boy of your do them,” Tom was surprised at the courage the old man had and was shocked to know that his father was the man behind the good life that his uncle had enjoyed all along.

Tom could not think straight, but rather he only wanted to run away from such a miserable place. He wished could run to his favorite spot even if it was in the darkness of the night, for maybe his tears will tell his parents how much he had missed them and how sorry he was to believe some of his uncle’s fake, unrealistic laying tales about them.

 

“Thank you for saving my life,” wept Tom.

 

“Thank God I came at the right moment,” Said the old man as they started heading home. They were followed all the way by a big full blue moon which painted everything on their path with the beauty of its bright blue color.

 

“I was worried for you boy since you had not come to milk the cows. I knew that something must have gone wrong,” said Mr. Wise.

 

Tom tried to recall the beautiful sweet moments of the day that he had spent with Rose and how his tiny fortune of happiness could not last long.

 

“I fell asleep, and it was late to come to you,” said Tom.

 

“No worries, son. What matters is that you are fine,”

 

In no time, Tom was sitting in Mr. Wise hut, enjoining the warmth of the fireplace and the warmth of Mr. Wise’s smile.

Dinner was ready in no time. Mr. Wise amazingly needed no one to take care of him. He has been living alone ever since Tom could ever remember.  The neatness of the living room, the aroma of pine inside the home was amazing. Those things were only the artistic touch of a loving and caring woman who view her house as a palace made of diamonds. The hot meal and hot soup brought cheers to Tom along many thoughts about the old man’s ability to keep his hut very well clean and organized without the assistance of a wife or a mate. Maybe Mr. Wise never needed a wife to take care of his needs nor did he ever needed a woman to be part of his dreams or full fill his fantasies or even fill any space around him. It was as if Mr. Wise have been living his life enjoying the thrill of loneliness; that is competing with “himself” for the out most moment of complete silence.

His silence was always interrupted when he would tell his tales of past heroes and wars.  Tonight was no different except Tom wanted so much to tell Mr. Wise about the happy moments that he shared with Rose. He wanted to tell his hero, Mr. Wise about the encouraging words which Rose had said to him earlier in the day:  You are neither dumb ….nor ugly.

 

Tom had experienced the odd effect that the word love could cause to Mr. Wise. Suddenly Tom said with a shallow voice “ You are neither dumb nor ugly. That is what Rose had said to me. Rose, being the new girl in my class, she came from Birmingham,” said Tom with a merry look on his face.

“That is nice to hear,” Said the old man

“Is she your new friend?” asked the old man

“Yes, she is more than a friend,” Said Tom.

“More, meaning love, right boy,” said Mr. Wise.

“A, a,” stuttered Tom then continued, “ I know, every morning,  I run to school so fast just to make it there before all the kids, Just to meet her for a few minutes.

I know I leave the last from school, just to take my last glance at her as she gets into her father’s shiny car.

I know, I quite running from school just to be with her.

I know I impressed my math teacher today just for her.

I know I would do the impossible to have a few words with her,” Said Tom.

“So, you are in love,” Said the old man

“I guess I am!” Tom answered

The old man started repeatedly chanting the following words with a sad tone:

Love is no more than a game

A sweet way to say I hate.

And the sweetest pain I’ve ever tasted.

Oh, Love is no more than a game

A sweet way to say I hate.

And the sweetest pain I’ve ever tasted.

Finally, the old man mentioned something about love. So love must have crossed the old man’s heart, Thought Tom.

 

“Son, with love, there is some pain and some sweet moments and then you will wish you have never fallen in love. Son once your heart is broken and shattered into thousand pieces. It will take your whole life to put back the pieces, and even then you will never feel the same about love,” said the old Mr. Wise then started chanting sadly once again

Love is no more than a game

A sweet way to say I hate.

And the sweetest pain I’ve ever tasted.

 

“I wish I could control my feelings. I had never felt alive or even being of any value until that early morning in the classroom when she entered the classroom, walking with crooked steps,”  said Tom with happiness in his face and eyes.

 

The old man eyebrows were up while his pipe was hanging down from his tiny lips.

 

“ I hope I am wrong, and you are right. I hope love will be no venom but rather a sweet melody.” Said the old man

 

It was the first time the old man ever talked about love rather than about wars. Tom thought

 

“Son, enjoy your stay and Tomorrow rash to your school to meet the other half of your soul. For my words will never be understood until your heart is shattered, that day you will recall my sad chanting.

 

Love is no more than a game

A sweet way to say to say I hate

And the sweetest pain I have ever tasted.

 

Have a good night and you can use the room in the attic,” said Mr. Wise with a smile.

 

Tom had no worries about the place where he would sleep in; after all, he had slept many cold nights in the barn with wize and was mentally prepare to do the same. Mr. Wise’s attic would be no different than any other attic. Tom thought to himself yet as he opened the door, it was spotlessly clean with light blue walls and a big white fur rug in the center of the polished shiny maroon wooden floor.  The beautiful smell was enough to relax Tom without stepping further or laying on the king bed which was covered with thick soft and silky sheets, and the pillows were stuffed with feathers.

This was the first time ever that Tom knew about such a room. It was such a surprise to him that he spent a lot of time looking at everything inside the room, from the white ceiling to the light blue curtains to the wooden book shelve that had many children stories. Tom wondered about such a beautiful room which seemed to be the room of maybe Mr. Wise’s son. The Old man never had any kids as far as Tom recalled. And if so, why would Mr. Wise take care of it?

 

 

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CHAPTER TWO

 

Second school day

 

The end of darkness was to begin, and the beginning of a new sunrise was to be on Brightmoon.  After all, life is made of sunrises and sunsets. After all, life has always been a constant brightness and darkness. The sun rises to wipe away the darkness and the sunset to welcome the darkness. And between the sunrise and sunset babies are born and old men died.  Between the sunrise and sunset success is achieved and failure is awarded.

The sun raised and Tom, as usual, tried to beat the sun rays to the green fields. He tried to beat the morning breeze to the trees; he tried to beat all the wishes that the kids had to pick on him every step of the way heading to the school gates.

No one was awake; neither his body aches nor the rats upstairs which used to wish him a good day.  It was always peaceful to leave home alone   yet no one can ever be completely alone except without a soul.  Nothing was new to Tom except taking a step back to check himself in the huge and the hard to miss mirror on his way out.   For sure he must have looked handsome in his night thoughts about Rose.  But the old dirty mirror never lied to Tom about his looks.  After all, mirrors never lie and always reflect the truth even if it’s pure ugliness. Although he still looked the same” ugly Tom”, yet for the first time in his life, he did not wish the old mirror would be shattered into a million pieces.  He tried to comb his hair but did not know how since he rarely used a comb. He tried to fix his shirt but still managed to make it worse since he never cared to fix it before. Though frustrated, Tom still enjoyed trying a missed up new look. (That is already overdue)

 

“One step followed another, one hill passed, another coming up.   Many lilies in one filed none to be seen ahead of a dream. Warriors of hopelessness filled with fear, stay with the lilies and do not follow me,” Tom sang happily.

 

Soon “Time” will catch up with the hope of being with Rose. But then “Time” was never a friend of Tom’s sad life.  Soon the gate will be a step away. But the “worries of loneliness” had already made it there. To meet them again is fate and to be the first at the gate is faith.  So “Time” rushed with Tom before the kids made it to the gate. But “Time” and Tom were surprised to find Rose had already passed the gate.

Speechless was the autumn breeze which slapped Tom in the face while “Time” was ashamed for being late. Rose had made it to the classroom before Tom.

 

“Hi,” said Rose in a surprised tone.

 

Tom recalled all his wishes and dreams of last night and strengthened himself to the point of uttering the simple word “HI.”  He was successful. He was lucky, for this time the “warriors of hopelessness” were a bit late.

Rose’s red checks rose up and with her hand, she covered a slight smile on her ruby lips, pointing with her blue eyes down as if something is wrong. Tom looked around, thinking maybe the “hopeless warriors” had showed up behind him. But no one was around except the desks, Rose and “time”.

“Your zipper,” whispered Rose, with a beautiful, shy smile and raised red checks.

The opened zipper was the price of trying a new look for Tom. Strange how a smile can excel happiness to be infinite! No wonder Rose’s smile took Tom to the infinite level of happiness, a place where sadness completely vanishes. Happiness through a gorgeous smile was a never felt feeling for Tom. So much that he forgot to close his zipper. Noises chased by the kids were getting closer. The moment of ultimate happiness was almost over. Back to the bitter reality was a fact for ugly dumb Tom. Once in reality, Tom’s zipper was up, and his happiness went down. Quietness disappeared with every step that the kids made to their desks. Soon all that could be heard were noises and a loud bill.

 

Suddenly all the noises vanished, and even complete silence had a fear for Mr. Matt had stepped in the class; he was a very well-dressed, physically fit man with a glance that can smash a glass and a serious look that could scare the scariest witch. Math with Mr. Matt was never fun.  To add and subtract means a plus or minus in brain cells. To multiply or divide means more headaches or to split a headache among the brain cells. Mr. Matt was a walking calculator. Most probably his brain was made of no cells but numbers to connect. Strangely, he was able to give you a correct answer in seconds regardless of the length and complication of the equation. Tom always wondered if all math teachers were like Mr. Matt or was math only a reflection of him. Luckily Tom was never a student that Mr. Matt cared for; after all, Mr. Matt knew that Tom’s head was empty of any mathematical equations. Fifty minutes of pretending to pay attention always produced multiple stiff neck headaches and pains.  Mr. Math Matt walked out as the class ended and quickly noises walked in.

“Good morning “the not so missed “train siren” of yesterday was in the class. Free writing was the assignment of Mrs. Dragone.  All the kids were prepared except Tom, who had no time for his writing assignment; after all, he never cared about doing any of his homework. Yet this time, he cared for the sake of impressing Rose and avoiding to be labeled dumb Tom again, especially in front of the red head girl.

