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Chapter 3: Discovery

After school, Amy offered me a lift home because it was still very windy and looked like it was about to rain again, but I told her that it was fine. I had to pick up Jess anyway.

The walk to the junior school wasn't so bad. The wind blew me all the way there and the clouds held back their torrents of rain. Jess was waiting for me at the gate and as soon as she saw me, she came running down the road.

"Sor, Sor!" she called.

"Hello, there," I smiled. She was still bouncing up and down.

"It's c-c-cold!" she chattered. Maybe that was why she was bouncing so much.

"Yes, that's why I'm so bouncy," she chirped.

A shiver ran down my spine. I bent down to her level and looked her in the eyes. "Did you hear me say anything?" I asked, holding her still for a moment.

"Course," she replied. "You asked if that was why I'm so bouncy." A spot of rain dropped onto her forehead. "I'm cold," she complained.

Sighing, I took her hand and we walked quickly back home. The rain steadily increased it's power and by the time we got to the house, we were both drenched.

I immediately ran the bath so that Jess could warm up because she was not nice when she was sick. Once she was settled, I changed into something warmer and then went to check on her.

"Sor, look here," Jess said as I walked in. She scooped up some bubbles and put it on her chin. "I'm Father Christmas."

I laughed along with her and took a seat on the side of the bath. I wanted to try something. "Jess?" I began.


What's two times two?

No answer.

Okay, so maybe it was just my imagination.

"What?" Jess asked.

I sighed, "Oh, nothing." I stood up and walked to the door.

"Oh, I know. It's four, isn't it?"

Slowly, I turned around to face her again. There were still bubbles hanging on her chin and her eyebrows were knotted in concentration. I nodded and her lips parted in a smile.


"What?" she asked. Then her eyebrows came together again. "Sor, do you know that your lips didn't move when you said that?"

I nodded once again and reclaimed my seat on the side of the bathtub.

"Please show me how to do that," was her immediate request.

"I'm not sure myself," I replied.

Her bottom lip dropped. "Please?"

"First we need to get you out of this bath and warmly dressed," I said, grabbing a towel from the rail.

She quickly jumped out the bath, took the towel and ran to her room. It was situated next to mine and by the time I caught up to her, she already had her pants on and was trying to yank a back-to-front polar neck over her head.

I laughed at her eagerness and helped her righten the top before we got comfy on her bed.

"So," she said, causing the whole bed to bounce up and down, "Tell me, tell me!"

"I need to practise first," I said.

With a sigh, she collapsed face down on the bed and rested her head on her hands. "Fine."

Jess? I began.

"Yes?" she replied, bored. Suddenly, realisation surfaced on her face. "You didn't speak!" she cried. "We need to give this a name."

What shall we call it?

She smiled. "Thpeaking," she said. "Then if anyone hears us saying that then they'll just think we have a lisp."

I laughed along with her. It was a good idea.

"I know," she said, very proud of herself.

But how do I switch it off now?

Jess's little finger moved to her mouth and her face showed signs of extreme concentration.

Maybe there's an off-switch somewhere, or...

"Shhhh..." Jess shushed me. "I'm thinking."

I tried to still my thoughts so she could think. It wasn't that easy but I tried focusing my thoughts on one of her toys.

"That's better," she said. "Now keep quiet."

I gasped with realisation. "You're brilliant, Jess!" I cried.

"I am?" her confusion became caught up in my excitement as I explained to her that I could turn it off by concentrating on other things.

"But you can't concentrate on my toys all the time," she commented.

That was a valid point but I practised with Jess the whole afternoon until Jess reminded me that we still had to have supper. By then I'd managed to keep my thoughts to myself while talking to her aloud.

I made my way to the kitchen. It seemed like it was just going to be the two of us tonight because if Dad wasn't home by seven then it usually meant that he would be gone for a while.

Jess looked at me forlornly.

"I'm sorry," I said. "It's difficult with my thoughts spreading around like a colony of ants."

My next thought brought a huge smile to my dear little sister's face. "Pizza!" she screamed jumping around the room.

It was the perfect way to cheer her up again.

:D So please review. Thanks.