Summer comes to a crashing end…
Ten-year-old Kevin Taggert prefers to stay home with his video games, but his parents insist he join a summer sports program. Exactly on the day the Vordac raid Earth. With his little sister depending on him for protection, Kevin must find the strength and wisdom to keep them both safe.
Before they both end up dead, or even worse: as life-long slaves of the Vordac.
Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)
Part 24: The Garage Sale
Kevin scarfed down the rest of his breakfast and then ran from the breakfast table. He made it downstairs and found that he indeed did have all the lights on. He quickly turned them off, and his corner fell into deep shadow.
He then brought the ‘keeper’ items to the empty shelves hiding his corner. The more he filled the shelves, the more it hid his secret work space.
The others soon arrived, with his mother nodding approval of what he was doing. “Good idea. Get the stuff we already sorted out of the way.”
“Want to get it done,” Kevin said, lugging a box of books towards the back.
“That’s the spirit,” his mother said.
“Yeah, so do we. It’s supposed to rain next week. We can’t play outside then.” Sean looked over to his mother. “Maybe we can sort then?”
“Nice try. No, we’re going to finish this. I want the garage sale this weekend.” His mother rubbed her hands together. “It will be nice to clear some of this stuff out.”
The sorting kept them busy all day. More than Kevin really hoped for. He had his corner now. He wanted to work in it. To experiment and fix the robot.
But, he’d started this to cover up what he was doing and now he was stuck with it. Yay him.
Still, it wasn’t all bad. With all the stuff they decided to sell, he could expand his corner if he wanted to. It also kept him from having to find excuses to keep from playing touch football, soccer, or basketball, and then having to deal with all the comments about how bad he was at any of it.
Kevin sighed. He was tired of that. Not being good enough at anything. He wanted to be good at something. To make a difference. Like his mother, who was at the forefront of robotic design. Or his father, who was a rising officer with the Galactic Patrol. Or even Grandfather, who was a famous sculptor. Or Grandmother, the famous children’s book author and artist. Or their other Grandmother, who designed the prototype of the interplanetary communication systems the PWA now used and all its population took for granted.
Kevin sighed. Then promptly started coughing from the dust stirred up from the top of the box he was carrying.
“Definitely need to get rid of some of this stuff.” His mother set a box on an empty shelf near the stairs. “Anything that belongs to your father goes here. He’ll sort them when he gets back.”
Something else they hadn’t heard anything about yet. When would he get back? Did he have anything to do with the Vordac rescue? Was he hurt during it?
No, that last one they would have heard about. Their mother would have been updated and she didn’t show any sign of worry.
The sorting continued through the day. The second hovercar was moved out of the garage to make more room for the sale. More stuff taken out of the basement and priced. Even some things from main part of the house.
Each night and early morning Kevin worked away on the robot. He eventually brought all the other broken ones from the garage down to his corner. Trying to find good parts and see how he could mix and match.
Trying all sorts of suggestions found from forums, websites, question-and-answer sites, and emagazines. Testing the robot at regular intervals. Trying to get it to activate and move as it should. Every time he thought he might have it, a new problem cropped up.
The garage sale opened in the middle of the day on Friday and ran through the end of Saturday. With the help of a few notices, they had people waiting for the garage doors to go up first thing. His mother, excited by the response, kept the boys sorting downstairs with orders to immediately bring up anything they found to sell.
The shelves emptied. Corners of the basement opened up. The smell of dust diminished as the house-bot started a cleaning sweep of the basement. Only the best boxes were kept to hold the keeper items.
By the end of the sale only a few items on one table were left. For those, his mother called in a charity, just so they didn’t go back downstairs.
“About time this ended,” Sean said as they dismantled the tables and planks they’d used as tables. “Soccer time!”
“Hoverball time,” Greg countered.
Robot time, Kevin silently said.
Then his mother’s watch beeped. She went inside to answer the call privately, only to soon run back out to the hovercar. “Emergency at work! Stay near the house. Do not go past the end of the street. Pay attention to Nanny-Bot.”
Sean and Greg looked at each other as their mother left. At the same time, both of them said, “Basketball!”
“I’ll get the ball,” Greg said, running for one of the shelves.
“I’ll start getting the teams together,” Sean said, running out the open garage door.
“I’ll put the rest of this stuff away,” Kevin said. As he hoped, the other two didn’t want anything to do with it and left him behind. It meant he was free to get back downstairs where he could really get to work.
He started by rearranging the shelving to make better use of the space towards the stairs. Moved all the boxes and other stuff onto them, organized by who they belonged to.
It left him with several shelves and a nice wide clear space in the back with enough room for several of the tables used in the garage sale. In a short time he had it arranged just as he wanted.
Kevin sat down in his little corner, looking over the well-lit area, pleased with himself. He could get a lot done down here.
He jumped out of his chair at a sweet young voice asking, “What’s this?”
TO BE CONTINUED…
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