 

Let’s start from the first row of the class. Please read clearly and loudly demanded Mrs. Dragone.

Tom felt relieved as he was in the last row.  He had always been the last in everything except being dumb.  Now it is fat Chris ‘ turn.    The boy started to read, but soon many reading mistakes came out. It sounded as if it was a script from any language but English. For once Mrs. Dragone was annoyed and ripped off the paper from the fat boy’s hand to read it for the class.

 

Love and hate are part of the circle of life, just as the trees and the beasts are parts of the circle of life. So is the loop of love and hate. Once in the loop of love, the loop will take you for a wild emotional ride. Faster than a falling roller costar. Many sleepless nights and daydreams are the fun time in the loop while looking into your loved one’s eyes will take you into a fantasy world. For their smile will ease your worst nightmare. As many would say, Love has no boundaries yet the boundary of love is the beginning of hate, which is the gate into the loop of hate.

“ Hate” was drawn on the Blondie dragon’s face.

“These words are not of yours but the famous Jack Sonwlong in his book the circle of love. The assignment was free writing, not free copying. For that, a complete zero is awarded to you, next,” Furiously and seriously shouted the annoyed tiny dragon

Poor Tom started to write and “time” was catching up with him. One shaking kid finished, another began to sweat out of fear while Tom was still writing.

Now it was Rose’s turn to shine.

“I am Rose, like you, I have many hopes.

Some run while others walk, but my hopes always come out short with every step I take.

Far from my hopes, I see me, like the rest.

Yet, I reach no end except the few steps ahead.

Going back is hard and moving forward is a long way.

So, I wish I was like the rest who can walk and run every day.

I carry no remorse for my steps, but I wish empathy were not carried by the rest.

I am Rose. Like you, I have many hopes.”

 

“Silence” was filled with sadness; words were filled with hidden sorrows as the tiny dragon was speechless for a few seconds.

“Amazing, fabulous, a complete 10 out of 10 is awarded to you,” Said the tiny dragon with a happy dragon face.

 

Next was time for ugly Tom to be heard but who cared. “Time” just made it to the last word of his” masterpiece”

“Next,” loudly and annoyingly yelled the tiny dragon.

Obviously, dragons have no patience to wait

“No hope or no word was written,   ugly Dum Tom,” carefully and vividly said Fat Chris, which some of the kids heard and laughed.

 

Tom started to read quickly as the dragon pitch got louder, ” NEXT, ”

“Hated by hate

Loved by despair

Tears of joy, I have never met.

Tears of sorrow are my only friends

Loneliness, a friend I wish I have never met.

Sorrow, a shadow that always follows me even when complete darkness covers me

Good, I cannot find since bad is the only right I see.

Black is the color of life even when white shines on me

I hide no more tears, for tears are a part of me and smiles are a wish not for me.

I am hated by hate, loved by despair.”

 

Another moment of complete silence filled with sadness engulfed the room. The tiny dragon still wondered if Tom is another free copying genius. She tried to recall for any similar written scripts in the literature.

Still at disbelieve, she asked Tom to repeat the words he just read.

Tom started to read again.

Now disbelief became a real belief that ugly Tom must have been a master in the coping technique.

“So, the words are yours! Or are those of a newly published poem?” asked the tiny dragon with a sharp tone that can cut through diamonds and a scowling look that would scare the bravest of men.

“Silence” was drawn on Tom’s face as he was shocked of the tiny dragon’s disbelieve.

For once, the Warriors of hopelessness felt intimidated by ignorance. For once, the Warriors of loneliness felt surrounded by hope. For once, Tom felt that his presence was not challenged by dumbness. For once, he tasted the truly bitter taste of ignorance. But knowing hopeless Tom, he kept quite while his pale white face showed a mix of hidden tears and disgusted.

Amazingly dragons are also known to be wise.

“Well, if the words are yours then for sure you can produce many like those. Please at the end of the class, read for us, one of your other masterpieces,”   caustically said, Mrs. Dragone.

Accepting any challenge is no challenge for the Braves.  Accepting any challenge is a challenge for the cowards. Tom never was a brave boy but rather a coward. For poor Tom, courage only existed in the tales narrated by Mr. Wise at the end of the day.  Taking the challenge simply meant enjoying a few seconds of being anything but dumb.  Still, Tom kept silent and was not allowed to answer.

 

“Next,” shouted Mrs. Dragone loudly, the kids nearly fell off their chairs.

But obviously, there was no next since Ugly dumb Tom was the last next in the class.

Tom started to write while annoyed by both the high-pitched train’s siren voice of the English teacher, traveling at high speed inside the class and his newly discovered feeling of fighting ignorance.

Time once again was just chasing every letter poor Tom had to write, just to proof, once again that he was dumb.

 

“Ok, Tom let’s hear your masterpiece “loudly said the blond dragon.

 

“Every tear of sorrow has hoped that sadness will disappear, except for me.

Every tear of sorrow has hoped that my sadness will always be with me.

Every tear of joy has hoped that happiness will always appear, except for me.

Every tear of joy has hoped that sadness will always remain with me.

The sun rises to bring no hope to me

The sun sets down to remain me of my lonely life.

Tomorrow will come and within its folds, it will bring the hope for a cheerful day except for me, it always brings the best of misery.”

 

Once again, “Silence” was asked to perform even though it was tired of repeatedly being recalled. “Disbelieve” was consulted to believe, but ignorance always alters reality to become an illusion. Ignorance simply turns the truth into a lie, and it simply converts a lie into a truth.

 

“Well, Tom I will not grade you till I am confessed that those words were yours,”

 

Well, Mrs. tiny Dragone, for Tom a perfect grade or no grade was the same. For ugly dumb Tom never cared for any grade neither today nor ever. But he only cared for the score that Rose would give him.

 

“Tomorrow’s assignment is more free writing and no free copying,” The Blondie dragon said as she was staring at ugly Tom.  For now, “silence” was kicked out by the kids’ noises and sadness was pushed out by their laughter, except for ugly dumb Tom.

 

Ignorance is the essence of stupidity. Tom recalled Mr. Wise’s statement but he never fully understood it, until today.

In life, the words of wisdom bring comfort to a troubled heart and will ease the pain of sadness.

Yes, Mr. Wise you were right about ignorance. Tom thought.

But moments of glory never last in Tom’s life.  Big fat Chris had to pick a fight with him.

 

“So you copied it. Ugly dumb Tom, from which book, you, idiot or did that crazy old man wrote it for you.” You know Mr. Wise knows no reading or writing.   I will find that book of yours, and I will rip it apart. You understand, you are an idiot, “Screamed fat Chris.

Yes, Mr. Wise you were right when you informed me that after all, envy is the venom of ignorance. Tom thought.

 

 

Strange, how evil would become weak in the presence of fear. Strange how fast Chris’s shadow ran to his seat when the bell rang.  Not again, it is physics with super brown man who has the strongest super monotonic- hypnotic powers on earth. Today’s challenge was no English free writing, but it was staying awake to fight the super monotonic power of “Mr. Super brown man”.

As soon as super brown man started to talk, Tom started to faint. Normally, Tom fought the hypnotic powers by thinking about all the chores he has to do later on or about some of Mr. Wise’s heroic tales.

“Well…Well, this is a classroom, not your bedroom.  Mr. Rigs,” Monotonically said, Mr. Brown

Tom’s lack of sleep due to his all-night-long wishes, made him hear vivid voices. “Wake up “shouted Mr. Brown near Toms’ ears. Tom freaked out.

The whole class was amused except Mr. Super brown man who as usual showed no smile.

“You can continue your dreams of stupidity outside Mr. Rigs.’

Good, Tom thought.

The Mistakes of Yesterday should be the lessons of today. So Tom’s chance to run away should not be wasted like he did yesterday. But the lessons of today are the hopes of tomorrow. Thus, his hope to be with Rose was part of his future.

There goes Tom, once again out of the class with his head down. Captive by the recollection of Rose’s beautiful ruby smile, Tom knew to relive the beauty of Rose’s smile once again: meant waiting for the lunch break and beyond. For ever since the moment he saw her smile this morning, he would never mind waiting patiently for every lunch break of every school year ahead since her smile will take him to the land of everlasting happiness and that is worth waiting not only for the lunch break but his entire life.

Captive by the disbelief that Tom did not run away,  Mr. Brown was astonished and wondered if Tom was abusing some” ANTI STUPIDITY DRUGS.”

 

“Tom, are you ok? Maybe you are sick!”   Sarcastically asked Mr. Super Brown

 

“No,” said Tom as the class was behind the super sarcastic brown man.

 

“Then how come you did not run away.” The class laughed as he mentioned that to Tom

 

The Poor ugly dumb Tom was speechless as all the kids’ laughter carried on and on, except for Rose and Mr. Brown, who as usual showed no reaction.

Tom thought that once again and again and as many as the once that had passed away: l never left a good impression anyway or anywhere, not today nor yesterday, and especially not in Rose’s head.

Tom’s army of hopelessness kept annoyingly wondering in his head for the many reasons that would prevent him from running away from school like he used to. This time, it was time for Tom to pick a fight with his “army of hopelessness.”

Hopeless Tom was completely hopeless in his fight. Yet all he knew was that ever since the moment he had seen Rose, he wanted to run away from his “army of hopelessness”.  For sure he must have annoyed this army with his constant hope which unknowingly was the secret weapon he had been using all along.

After all, his army was never trained on the weapons of hope.

 

After all, hope is the sword of success.

After all, hope is the fighting sword against the impossible.

 

Tom did not care for his thoughts and the wars inside his head, except the thought of being near Rose. He slowly took his steps into his desk; hoping Rose would smile once again at him. He wished his zipper would go down again and again and relive the early moments of the morning all the way till the end of the lunch break.

Nope, the zipper was not down and after all, a person’s “out of reality” wishes are simply the realities in a Carton show.

 

Yet the hopes for the impossible are the gates of the very possible.

 

“Good job Tom,” The voice of the redhead roamed in the empty room.

