STOP THE WORLD
“So, did those stupid brain doctors
mess up somethin’ that makes ya not able to talk anymore?”
Bobby Anderson and his friend,
Charlie Smith, are walking to the Burgers R Us joint for burgers and cokes.
Bobby’d had surgery to remove a
small benign tumor that had shown up when he’d gone to his family doctor for
headaches. The surgery had been done in a big research hospital in Atlanta two
weeks ago, and this was the first time he and Charlie had gotten together since
Bobby hadn’t said anything
since Charlie’d picked him five minutes ago at his house.
“I can talk,” said Bobby. “But
something’s not right. I feel like some kinda pressure is building in me. A
“I ain’t never used tremendous
in a sentence,” said Charlie solemnly. “I guess big has always worked
good enough for me.”
Bobby smiled at Charlie. He was
his best friend. A little slow on the uptake, but a good friend.
“And it’s like I’m gonna be
able to, I don’t know, do things I couldn’t do before,” continued Bobby. “Maybe
like super hero things.”
“Methinks my boy is maybe still
a little daffy from his operation,” said Charlie, patting Bobby’s shoulder.
“Super hero? Seriously?”
Bobby decided not to tell
Charlie about the voices in his head. Voices telling him big plans were in the
works. Telling him he was a part of those big plans.
The Atlanta specialists hadn’t actually
been successful. The tumor they looked to remove wasn’t benign. It was what was
called in the business an “intelligent” tumor. But this wasn’t just an
intelligent tumor, but rather the intelligent tumor. The most
intelligent tumor that had ever lived.
Much of Darwin’s theory on
evolution was based on the survival of the fittest. This concept is also used
when scientists work on an invasive species problem. Queen Anne’s Lace in the
prairies or Zebra Mussels in the Great Lakes are examples. Some species just
Bobby’s tumor had shown itself
as a possibly malignant tumor on the original x-rays, and then when the surgery
began it created a benign tumor for them to work on while it disguised itself
as normal brain tissue.
The tumor is in Bobby’s head at
the present. But its plan is to be Earth’s tumor.
Just then Bobby’s dog, Bisbee,
went tearing past them down the sidewalk.
Bisbee’s a two-year old black
lab with a lot of puppy still in him. He’d followed the boys when they’d left
“Bisbee! Wait!” Bobby yelled as he ran after his dog.
As he watched Bisbee run, swirling
rainbow streaks began to obscure Bobby’s vision. He blinked a few times to try
and clear them away.
That weird something he was
telling Charlie about was acting up. It was asserting itself.
Bisbee continued down the block
and ran into the cross street. A car was bearing down on him and it looked like
there wouldn’t be time for it to stop.
“Come back, Bisbee! Right now!”
Bobby then screamed at the top
of his lungs. “Stop!!!”
The car froze a few inches from
Bisbee. Bobby continued running and finally caught up to Bisbee. He reached
down to hug him and ….
Bisbee stood like a statue in
the street. The Bisbee statue was one of a dog running. Bobby picked him up
and held him to his
chest. He looked at the car and saw the
driver staring out of the windshield at them. Bobby smiled tentatively and
waved at the driver. The driver continued to stare.
Looking back from the way he’d
come, he saw Charlie standing there looking at them.
“Hey, Charlie,” Bobby called.
“C’mere and check this out.”
Charlie didn’t move. Bobby now
noticed Charlie was standing in mid-stride, like a statue of a boy running.
Just like Bisbee.
Turning away from Charlie,
Bobby looked at the driver again and then at Bisbee. Across the street, he saw
Mr. Jenkins had been mowing the lawn, but was now just standing behind the
mower. And the mower was no longer running.
Bobby had done something with
his new super powers.
He carried Bisbee back to where
Charlie was standing. He touched Charlie’s arm.
Charlie didn’t answer. Bobby
looked into his eyes and saw a look of wonder. It was the same look that had
been in the driver’s eyes. And in Bisbee’s.
“Oh, shit!” Bobby shouted,
putting Bisbee down on the sidewalk. “Mom!”
Bobby started running back
toward his house. On the way, he saw a number of birds on the ground with their
wings extended like they were flying. They had been flying until…
Bobby thought their bright bird
eyes looked surprised like the driver’s, Charlie’s, and Bisbee’s.
He ran faster.
“Mom! Mom!” he called as he ran
up the porch steps and into the house.
Helen Anderson was standing at
the kitchen sink finishing up the breakfast and lunch dishes.
“Mom, you’re okay!”
Helen didn’t turn around. That
stopped Bobby in his tracks just as he was going to hug her. He peered around
her to look at her face. Helen was staring at the plate she’d been rinsing like
it was the most interesting thing in the world.
Bobby tried to think. What had
he done? He’d yelled for Bisbee to stop and…
“Go!” he yelled into his
mother’s face. “Go! Go! Go!”
But Helen remained as she was;
still holding the plate under the faucet.
In a mile radius of where the
car had almost hit Bisbee, everything and everybody had stopped.
Bobby’s new super powers had
stopped everything. And he couldn’t get anything to go again.
The voices in his head were now
telling him he had places to go and things to do.
Tremendous things to do.
There was a whole world to
And Bobby would stop it.