About The Author
D. R. Prescott has written a novel, a collection of short stories, a nonfiction book, a collection of essays, planetarium show/display scripts, two family histories, technical articles and business plans as well as written for and edited several newsletters.
Awards and published work include Writers' Journal, Long Story Short, Taj Mahal Review literary journal, The Orange County Register, Writer's Digest, and Writing.com and four books among other challenges.
As a former aerospace executive and planetarium program director, Prescott currently writes and explores life in Orange, California.
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"Sentience can be annoying."-DRP Abt. 1990
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Since 2008, Prescott has been a regular contributor of
essays and short stories to
The Taj Mahal Review Literary Journal
Get your copies now at: http://tajmahalreview.com/
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O R D E R   T O D A Y !
Dumb Idea
by D. R. Prescott

         “Grandma, what’s Papa doing down there?” Billy asked.

         “Probably another of his dumb ideas.” She chuckled as she put the cookie sheet into the oven.

         “Can I go down?

         “Sure, you know you can. Go ahead. Come back in about ten minutes. Hot cookies!” Grandma winked.

         “Thanks, Grandma.” Billy yelled over his shoulder and raced down the steps into the basement. Papa told him yesterday that a real surprise was coming. Papa seemed more excited than usual.

         At the bottom of the steps, the lone, dirty light bulb dimmed momentarily. He’d seen that before when Papa plugged in too many things. The door to Papa’s shop was closed. Billy advanced on tiptoes and listened. The air seemed to be alive, tickling his ears and making the little hairs on his arms stand at attention. Through the door, he heard a groan, then a crackling and finally silence.

         Billy knocked. No answer. He knocked louder. Still nothing. The doorknob shocked his hand and he jerked it back. He tried it again and opened the door. Papa had his rocker turned away from the door. Only Papa’s head was visible above the rocker’s back, adorned with that modified construction hat sporting wires and tubes extending upwards, across the ceiling and down the opposite wall, disappearing into a maze of computer equipment.

         “Papa Wally?” Billy asked tentatively. Something was wrong. Shivering, he carefully approached. Papa’s eyes were closed behind his ever-present eyeglasses, his head supported by the helmet’s attachments. Papa didn’t look right. He had an old catcher’s pad covering his chest and his hands lay limply on his specially designed keypad/joy stick combination. Billy had seen him asleep in this chair many times but this was different.

         Billy touched him. Papa didn’t move. Realization washed over Billy and he screamed, “Grandma! Hurry! Something’s wrong with Papa! Hurry!”

         The next hour was a flurry of activity. The paramedics took Papa’s body away. Grandma cried a lot. Mother hugged Grandma. Billy slipped away unnoticed and, as if drawn by some irresistible force, returned to Papa’s shop.

         The door was wide open; the computers were still on. Billy sat in Papa’s rocker. Tears streamed down his cheeks. Then, he saw it on the monitor, a message from Papa, “Billy, make sure you are alone and then press Enter. – Papa.”

         Billy pressed Enter on Papa’s keypad. “Billy, are you there?” The speakers startled him.

         Billy stuttered. “Ye…s! Papa?”

         “You bet, my little man. It’s me. It worked! Turn the camera so I can see you.”

         Billy did as he was told.

          “Don’t look so glum. Only my body’s gone. I‘m in here. This is our secret. Nobody else will understand. Take my big notebook over there on the bench. It’s yours. Keep it safe. We’ve got great work to do.”

         “Sure, but…”

         “Got to go on the Net, more room to hide. Log on and I’ll know it. Anytime. And, remember our new password: DUMB IDEA!”

         Wiping tears away, Billy laughed. Papa’s back!

© Copyright 2006 D. R. Prescott (donprescott at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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' Copyright 2008 D. R. Prescott (UN: donprescott at Writing.Com). All rights reserved. D. R. Prescott has granted Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work. Questions or Comments? E-mail to prescottdc@sbcglobal.net
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