Shocked and frightened, the red rose was able to scare a boy named Tom.

 

To believe or not to believe

To imagine or not to imagine

To speak or not to speak

To accept or not to accept

To let silence answer or not!

“To….To….To the so many worries and wonders which wondered in Tom’s head, led him hoped to never repeat the silence of yesterday.

 

For silence in the face of hopelessness is the roar of weakness.

 

“Thank you.” Tom replied back with a shaky, scared tone as he could not believe that Rose was talking to him.

 

“I never thought you would ever talk to me” Answered Tom

 

“How come?” Said Rose with a sweet smile.

 

“Since I failed to say anything to you yesterday as much as I would have today,” answered Tom with a shy voice.

 

“Were you afraid of me? I sure am crippled, but I bit no one,” giggled the reddish girl.

 

Sometimes silence is better than a ridicules truth. Tom’s no answer was enough of an answer to make Rose aware of his weakness. Well, poor Tom only knew how to please his uncle sheep and milk Mr. Wise’s cows.  For sure he knew nothing about the game of love.

 

“I…..I. …was not sure you if you were trying to talk to me.” Slowly uttered Tom

 

For the experienced, it was a lie, but for the wise it was a way out. Yet for the benefit of doubt, Rose slashed every doubt that Tom was not scared of her. Maybe, for once, she felt empowered to be “normal enough” and ‘strong enough” to intimidate and to be viewed like the rest of the girls.

“Where do you live in this boring village and tell me what do people do here for fun? Asked Rose with tiny smile on her luscious lips.

 

With the slight smile on her ruby lips, she changed Tom to statue with a million thoughts. Back to his sweet reality and forth to his imagination, Tom was sent quickly back to his happy, loving reality and forth to the land of everlasting love. He was sent faster than a flying peregrine falcon.

The beauty of Roses’ blue eyes would make the cloudiest day seem the sunniest. The way everything was in Rose from head to toe and from the gorgeous ruby smile to the crippled steps, made her the only beautiful rose among all the roses.

“I live far away from the school” answered Tom but that helped Rose none as she wanted to find out if he had lived near her house.

 

“Is it close to the main town’s market?” Rose smiled further more

“No, it is far away from it.” softly replied Tom

 

“So what do you do for fun?” Rose smiled and moved closer to Tom

The few moments of Rose’s smile brought ugly Tom to the illusion that he was the most handsome man on earth. By now every warrior of sadness, loneliness and hopelessness was captive by the quick and rapidly growing emotions in Tom’s lonely heart. Tom’s heart was overwhelmed, to the point of skipping a beat or two.

 

Tom kept quite after all what fun did he ever had in his life! Maybe playing with his dog was the only fun that he was allowed to have.

 

“Well…well…I ….I …I take my uncle’s sheep to the mountains everyday” answered Tom even though he knew it was the stupidest and uncool answer he could give.

 

“I mean where you go with your parents for fun? “Asked Rose with an annoyed glance as she flipped her sparkling blue eyes towards Tom.

 

Poor Tom could not answer as Rose started leaping toward him.

 

“So what does your father do in Brightmoon?” with her body just inches from Tom

 

“My parents had disappeared when I was six and since then I had been living with my uncle and his family. My cousins, Dale and Chris are our classmates” sadly answered Tom with his voice shaking.

 

“What does he do?” asked Rose with her blue eyes looking straight at Tom’s tiny eyes

 

“He does nothing but drinking alcohol and making sure I take the sheep to the mountains everyday” disappointingly answered Tom with sorrow and tears hidden within his shallow voice.

Tom knew none of his answers satisfied the curious Rose. But Tom knew that there was no reason for him to lie about his pathetic life since he was the least respected boy in Brightmoon.

 

“Do not feel bad, it is not like I am in any better situation than you! I am crippled as you see and to my parents, I am a big burden and a shame.”

For once, Tom was connected with someone who shares the same sad feelings of being misfortune and hated. On the other side, maybe, a new hope arrived at Roses’ heart. At last, she could be admired and maybe loved even by a lousy, ugly dumb guy. For sure she was no statue of a million thoughts or feelings but rather a red rose that just realized that roses are amazingly beautiful.

Rose’s feeling of abnormality weaned off quickly with every glance of admiration from Tom’s tiny eyes, with every shaky hand that Tom had, with every influx of joy in Tom’s heart. It made Rose believed for an instant that she was the only supermodel among all the women on earth. It was the sweetest feeling any beauty queen would ever desire. It was the feeling of being a pretty girl with the magical controlling power of beauty.

 

Short and few were the moments of joy when love bloomed between the newly lovers. Just as every dream reaches an end, so does every illusion. The lunch break was about to end, but the growing feeling between both of them reach no end.  The bill rang and reality stepped in along every step of every kid in the class. Yet many questions were left unanswered in both of their hearts and many quests for new feelings were left unconquered.

Tom wondered if he was rescued from his army of hopelessness or he had overcome all of his hopelessness. Needless to say, for once he was free to feel complete without grief.

 

The lunch break ended and it was part of history as history starts with every passing minute and ends with the next minute. It was for the history class with Mr. Mr. Nick Nicklsons. History never dies and remains as part of life; it never ends as long as time continues to pass by, except with Mr. Nicklson, for history never started for it to stop. “Negligence” was Mr. Nick’s appreciation for history.

 

The kids knew that history with Mr. Nicklsons who the kids nicked name him “Mr. Negligence” never changed and of course that is a fact of history; it could be altered, but the facts remain part of that history. Well, his history class always constituted of “ Good Morning class and Please kids be quiet then, please read page such and such. Then Mr. Nick would put his forehead on the table with his arms below it and history would take a nap till the kids annoyingly get loud and wake Mr. Nick up from his nap, only to scream “SHUT UP.”  Then he would fall asleep again until the bell rang and rang ….wake up …wake up history.

Tom rarely attended Mr. Nick’s class as he cared less for additional negligence or being picked on by the kids. Maybe, today’s history class for once had a sweet taste in Tom’s bitter heart; he thought of history as the sweetest moments that he just shared with Rose during the lunch break. The beauty of history lies in its cheerful moments which he wished would never end and for the future to never appear.

Tom realized the impossible is never possible but only part of wishful thinking. For once he asked himself many daring questions which he would not even dare to think of. Through his wishes of being stuck in history, he realized that no one can get stuck in history neither the future would disappear nor “time” would stop. In the mix of all the noises and Mr. Nick’s loud snoring, Tom managed to realize that the history and the future are tied up by time. As long as that old clock in the principal’s office kept ticking, history would be part of the past, and the future is yet to be revealed.

Rose was shocked at the level of history education this class had compared to her old school in Birmingham city.  At first, she tried to remain quiet among  the chaotic screams but, later on, she realized that maybe the history of snoring was the only subject taught in the class. She looked at Tom only to notice he was in a daze . She stared and stared at him, only to wonder if he was ignoring her or afraid of her or maybe there was a trick to this history class beside a snoring teacher. Curiously she stared at Tom, and no hope was found in breaking his thoughts.  So she whispered his name but still no hope to be heard among the “heard”. Waving brought no luck except a waste of time. A paper ball would always do the trick when it hits its target.

 

“I have been trying to talk to you. I had to hit you with the paper ball since you did not notice my hand waving or my voice.  What is going on in the class?” curiously asked Rose.

 

“Nothing, the class had been like this ever since the beginning of history.  Mr. Negligence always sleeps in the class, and the rest is history,” sarcastically said Tom but amused by his own reply which for a split of a second made him feel free of the chains of shyness.

Rose giggled, and that brought up a personality in Tom, which he never knew had existed in him.   As for the paper ball, He did not mind if it kept hitting him all day long as long as it was thrown from Rose’s hand. As for his deep thoughts, they vanished faster than vapor when he noticed Rose’s luscious smile. As far as “Trouble”  was concerned, it was no concern for Tom since it would find him even if he would hide on a remote island.

 

‘So ugly dumb Tom. I see you finally found a matching lousy friend.

One crippled while the other is tall and fast.

One is smart while the other is extremely dumb. How dumb, ugly dumb Tom!”  Ha, Ha ,Ha sarcastically and loudly laughed fat Chris.

 

“Crippled and smart, yes we are, tall and fast are always a plus while short and fat are never a plus. Exactly Just like turtles, you are. Now I wonder who’s dumb,”   replied Rose with a sarcastically amused singing tone

 

Chris was disgusted but would not try to answer the red girl back. For he only wanted to pick on weak Tom, which was amused by Rose’s reply and thrilled that for once Chris was put online, and his big mouth was locked like a zipper.

 

“I see you are amused by the crippled girl.   What is it, Dumb Tom. You cannot answer for yourself?”  asked Chris.

 

Before Tom could answer, the red girl amusingly said.

“Turtles are outside. You can pick on them till one of you could get as tall and skinny as we are,”

Chris’ face turn red for anger was the arrow of Rose’s quick and funny sarcastic responds. Yes, it has been awhile since Tom had a defender. Today it is Rose, and a long time ago it was his grandmother.  The bell rang to wake up Mr. Negligence and cool off fat Chris.

At last and always the least trouble was the music class with Mr. “Cool” Kevin, who was always smiling though he knew that none in the class understood a single musical note.  It was never strange for the whole class to exchange on their faces all sort of “confused expressions” while the so-called musical notes were performed by Mr. cool Kevin. Yet it was always comforting for Tom to see him smiling at him, even though he knew that Tom did not have the slightest clue about the class

This year it seemed as if a wonder had come true for Mr. cool Kevin. As he for once had a student who could not only understand his “mysterious” musical notes but also could communicate with him using the same musical language. It was, of course, the new girl in town. The red beauty that made every musical note sings for her ever since music was initiated on earth.

