F is for Finish

There were so many instruments in the room to explore and James went from one to another; except the mouth instruments, Mom said you don’t share those. He stopped when he realized he had been hearing his mom’s call tone on his tablet for a while. Opening the case, James swiped the tablet to see his mom’s face.

“You okay! Are you okay sweetheart!” His mom’s panicked face filled the screen.

“Yes Mom.” James looked down at his tablet.

“Why aren’t you at home?”

“I went to a job interview.”

“A what?”

A smile spread over James face. He had surprised her. “A job interview.”

“Where is it? How did you get there? Are you okay? Do I need to come?” Question after question came faster than James could answer, so he froze staring down at his mom until she realized what she had done and stopped to breathe.

After a long inhale and exhale, James knew his mom had done her reset and he didn’t have to answer anything she had just asked. He waited for the questions he needed to answer. “Where are you?”

“I’m at 439 West Franklin Avenue.”

“That’s halfway across town!”

James smiled again, and his mom smiled softly back at the rare expression. “I took the bus on my own.”

His mom brought a hand to her mouth, pressing her fist against her lips.

“If I may?” A deep voice interrupted. James had forgotten Mr. Hartgrove was there.

“Who are you?” His mother asked when the large man’s head came over James’ shoulder.

“The Duke. Owner of a recording studio downtown, Pickin and Strummin. Just thought to let you know I will be hiring James here as a studio musician.”

“You … ah.” His mother inhaled and exhaled again. “You know he has … special needs.”

“Yeah, Miles Hammer walked me through a few things and I know I’m going to need to learn a bit more, but it will be worth it.” Mr. Hartgrove put his hand on James’ shoulder who quickly stepped away and turned to face the man, backing away further. The man wiped his face before muttering, “Yep, need to learn a few things.” After shaking his head, Mr. Hartgrove pulled back his shoulders, standing bigger and wider than ever before. “Can you turn the screen around so I can talk to … your mother?”

“Yes.” James said, doing as the man asked, but not coming any closer.

“Sorry by the way. The Hammer told me not to touch you or the tablet. My bad.” Mr. Hartgrove spread his arms wide, before nodding to the screen. “Mrs. Cohn?”

“Yes?” The woman’s eyes bounced around the room now showing.

“We need to talk. Your son just played some of the best damn rainbow I have ever heard, over four hours without repeat and on every damn thing I got here. I want him. I can’t pay him much and it will be mostly part-time gigs and nothing outside of the studio, but it will be honest work.” The Duke shrugged, for most people what he and his company could offer was insulting unless they bled music.”If he is okay with it, I’ll drive him home and we can talk over dinner. I’ll have Miles meet us there?”

“I took the bus here.” James said.

“Which mean he needs to take the bus home,” his mom explained from the screen.

“Alright, I got to close up shop and get things together, anyway. How about I meet you at seven? Wherever you are comfortable. I’ll bring Chinese or pizza.”

“Stuffed crust pizza, with mushroom and pepperoni but no olives or sausage. Tomato sauce. It isn’t pizza unless it has red sauce. “

Duke looked up at the kid holding the screen. “Alright, pizza it is. Any particular chain?”

The End


A to Z Short Story List Breakdown

Rainbow Spectrum (A to F)

4/1/2019 – A is for Adapt
4/2/2019 – B is for Bus
4/3/2019 – C is for Courage
4/4/2019 – D is for Duke
4/5/2019 – E is for Eclectic
4/6/2019 – F is for Finish

Next story: Marathon Party (G to M)

6 thoughts to “F is for Finish”

    1. I think his proudest moment of the adventure is getting from the front door of the building to the front door of the music studio – where he had no script pre-made (because the Music teacher screwed up and forgot the whole entering the building thing, and concentrated on getting to the interview and the interview in the studio). James overcame that completely on his own.

  1. I’m sitting here with tears – I have several friends with autistic children and they run the spectrum from non-verbal to high-functioning. This was fantastic and I read all the posts in the story thread. So realistic….great job!

    [dropping by from A – Z]

    DB McNicol, author
    A to Z Microfiction: Flower

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