As usual Mr. cool Kevin would smile before and after explaining eany musical note to the confused kids.  Except  today and for the first time he received the ever long anticipated answer he had been waiting for ever since he thought music at Brightmoon, that was Ten years ago. The whole class was astonished that someone could relate with Mr. Cool Kevin about his musical notes. Off courses, the worries were washed off once the kids realized the answer did not come from one of the not so “Brightmoon” kids. But For sure their faces were filled with envy and respect as now Rose was viewed as a girl with a proven higher educational background and upper social class.

“I always believed the day would come when the musical notes would be understood in Brightmoon. You must be new, but a gift from God to my class,” said, Mr. Kevin joyfully.

 

“What is your name and where did you live before,” asked Mr. cool Kevin.

“My name is Rose, and I came from Birmingham city,” answered Rose.

“Which school did you attend?” asked Mr. happy Kevin.

“I attended Roseland elite school,” answered Rose.

Mr. cool Kevin paused for a minute in order for his smile to be erased. It was the first time for the kids to witness Mr. Kevin without a smile. Tom wondered if such a school would be the school for elite musicians or the elite land for roses where Rose was the queen of all roses.

Mr. Kevin’s smile slowly started to come back to the reality that Rose attended Roseland elite school. It seemed as if Mr. Kevin was desperately fishing for his lost smile in the ocean of wonders. No word was uttered, or musical note played except a sad notion.

In life, the moment of truth is when the silence of wonders is disturbed and eradicated by the voices of reality.

 

“How is Mrs. Upton,” asked Mr. Kevin.

 

“She is fine” answered Rose though surprised as all the kids were.

Mr. cool Kevin lost the last cool desire in him. He appeared as if every sad tune ever played had filled his heart. He stood with his sad face downward for few minutes.

The bell rung to end the musical mystery of Mr. Kevin and start the end of another school day.

 

 

 

Ugly dumb Tom had his backpack ready even before the echo of the bell would wear off.

 

No goodbye, Rose or even a quick glance as Tom tried to run from the many obstacles ahead which the kids would set for him. Faster than the rest and unlike the best of best runners, Tom managed like always to be the first in getting out of the school gates.

Oh. How I wish, only if I could be invisible when I leave or when the stupid kids approach me, wished Tom.

But the unreal will always remain a wish in the ocean of wishful thinking.

Into the Woods, Tom disappeared, hoping to see Rose when she leaves.   The shiny car came to pick up the queen of roses. Tom realized that to run faster than Roses’ car was impossible and for his crazy uncle to become normal was abnormal and for his slavery night chores to disappear was a fairy tale.

He rushed home and for sure his wishes did not come true, his uncle still was abnormal, and the slavery chores ahead of him would not disappear.

 

Up and down the hills, passing the many yellow lilies on the way, merely telling all of them that his last night wishes were fulfilled. His happy vibes radiated everything around him including the ugly shepherd dog which for once was friendly with Tom and little Wize.

Recalling Rose’s smile and the tiny chats they had, was the fuel of happiness that brought happiness even to sadness. For sure Tom’s wide smile had been long missed and no wonder Mr. Wise had his blue eyes wide open as Tom approached the porch.

Mr. Wise felt Tom’s happy vibes as he smiled back and merely said,

“When happiness conquers sadness, life becomes a treasure.

When sadness conquers happiness, life becomes an agony.

When a smile wipes away a tear, life becomes a beautiful melody.

When a tear ridicules a smile, life becomes a misery,” Mr. Wise smiled and kept smoking his pipe.

 

 

After enjoying his meal and making the cows so relieved. Tom, as usual, sat next to Mr. Wise on the porch. All the beauty of the wilderness surrounded Mr. Wise’s home which was engulfed by many green valleys and a small stream running just front of his porch while a family of ducks resided near the creek. The beauty of nature was at its best. The harmony of the surrounding brought no boredom to Tom as he always enjoyed the Scotch fancy canaries singing and the nearby great spotted woodpecker sounds, knocking on a tree and carrying their orchestral drumming. The white Bonnies ran fast and hid from the majestic buzzard spreading its beautiful wings in the sky above. Tom wondered if Mr. Wise ever felt as happy as he felt today or if Mr. Wise had ever felt any love vibes in his life.

 

“The brave heroes followed their brave commander Sir. William Wallace into the battlefield at the Battle of Stirling Bridge,”

 

Any love ever existed or crossed the heart of any of those heroes, or was love forbidden back then, or was fighting wars, the only passion allowed?   Are there any stories about love either from his past or any past, Tom Wondered, while the old man kept narrated the heroic stories of Sir. William Wallace.

 

“Did those war heroes ever felt in love? ” asked Tom.

 

Suddenly Mr. Wise stopped and stared at him with wide open eyes.

Speechless Tom was frightened as Mr. Wise’s stare ripped through his heart with a wave of guilt. It was as if love was taboo.

 

“It is getting late,” said the old man.

 

Late it was not. The sun had not even disappeared behind the Highlands.

But maybe it was very late to bring out the subject of falling in love with a person who never mentioned anything about love in all of his heroic tales, Thought Tom.

As he waved goodbye to Mr. Wise, Tom had to hide his tears behind a fake smile.

Regardless of Mr. Wise’s point of view about falling in love or the strange reasons behind his sudden change in attitude, Tom got happier every time he recalled Rose.

The sheep were counted, none was missing, and the buckets still bounced off the floor for no reason except being that Uncle Lonny was a lunatic in charge of the barn.

 

“Do the pile of dishes and mop the floor before you head to your room?” commanded Mrs. Lonny. Tom cared less as the unfair daily chores were his daily duties ever since his grandmother death. He smiled at her and headed to the kitchen.

His smile was enough to discompose her. His smile represented deviance against misery. It represented a challenge against sadness. To smile in the face of sadness meant to blow up misery. Well, the tall skinny woman got furious and screamed at Tom.

 

“You, idiot since when you learned to smile in my presence or was that smile, your sarcastic reply about doing the dishes?” Roared the wolfish woman

 

Poor Tom did not attempt to answer for he knew the consequences. Throughout the years, he learned that evilness exists in Mrs. Lonny’s Heart. He learned that when evilness is present, there is no place for happiness, there is no place for mercy or kindness. Tom forgot that his cheerfulness should have been left outside Mrs. Lonny’s home, or he should have had smuggled it into his room. After all, his happiness had been forbidden ever since his grandmother died.

.

Fat Chris, handsome Tavis and uncle lunatic came to the rescue as they heard Mrs. Lonny screams. To smile and be happy were his crime; punishment should come after washing the dishes and mopping the dirty floors. For such an offense, Tom was ordered to sleep outside the house, yet even with all the injustice and his hidden tears, he remained happy every time he recalled Rose.

Tom’s best shelter was the tiny, filthy storage room next to the barn. It was Wize’s best shelter, too. Only Wize would sense Tom’s mood; only Wize would moan as Tom’s long shadow faded inside the dark room.

“Do not cry Wize. Life was never fair ever since grandma left, “Sadly added Tom as Wise was rubbing his body on Tom’s legs

“Except today, life got better, since Rose talked to me,” Marley added Tom.

Tom covered himself with the dusty, harsh potato bag and felt asleep with a broad smile that was drawn on his dry lips when he closed his teary eyes and recalled Rose’s smiling back at him. He fell asleep with the comfort of the thought that though the room was freezing, there would be no one to deny him the right to smile.

 

 

 

 

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CHAPTER ONE COMPLETE

This is the beginning of my novel up to to the end of chapter one

 

                       Flying For The Scent

By: Hasan Ibrahim Hamdan

ASIN: B01HOAHPHE

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations , places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

© 2016 by Hasan Ibrahim Hamdan.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without the express written permission from the author, except in the case of a reviewer, who may quote brief passages or quotations embodied in critical articles or in a review.

 

onlyycanbe@yahoo.com  

                                   PROLOGUE

sometimes one’s misfortune could be his best fortune, but unfailingly, for a talent to nourish FREEDOM has to be granted.  Nicely said yet merely impossible in the life of someone who misfortune had been his loyal companion since birth and especially when sadness consistently strikes back after happiness. Such is the case of an abused orphan and school falling Scottish teen, named Tom Rigs. His misfortune had triumphed when his parents disappeared when he was six, and his grandmother died when he was eight only to leave him during the sixties at the mercy of his middle class abusing mean alcoholic uncle, Lonny Rigs.

Tom was hated, bullied and abused ever since the moment he walked on earth, well for no reason except for his ugly weird face. For Tom, if ugliness were ever to reach an end, it would end up with him, and if it would ever have a name, it would be his. The big oddly shaped nose, little right black eye and wide left drooping eye awarded Tom a distorted face even with a smile. A tall skinny boy as tall as a palm tree, yet with a bent back like that of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and a far pale white skin with curly black hair provided Tom with a wired “alien ” resemblance. In Brightmoon, a tiny village near Glasgow Scotland, Tom was only known and called ” ugly dumb Tom.” In life, some people can escape from a bitter reality while for others their bitter reality consistently and ferociously chases them everywhere until it becomes a part of them, such was the case with Tom

Beside his ugliness and it’s driving motive for being bullied, Tom was physical abused many times by his alcoholic uncle and his wife since the age of eight. At times his mean uncle would forcefully slap Tom’s cheeks causing the poor kid to fell down on the floor unconscious. At other times the poor boy was held by Mrs. Riggs, Uncle Lonny’s wife and subjected to fanatic foot whipping and butt smacking that would leave Tom incapable of walking or sitting. The pathetic abuse was usually witnessed by Tom’s fraternal twin cousins, Chris and Tavis. The twins would enjoy observing Tom being under severe pain and in tears. Often they would kick Tom’s butt and pull his hair after their mean parents would finish hitting the poor boy. If happiness were to have a dark side, then it would be the pleasure and enjoyment of inflicting pain onto others.  Well, such treatment had left Tom emotionally captive to every possible feeling of hopelessness and worthlessness that might ever exist.

Tom’s primary interest in life, was avoiding the mocking school kids on his way to school then running away from school during the lunch break or being kicked out of his science class. After school, he was assigned to take the sheep to the mountains. Every day Tom and his best friend, Wize, a cute little all white Sealyham terrier except a brown tail, had to witness his uncle’s psycho behavior. Uncle Lonny was a short fat man with popping out belly and a horrible sweat knocking down smell which could knock down the foulest smelling pig. He always had to have a few flies roaming around his unshaved beard and dirty long hair. The everyday fiasco would start by Uncle Lonny’s loud pathetic insults as they could be heard miles away, then collectively and simultaneously followed by the annoying loud smashing of the iron buckets into the wooden walls of the crowded barn, and the stupid barks of his ugly crazy black shepherd dog. Strangely the sheep learned to stay calm and quite in uncle Lonny’s presence, even when the buckets hit the paranoid sheep. Eventually, the paranoid sheep loses their patience and start collectively bleating as if they were answering him back.

” Maaaa… Maaaa” in return the crazy man’s white face would turn red in a fit of rage, followed by even louder and more ugly pathetic insults and more objects that would be flung,  hence the sheep would get louder and louder.

Uncle Lonny was a man who displayed bizarre behavior, and Tom always wondered if his uncle should require psychiatric help.

Once the sheep were escorted out by Tom, their bleating would get louder as they look at Uncle Lonny before passing the rusty barn gate. It seemed as if their loud bleating was their sort of “flipping a finger “at the insane man’s  face if they could ever do so.

In return uncle, Lonny would shout “Shut up, Shut up, bring them home safe, you, ugly stupid boy.”

Tom knew how to ease the sheep’s anxious emotions after they had left the stable. Sometimes he would talk to them and rub their fur as they pass through the beautiful green hills and magnificent lilies. Often he would sing to the sheep and play his flute which was a gift from his grandmother. Tom started making his way towards his favorite spot in the hills while his stomach played the drums of hunger.  It was an ideal place where no one will be able to find him and neither would he be able to hear his uncle’s ramblings. Somehow he had gotten used to this daily routine. He was the one ordered to take the sheep out into the hills every day while his well-fed cousins were either playing or listening to the hit songs on the radio. Many times Tom would lie on his back with his face staring up at the clear blue skies and place his crook beside him. Many thoughts would engulf his mind. He always wondered why his parents left him behind. There was emptiness within him, and many times he would cry at the thought of being unable to hug his mom or piggyback on his dad’s broad shoulders. Sometimes he would imagine his worried parents suddenly appearing from the woods to hug him and wipe away his tears.

He always wished that a large white goose would come down from the blue sky above and forever take him with Wize and the sheep to where his parents were. He always imagined the white goose conveying many happy stories about his parents love him and how they had missed him. The white goose would first take them to his grandmother since he could not recall his parents who disappeared when he was six years old. Many a time, he would play his wooden flute along the canary sounds, with the hope that his parents would be listening from the skies above to his sad tunes.

After gazing at the sky and having his daily dose of daydreaming, it was time for Tom to get rid of his hunger pangs. Obtaining a decent plate of food was never an issue for poor Tom. He made a few pounds and got fed after milking the cows of Mr. Wise, who was an elderly, white-bearded person. His farm was located at the foot of the hills. Tom always admired Mr. Wise’s happy-go-lucky personality. Whenever Tom required a dose of happiness to counteract his inner sadness, he would find it in Mr. Wise’s smile. Whenever Tom needed to wipe away the sticky sheep odor from his nose, Tom would find in the aroma of Mr. Wise’s pipe.   Whenever Tom needed words of kindness, hope, and wisdom, he would find it Mr. Wise’s conversations. In Tom’s world, Mr. Wise’s farm was the only place in town where he would find love and respect.

“Come over here Tom and bring Wize too. Let’s eat first. Leave that stupid shepherd dog out” said the soft-spoken Mr. Wise while holding his trademark pipe in his hand. Tom would always find Mr. Wise smoking his pipe while sitting in his wooden rocking chair on his porch as if he was anxiously waiting for “love “to visit him.

After having a good meal and patiently relieving the happy cows, it was time to listen to one of Mr. Wise’s tales about Sir. William Wallace and his heroic army

“……and just as the sun was setting down the courageous heroes defeated their enemies in the battle of …. And sadly it is time for my young hero to take the herd safely back home before the sunset,” softly said Mr. Wise with a warm smile while holding Tom’s hands.

Going up the high green hills and passing the gorgeous lilies, Tom got home just before sunset.

Uncle Lonny would count every single sheep passing through the narrow rusty, rickety gate. Once the count was correct, the stupid shepherd dog would start barking, and the sheep would start bleating “ MAAA – MAAA”  overshadowing the dog barks while the iron buckets would start flying in the air.  One bucket hits the stupid dog while the others disturb the important sheep gathering.

Since the flying buckets hit their targets and all the sheep made it home well fed and safe, it was time for ugly dumb Tom to wish to do anything his heart might desire. But that was only a wish.

No thanks nor good night Tom, just go home and tomorrow come back for more

Every time Tom would step into the house, the huge old dirty mirror facing the main half-torn wooden door always produced a reflection of his ugly face. He wished that he could smash the mirror into a thousand tiny pieces and scratch his face with every piece. Sometimes it is considered pure luck when some wishes never come true. It was also considered pure luck if Tom passed the door without being mocked at by his cousin and classmate Chris or being harassed by his uncle’s silly wife

After doing the dishes and mopping the floors and cleaning the bathrooms, Tom always ran to his room which was nothing more than the attic. It was a room with a tiny window that barely fits his head. It was always dark even on the brightest sunny day. Maybe, after all, he was considered a storage commodity of some value.

It was the first day of school and Tom’s Ninth grade, as well and as usual, the kids would poke fun at him. Every student would run after him, and he would run and run faster and faster, but that was the fun of making fun of poor “UGLY DUMB” Tom. Once inside the class, Tom would patiently endure all the stupid remakes and name calling that the kids would joyfully deliver to him.  Tom’s life was completely and forever changed the first moment he laid eye on the new read headed girl in his class, and that is, my friends how the story began.

                                CHAPTER ONE

 

First school day continued

                  She was hotter than summer yet softer than silk and wilder than a tiger yet gentler than a dove, thought the teenage boy with emotions running faster than a cheetah in his heart.  As new as the first day of school was to him, so was the new long curly red-haired girl in town that gave roses it’s red and flowers its scent. Tall and thin with deep blue eyes that reflected the beauty of the sky above, with luscious ruby lips that gave ruby its name and raised reddish checks that made every red color envy her. For Tom, the old green wooden door frame of the classroom was beauty’s final frontier as it just met the red-haired girl.

As far as that hunting cheetah, it only runs in its place. All the wild poetic emotions Tom experienced became to a complete stop as he recalled who he was. The quickly hidden glance, faster than the speed of light, had to die, as soon as the light of ugliness touched his heart. But for the first time in his fifteen years of existence in this world, he was fighting with “himself” internally for the sweet feeling of falling in love. Some boys were mesmerized and allured by the red beauty as their eyes were glowing with many “flirtatious” stares.

Suddenly the Red beauty quickly leaped with scary crooked steps to the empty seat next to Tom. Her unusual, crooked steps slashed the beauty she possessed in her face. Everyone and everything got surprised and wondered how such beauty could quickly fade away with just a few steps. Yet, strange how, one’s abnormalities and weaknesses could become another soul’s inspiration. To everyone in the classroom the crooked leaps seemed like those of a person dragged to their execution, but for only one, it looked like those of a supermodel on a fashion show. With everyone staring at her, the girl’s pale white cheeks suddenly turned into a reddish hue. But even then all the beauty of all the red roses was a part of her shy red face. In reality, the red-haired girl was a red rose hiding her saddest tears inside her heart.

Despite that, a rose is so beautiful it still had flaws. Tom thought. He did not appreciate the weird stares, but then again complete perfection was and never will be a part of this earth as it is a part of heaven only. At least, this was how Tom viewed life from his shallow glimpse of reality.

For a few seconds, the class was even noisier than before. The shy girl finally occupied the seat next to Tom.  A thousand and one thoughts and feelings crushed all at once in Tom’s heart and mind, starting with – Why the chair next to me? Mum, maybe she likes me! Maybe she fancies me – and ending with the bitter reality of his ugliness. But among all his wild crazy feelings, he tasted the great flavor which a sip of confidence might offer. It tasted sweeter than candy yet felt wilder than a rollercoaster

Sharp glances followed by whispers, chatter, and laughter from the other students in the class made Tom feel uncomfortable and uneasy. Tom simply froze, and his heart started beating faster than a cheetah after its prey. He desperately wanted to say” HI” to the girl next to him, but deep inside he feared being rejected and ignored as he experienced so many times before.

“Hi,” the red beauty said in a quiet whisper, but she got no response from Tom.

Poor Tom could not greet the red beauty. How could he when he had never encountered any form of respect or kindness from any of his rude classmates? How could he when he was raised most of his life with the idea of his worthlessness in mind?

For a moment, Tom wondered if the red beauty meant to greet him or another kid. To his surprise, all his wonders and illusions were just a myth when she looked straight at him and loudly repeated her greeting. The read beauty meant to greet him solely, and that made him happier than happiness. Emotions of joy and sorrow riddled Tom’s face, as he quickly glanced at the red beauty without greeting her back which drew an annoyed look on the red beauty’s face.

So he turned his face back with his heart beating faster than the speed of light.

After all the warriors of hopelessness in one’s heart will only fight hope.

Tom knew tomorrow would come, and the red beauty will not even look at his ugly face. He knew tomorrow would come, and he still has the same hopeless ray of emotions that accompanied him all his life. Tom knew tomorrow would come but for sure it will never be like today, for today is like no other day in his sad life. For today, he felt something strange, something that awakened a new feeling in him. It was a long-awaited sense of hope and not hopelessness.

Suddenly Tom heard an annoying pitch   “Good morning” it was a shrill voice like that of a train siren drilled the ear tubes of all the students in the class. As annoying as a mosquito inside one’s ear, the entire class panicked with angry faces. Though the voice was so annoyingly loud, Tom could not locate the source.

“Good morning” Tom heard the voice again, but this time, it sounded a lot closer toward the end of the class, where Tom was sitting. It was emanating from an annoying, tiny, skinny and short, middle-aged woman, with a facial complexion as that of an angry dragon.

Strange how such a tiny creature could be so annoyingly loud! Tom thought.

“I AM YOUR ENGLISH TEACHER. Mrs. Martha, Dragone. MARTHA Spelled M, A, R, T, H, A,” pitched the teacher loudly.

As soon as that was said Tom screamed internally inside his brain loudly that every brain cell had to hear his thought: It is a fact of life that no one chooses their parents or their school teachers.

“Language, the way we communicate. Words make sentences and sometimes one can understand another simply by a smile, “said Mrs. Dragone.

Tom could sense that it was highly unlikely that Mrs. Dragone had ever understood the meaning of a smile since she had a stern looking face.  He wondered if the red beauty communicated with him via a smile while he could not even communicate back with a round face.

Suddenly the door opened, and a huge fat man as big and as wide as the door itself greeted the class in a thick husky voice

“GOOD MORNING,” said Mr. Donald Dauntler, the school principal.

There was dead silence, and the only thing that everyone present could hear was Mr. Dauntler’s gruff voice as though there was a loudspeaker in the classroom. The echo of his voice ringed and reverberated across the walls.

“I would like to welcome our new English teacher, Mrs. Dragone. She comes from Edinburgh city,” said the giant principle and as he was making his way towards the door. He quickly turned back. All the students including the tiny dragon froze faster than a freezing ice cube. The kids were well aware of their principle’s firm and disciplinarian type personality, and they understood fully well that he was capable of giving them a shot or two if he found any of them being a slight bit out of line.

“I would like you to welcome the new student, Rose Remingten .” All eyes were now focusing on the red beauty except for the giant principle that finally walked away. Rose’s face turned into a rosy hue out of shyness. Tom also took a quick peek at her before turning his face away in the opposite direction. He had a semi-poorly drawn smile, but that was the best he could achieve.

“So Rose is her name,” Tom mumbled. Held captive by a string of emotions and feelings, he wished to scream and break loose yet no dream ever comes true without hope.

Rose is her name, and all roses must have envied her.

Rose is her name, and all roses were named after her.

Though scared and sad, Tom was beginning to enjoy this new inner feeling of attraction within him. Sometimes a person’s inner emotions can bring out many hidden treasures to the seashore.

So, Rose, is her name and roses are just to reflect her. So Rose is her name, and all flowers hope to be like her.

The siren hit Tom’s ear canal once again when the little blonde dragon howled.

“Hello. Hello”

With eyes wide open, Tom looked down and seen the little dragon in front of him.

“Daydreaming or sleeping with eyes wide open, are we?” said the teacher in a sarcastic tone.

Tom Rigs appeared confused, and a few thoughts simultaneously popped in his head and then suddenly he blurted out “Tom.” Simultaneously few voices pop up from different directions “he is ugly dumb Tom.”

“Quite” shouted the tiny blonde dragon.

“Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye, “Said the little teacher with her squeaky voice.

Years of bullying and teasing caused Tom to be riddled with feelings of uselessness. The complete lack of self-confidence was the reason for his hopelessness. Ever since the moment, he saw the red beauty, his hopeless army of emotions became a bit pugnacious. It was like a wild tiger that just realized that tigers are wild.

Oh, and I should be grateful that such tiny dragon thinks that I am not ugly! That is no compliment coming from an annoying creature!  Thought poor Tom.

“Shakespeare.” said the red beauty in a soft mumbling tone.

“What did you just mumble, Rose?” said the teacher.

“Nothing, nothing Mrs.,” answered Rose.

“You mumbled something, and I would like to hear it, “said the teacher

“Shake, errr Shakespeare,” anxiously replied Rose.

“Excellent,” said the teacher with a happy and surprised tone.

Breathing a sigh of relief that he was finally left alone, Tom decided to concentrate on his class. Maybe he can soak up all the knowledge he could get to acquire a good grade and impress the red beauty. Yes, that was another new feeling for hopeless Tom. Never in his entire life did he ever think of impressing a girl. How could he when the word “impressing “was never a part of his vocabulary…

Tom thought that if he wanted to make progress in Miss Dragon’s class, he would have to get a noise reduction device as he just could not tolerate Mrs. Dragone’s voice. If he wished to impress the red beauty, he would need to impress the tiny dragon first. Pleasing a dragon though is no easy task. Tom never heard about Shakespeare, but he has heard about a “D,” the school grade that he has become accustomed. Searching for knowledge in Tom’s brain was like searching for water in the desert. Once again Tom arrived at the same conclusion of hopelessness. However, accompanying this hopelessness was a slight flicker of hope.

For sure I am ugly and maybe not entirely stupid. Thought Tom.

“Tom, are you still day dreaming?” shouted Mrs. Dragone.

Frightened while hiding his tears, Tom replied. ‘No.’

The students in the class began to take advantage of the situation by mocking and ridiculing Tom.

“Shut up.”  The teacher said. “What is so funny?

 Funny are all the stupid jokes the kids had ever made of me ever since first grade, that is what is so funny. Thought Tom

This situation was nothing new to Tom; the children always poked fun at him. But Tom learned not to cry. He knew very well how to hide his inner emotions of hopelessness.

After finally managing to calm her class down, “For tomorrow’s assignment, please write an essay about any topic you may like,” demanded the English teacher sourly.

Mrs. Dragone left much to the relief of the students. As soon as she exited the class, they began to chatter away. For many students worry suddenly set in. They probably wondered what lines and lies, they would write for Mrs. Dragone’s homework for the next day. Thus far, the students of her class had never read for Shakespeare, and neither have they ever done any free writing assignments. Tom wondered who Shakespeare was ( Sheik – speak ), He thought he was a wealthy Sheik, who speaks English, maybe a friend of the Lawrence of the Arabian. Mrs. Dragone’s class seemed to Tom as 100 years ahead of time While Tom’s school was not entirely in the dark ages though life in Brightmoon was as such. Brightmoon was a tiny village, located on the top of a very steep hill. It was formed the same way many villages around Glasglow did in the fifties. They were formed with the hope to escape the horrible and unhealthy living conditions in Glasgow which during the fifties was beyond misery for there were running rates in most homes instead of the running water or electricity.  Those villages never advanced since negligence was their partner for a long, long time. Electricity was confined only to wealthy homes. Darkness was confined everywhere and the narrow paths always longed for the moonlight. Poverty was Brightmoon’s best friend, and it’s only solitude.

So, Rose, is her name and roses are made for her

So Rose is her name, and all other roses must have envied her

So, Rose is her name and roses are….Tom Thought.

Then suddenly Tom wondered why the school principal made an effort to welcome Rose as he never really bothered visiting any of the classes except when trouble loomed. Maybe her parents got lost and ended up in Brightmoon.

Before he could finish his next stupid thought, the bell rang indicating the start of a new class. It was the beginning of the boring science class with monotonic Mr. Brown. Tom awarded him the nickname of “super brown man” as compared to Superman.

While life has moved on for many, every day was the same for Mr. Brown.  He was a tall, dark brown man.  He always wore a dark brown suit with dark brown shirt, a dark brown tie and a pair of matching dark brown socks and dark brown shoes. Mr. Brown was simply brown not only by name but by nature. For sure if he were the principle, he would order all the kids to wear dark brown shirts and pants with matching dark brown socks and shoes, plus he would paint the entire school dark brown from the gates to the seats. Thank God, he was not and thank God life was never made of a single color.

Although Tom was trying to stay awake and grasp the basics of the lesson, he was finding it impossible to comprehend the information as Mr. Brown continued talking in his monotonic and hypnotic voice. Super brown man was talking about Newton’s law of gravity and the falling apple that led to Newton’s discovery of gravity.

Tom started to wonder about the topic of Newton. He thought the name Newton was a” new Town” that had recently developed. He assumed gravity was the owner of the apple field.

Then suddenly Mr. Brown raised his voice slightly and said “Speed, Speed…..What is speed?”

Speed is how fast one falls asleep while listening to your voice. Tom thought with a huge grin on his face. Mr. Brown noticed Tom’s vivid smile.

“Tom please stands up and explains to us what I have been talking about. Why are you grinning for no reason? Maybe I am missing the joke. So do you wish to share the fun with the rest of the class.” said Mr. Brown.

The entire class burst out in loud laughter, and all eyes were now focused on Tom who said nothing. His cheeks turned red out of shyness and embarrassment. He was always considered unintelligent, and over time Tom became immune to embarrassing situations. But today was different. He really wanted to impress the red beauty.

“Well, Mr. Rigs, we are talking about time and speed. Now I would appreciate it if you simply took your things and left my class. You can continue day dreaming outside my class. And please shut the door behind you.” said Mr. Brown.

Everyone in the class started laughing out loud, except Rose and Mr. Brown who seemed as usually, not amused. He was one of those gentlemen that hardly ever smiled and hence when he did smile on a rare occasion or two it felt as though his face would crack.

Tom thought of running away from school like he always did ever since fourth grade only to show up after a week or so. However, for the first time in his life, he had to fight off this temptation so that he could get close to the red beauty, Rose. Tom had this new inner feeling within himself that he could only not resist. He always chose to run away during the lunch break. In this way, he could avoid the trail of annoying school kids mocking at him every step of the way from school until his broken home. Regardless of all his fears and after school worries, Tom’s passion for staying near Rose overcame all his temptations to run away.

The class ended, and Mr. Brown opened the classroom door only to find Tom standing outside much to his surprise. Mr. Brown was, in fact, speechless and for a split second or two, he actually felt a slight level of guilt. He very quickly brushed off these feelings and pretended as though nothing happened. It was now lunch time, and the rest of the class followed Mr. Brown out of the classroom. Tom’s classmates were equally surprised and astonished that he did not run away. While everyone ran outside to enjoy their lunch break; Rose stayed in the class. No one seemed to care if she came along or not.

Ugly Tom also had his reasons for not joining the kids on the playground during the lunch break. Another round of name picking and mocking will await him on the playground, had he decided to go there. For sure after the kids turn off their hunger pangs inside their tummies, they will move on to mocking and picking at Ugly Tom. Rose decided to stay inside the classroom on her first day at school and observed the kids from the window. It was much better enjoying the warmth of the sun that peeked through the windows as opposed to the cold stares from the children.

Tom was not surprised that Rose did not leave the classroom. He understood her sentiments entirely. Sometimes long-awaited moments come by, but fear prevents the heart from taking advantage of the moment. Tom waited for this perfect moment to come along, that is being alone with Rose, but hopeless Tom, needless to say, could not push himself past the classroom”s door, his weak personality and fears would hinder him; thus his presence there will be entirely meaningless and annoying to her. Though Tom was Ugly and hopeless, yet he hated to be an annoying kid. After much hesitation, Tom decided to stay outside the classroom.

The lunch break was over, and once again the kids were astounded to find ugly Tom on the school premises. As they passed Tom in the hallway, they began to mock and jeer at him. For Tom, it felt as though they were indicating to Rose what a useless character he was. He wished that he had, in fact, run away during the lunch break. He still had a few minutes to spare; hence, he felt that it was still never too late to run away from the embarrassment.

After all, in life, it is never late to run away from embarrassment.

Tom turned around and started making his way to the main school entrance. But he didn’t get very far as Mr. Nicholas suddenly appeared and bumped into him. For a few seconds Mr. Nicholas, the art teacher, and ugly Tom stood face to face.

“Going somewhere Tom?” asked the art teacher.

Before Tom could open his mouth to reply, few kids started yelling,

“He was trying to run away.”

Tom only kept silent and sat on his chair.

Mr. Nicholas talked about art as though it was his only passion in life. He had a fair whitish complexion and was clean-shaven although the area around his chin filled with small black spots. No one dared to smile in his presence as he always believed that others were laughing at him. Mr. Nicholas ended his lesson with a note about art and the heart. The bell rang, and it signaled the end of a long tiring school day. Tom Rigs jumped from his school chair and dashed off towards the door. There were a few other kids who tried getting to the door before Tom, but when it comes to leaving the school premises, no one beats Tom. However, every day was the same story. He would not exit the school property without being mocked or jeered at by the other students. Tom’s friend, a cute little white Sealyham terrier with a brown tail named Wize, started running after ugly Tom. “Come on Wize, let us run faster, the stupid kids are following us.”

Tom always left the school property at lunch break and made his way up the nearby hills. There he would spend his time in complete solitude and isolation. He would spot the school kids make their way home after hearing the loud bell rang which signals the end of the school day.

Finally, Tom and Wize vanished in the woods and the trail of annoying kids gave up and made their way home. Out of breath and panting heavily, Tom sat on a rock on top of the hill. Strangely he noticed a shiny silver car heading towards the school.

I had never seen this car in town before. Tom thought.

It was a car that no one in Brightmoon owned. It was a flashy car, the type that only a wealthy and affluent person could afford. For the people of Brightmoon, owning such a vehicle will most probably only remains a dream. The shiny beauty stopped in front of the school gate, and a well-built, well-dressed gentleman got out of the car to meet the burly principal who was standing beside the rusty gate. Suddenly Rose appeared making her way towards the car as fast as one of her crooked steps could follow another. It took Rose some time to make her way to the car. The two gentlemen shook hands, and the principal, Mr.Dauntler took the liberty to open the rear door of the car for her.

The silver beauty started to make its way to the other end of town, while the giant Principal waved goodbye. Tom was surprised and wondered who Rose was. He rushed toward the bottom of the hill.   He was trying to beat the wind, his hunger pangs as well as his fears of being late to his uncle’s barn

After the sheep returning the sheep to the barn, Tom, as usual, had to finish the rest of his chores. As he entered the house, his fat cousin, Chris was waiting for him. Chris never missed any chance to pick on poor Tom. It was as Tom was on an endless road of being bullied by his mean cousin and classmate.

“Ugly Tom, are you ready for tomorrow’s English class?” said Chris with a huge grin on his face. But then a dumb like you could not even write anything passes his name, Spelled t… u…o…m…m,”Sarcastically said, Chris.

Ugly dumb Tom could not help himself but laugh, which was the small flame that would burn an entire field.

“What is funny, you ugly dumb “screamed the red face boy

Picking another fight with Chris basically meant that Tom would be spending the night outside with his best friend, Wize. Tom learned from the wise sheep to stay quiet when stupid lunatic people talk since there was no sense in making any sense of them.

“Going anywhere!, ugly boy,” Asked Chris’ mom who was a short, skinny middle age woman may be as skinny as a broom

“You forgot to do the dishes. How many times I have to remain you,” Said the mad woman while flipping her hands up in the air.

Here goes the talking broom, thought Tom, who always viewed his uncle’s wife as a “broom.”

“Dumbs always have to be reminded of simple things,” Said fat Chris while standing next to his mom, which from up stars looked like the number 10.

Not doing the dishes meant being slapped by his uncle and his wife and kicked by his cousins after listening to a long screaming lecture about moral and responsibility solely presented to poor Tom by the one and only master of “high morals,” Uncle Lonny.

Poor Tom always had to listen to the entire lunatic screams and pathetic talk that typically starts with a welcoming note such as:

“Stupid ugly dumb Tom. I know this is lecture number one thousand and one, about your lack of responsibility and moral toward this house,” Said the great lecturer, Uncle Lonny

“This house stands for a hard working family. It seems you are the only one who is not performing well and always slacking. You are a loser like your father.   He grew up and died as a looser. Your lousy father and neglectful mother could not deal with the hardships of Brightmoon. So they run away to London.   They care less about anyone not even for you,” lashed out derisively the jeering deranged lunatic.

Tom never bothered for a single word in any of his crazy uncle’s insults except the sarcastic comments about his father and mother. The older Tom got, the more he disbelieved his uncle claims about his parents.

After being done with the pail of dirty dishes, Tom believed he was free at last.  But Freedom is complete except when ideas are not strained. He untied the stresses of falling asleep, and quickly all of his body aches and fatigue fell asleep except his eyes which were wide opened and were enjoying his daydreams of being alone with Rose. Well, this was the first time that Tom’s room was occupied not only by running mice but also with fantasies and joy of another school day next to Rose.

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Prelogue and chapter one

           prelogue
     Sometimes one’s misfortune could be his best fortune, but unfailingly, for a talent to nourish FREEDOM has to be granted.  Nicely said yet merely impossible in the life of someone who misfortune had been his loyal companion since birth and especially when sadness consistently strikes back after happiness. Such is the case of an abused orphan and school falling Scottish teen, named Tom Rigs. His misfortune had triumphed when his parents disappeared when he was six, and his grandmother died when he was eight only to leave him during the sixties at the mercy of his middle class abusing mean alcoholic uncle, Lonny Rigs.

Tom was hated, bullied and abused ever since the moment he walked on earth, well for no reason except for his ugly weird face. For Tom, if ugliness were ever to reach an end, it would end up with him, and if it would ever have a name, it would be his. The big oddly shaped nose, little right black eye and wide left drooping eye awarded Tom a distorted face even with a smile. A tall skinny boy as tall as a palm tree, yet with a bent back like that of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and a far pale white skin with curly black hair provided Tom with a wired “alien ” resemblance. In Brightmoon, a tiny village near Glasgow Scotland,  Tom was only known and called ” ugly dumb Tom.” In life, some people can escape from a bitter reality while for others their bitter reality consistently and ferociously chases them everywhere until it becomes a part of them, such was the case with Tom

     Beside his ugliness and it’s driving motive for being bullied, Tom was physical abused many times by his alcoholic uncle and his wife since the age of eight. At times his mean uncle would forcefully slap Tom’s  cheeks causing the poor kid to fell down on the floor unconscious. At other times The poor boy was held by Mrs. Riggs, Uncle Lonny’s wife and subjected to fanatic foot whipping and butt smacking that would leave Tom incapable of walking or sitting. The pathetic abuse was usually witnessed by Tom’s unidentical twin cousins, Chris and  Tavis. The twins would enjoy observing Tom being under severe pain and in tears.  Often they would laugh and insult him then kick Tom’s butt and pull his hair after their mean parents would finish hitting the poor boy. If happiness were to have a dark side, then it would be the pleasure and enjoyment of inflicting pain onto others.  Well, Such treatment had left Tom emotionally captive to every possible feeling of hopelessness and worthlessness that might ever exist. 
Tom’s primary interest in life, was avoiding the mocking school kids on his way to school then running away from school during the lunch break. , After school, he was assigned to take the sheep to the mountains. Every day Tom and his best friend, a cute little white Sealyham terrier with a brown tail named Wize, had to witness his uncle’s psycho behavior. Uncle Lonny was a short fat man with popping out belly and a horrible sweat knocking down smell which could knock down the foulest smelling pig. He always had to have a few flies roaming around his unshaved beard and dirty long hair. The everyday fiasco would start by Uncle Lonny’s loud pathetic insults as they could be heard miles away, then collectively and simultaneously followed by the annoying loud smashing of the iron buckets into the wooden walls of the crowded barn, and the stupid barks of his ugly crazy black shepherd dog.  Strangely the sheep learned to stay calm and quite in uncle Lonny’s presence, even when the buckets hit the paranoid sheep. Eventually, the paranoid sheep would lose their patience and start collectively bleating as if they were answering him back.

” Maaaa… Maaaa” in return the crazy man ‘s white face would turn red in a fit of rage,  followed by even louder and more ugly pathetic insults and more objects that would be flung,  hence the sheep would get louder and louder. 

 Uncle Lonny was a man who displayed bizarre behavior, and Tom always wondered if his uncle should require psychiatric help.

Once the sheep were escorted out by Tom, their bleating would get louder as they look at Uncle Lonny before passing the rusty barn gate. It seemed as if their loud bleating was their sort of  “flipping a finger “at the insane man’s  face if they could ever do so. 

In return uncle, Lonny would shout “Shut up, Shut up,  bring them home safe, you, ugly stupid boy.” 

      Tom knew how to ease the sheep’s anxious emotions after they had left the stable. Sometimes he would talk to them and rub their fur as they pass through the beautiful green hills and magnificent lilies. Often he would sing to the sheep and play his flute which was a gift from his grandmother. Tom started making his way towards his favorite spot in the hills while his stomach played the drums of hunger.  It was an ideal place where no one will be able to find him and neither would he be able to hear his uncle’s ramblings. Somehow he had gotten used to this daily routine. He was the one ordered to take the sheep out into the hills every day while his well-fed cousins were either playing or listening to the hit songs on the radio. Many times Tom would lie on his back with his face staring up at the clear blue skies and place his crook beside him. Many thoughts would engulf his mind. He always wondered why his parents left him behind? There was an emptiness within him, and many times he would cry at the thought of being unable to hug his mom or piggyback on his dad’s broad shoulders. Sometimes he would imagine his worried parents suddenly appearing from the woods to hug him and wipe away his tears.

        He always wished that a large white goose would come down from the blue sky above and forever take him with Wize and the sheep to where his parents were. He always imagined the white goose conveying many happy stories about his parents love him and how they had missed him. The white goose would first take them to his grandmother since he could not recall his parents who disappeared when he was six years old. Many a time, he would play his wooden flute along the canary sounds, with the hope that his parents would be listening from the skies above to his sad tunes. 

         After gazing at the sky and having his daily dose of daydreaming, it was time for Tom to get rid of his hunger pangs. Obtaining a decent plate of food was never an issue for poor Tom. He made a few coins and got fed after milking the cows of Mr. Wise, who was an elderly, white-bearded person. His farm was located at the foot of the hills. Tom always admired Mr. Wise’s happy-go-lucky personality. Whenever Tom required a dose of happiness to counteract his inner sadness, he would find it in Mr. Wise’s smile. Whenever Tom needed to wipe away the sticky sheep odor from his nose, Tom would find in the aroma of Mr. Wise’s pipe.   Whenever Tom needed words of kindness, hope, and wisdom, he would find it Mr. Wise’s conversations. In Tom’s world, Mr. Wise’s farm was the only place in town where he would find love and respect.
“Come Tom and bring Wize too. Let’s eat first. Leave that stupid shepherd dog out” said the soft-spoken Mr. Wise while holding his trademark pipe in his hand. Tom would always find Mr. Wise smoking his pipe while sitting in his wooden rocking chair on his porch as if he was anxiously waiting for “love “to visit him. 

After having a good meal and patiently relieving the happy cows, it was time to listen to one of Mr. Wise’s tales about Sir. William Wallace and his heroic army 

   “……and just as the sun was setting down the courageous heroes defeated their enemies in the battle of …. And sadly it is time for my young hero to take the herd safely back home before the sunset,” softly said Mr. Wise with a warm smile while holding Tom’s hands. 

Going up the high green hills and passing the gorgeous lilies, Tom got home just before sunset. 

  Uncle Lonny would count every single sheep passing through the narrow rusty, rickety gate. Once the count was correct, the stupid shepherd dog would start barking, and the sheep would start bleating “ MAAA – MAAA”  overshadowing the dog barks while the iron buckets would start flying in the air.  One bucket hits the stupid dog while the others disturb the important sheep gathering.  

   Since the flying buckets hit their targets and all the sheep made it home well fed and safe, it was time for ugly dumb Tom to wish to do anything his heart might desire. But that was only a wish.

 No thanks nor good night Tom, just go home and tomorrow come back for more   

 Every time Tom would step into the house, the huge old dirty mirror facing the main half-torn wooden door always produced a reflection of his ugly face. He wished that he could smash the mirror into a thousand tiny pieces and scratch his face with every piece. Sometimes it is considered pure luck when some wishes never come true. It was also considered pure luck if Tom passed the door without being mocked at by his cousin and classmate Chris or being harassed by his uncle’s silly wife

     After doing the dishes and mopping the floors and cleaning the bathrooms, Tom always ran to his room which was nothing more than the attic. It was a room with a tiny window that barely fits his head.  It was always dark even on the brightest sunny day. Maybe, after all, he was considered a storage commodity of some value.  
First school day
             It was the first day of school and Tom’s Ninth grade, as well and as usual, the kids would poke fun at him. Every student would run after him, and he would run and run faster and faster, but that was the fun of making fun of poor “UGLY DUMB” Tom. Once inside the class, Tom would patiently endure all the stupid remakes and name calling that the kids would joyfully deliver to him. But Tom’s life was completely and forever changed the first moment he laid eye on the new read headed girl in his class, and that is, my friends how the story began.

Chapter One 

First school day continued

She was hotter than summer yet softer than silk. She was wilder than a tiger yet gentler than a dove, thought the teenage boy with emotions running faster than a cheetah in his heart.  As new as the first day of school was to him, so was the new long curly red-haired girl in town that gave roses it’s red and flowers its scent. Tall and thin with deep blue eyes that reflected the beauty of the sky above, with luscious ruby lips that gave ruby its name and raised reddish checks that made every red color envy her. For Tom, the old green wooden door frame of the classroom was beauty’s final frontier as it just met the red-haired girl.
As far as that hunting cheetah, it only runs in its place. All the wild poetic emotions Tom experienced became to a complete stop as he recalled who he was. The quickly hidden glance, faster than the speed of light, had to die, as soon as the light of ugliness touched his heart. But for the first time in his fifteen years of existence in this world, he was fighting with “himself” internally for the sweet feeling of falling in love. Some boys were mesmerized and allured by the red beauty as their eyes were glowing with many ” flirtatious” stares.

  Suddenly the Red beauty quickly leaped with scary crooked steps to the empty seat next to Tom. Her unusual, crooked steps slashed the beauty she possessed in her face. Everyone and everything got surprised and wondered how such beauty could quickly fade away with just a few steps. Strange how one’s abnormalities and weaknesses could become another soul’s inspiration. To everyone in the classroom the crooked leaps seemed like those of a person dragged to their execution, but for only one, it looked like those of a supermodel on a fashion show. With everyone staring at her, the girl’s pale white cheeks suddenly turned into a reddish hue. But even then all the beauty of all the red roses was a part of her shy red face. In reality, the red-haired girl was a red rose hiding her saddest tears inside her heart. 

Despite that, a rose is so beautiful it still had flaws. Tom thought. He did not appreciate the weird stares, but then again complete perfection was and never will be a part of this earth as it is a part of heaven only. At least, this was how Tom viewed life from his shallow glimpse of reality.  

      For a few seconds, the class was even noisier than before. The shy girl finally occupied the seat next to Tom.  A thousand and one thoughts and feelings crushed all at once in Tom’s heart and mind, starting with – Why the chair next to me? Mum, maybe she likes me! Maybe she fancies me – and ending with the bitter reality of his ugliness. But among all his wild crazy feelings, he tasted the great flavor which a sip of confidence might offer. It tasted sweeter than candy yet felt wilder than a rollercoaster

Sharp glances followed by whispers, chatter, and laughter from the other students in the class made Tom feel uncomfortable and uneasy. Tom simply froze, and his heart started beating faster than a cheetah after its prey. He desperately wanted to say” HI” to the girl next to him, but deep inside he feared being rejected and ignored as he experienced so many times before.

 “Hi,” the red beauty said in a quiet whisper. but she got no response from Tom.

 Poor Tom could not greet the red beauty. How could he when he had never encountered any form of respect or kindness from any of his rude classmates? How could he when he was raised most of his life with the idea of his worthlessness in mind.

       For a moment, Tom wondered if the red beauty meant to greet him or another kid. To his surprise, all his wonders and illusions were just a myth when she looked straight at him and loudly repeated her greeting. The read beauty meant to greet him solely, and that made him happier than happiness. Emotions of joy and sorrow riddled Tom’s face, as he quickly glanced at the red beauty without greeting her back which drew an annoyed look on the red beauty’s face.

So he turned his face back with his heart beating faster than the speed of light. 

 After all the warriors of hopelessness in one’s heart will only fight hope. 

 Tom knew tomorrow would come, and the red beauty will not even look at his ugly face. He knew tomorrow would come, and he still has the same hopeless ray of emotions that accompanied him all his life. Tom knew tomorrow would come but for sure it will never be like today, for today is like no other day in his sad life. For today, he felt something strange, something that awakened a new feeling in him. It was a long-awaited sense of hope and not hopelessness.

Suddenly Tom heard an annoying pitch   “Good morning” it was a shrill voice like that of a train siren drilled the ear tubes of all the students in the class. As annoying as a mosquito inside one’s ear, the entire class panicked with angry faces. Though the voice was so annoyingly loud, Tom could not locate the source.

 “Good morning” Tom heard the voice again, but this time, it sounded a lot closer toward the end of the class, where Tom was sitting. It was emanating from an annoying, tiny, skinny and short, middle-aged woman, with a facial complexion as that of an angry dragon.

 Strange how such a tiny creature could be so annoyingly loud! Tom thought.

 “I AM YOUR ENGLISH TEACHER. Mrs. Martha, Dragone. MARTHA Spelled M, A, R, T, H, A,” pitched the teacher loudly. 

 As soon as that was said Tom screamed internally inside his brain loudly that every brain cell had to echo his thought: It is a fact of life that no one chooses their parents or their school teachers.

 “Language, the way we communicate. Words make sentences and sometimes one can understand another simply by a smile, “said Mrs. Dragone. Tom could sense that it was highly unlikely that Mrs. Dragone had ever understood the meaning of a smile since she had a stern looking face.  He wondered if the red beauty communicated with him via a smile while he could not even communicate back with a poker- face.

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Flying For The Scent 

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