Alex Terrified Hero
The first book in the series
A Strange Thing Happens
A tall, gray hospital shouldered above the other buildings. Rows and rows of identical windows covered its sides. A raven sat looking into one room, where a little boy begged his older cousin to eat a chicken leg. “Come on, Alex,” he said. “You need to eat more.”
Despondent, Alex looked away. “I’m full. I wish we could open that window.”
The little boy sprang forward, almost knocking over a glass of water. He waved the chicken at his cousin. “Dad fried it just the way you love it, and I snuck it in here just for you. You need to eat it to get better.”
Alex turned his head away from the enticing smell and said bitterly, “I’m not getting better. Stop waving that under my nose and watch out for the glass.”
"You promised me you wouldn’t give up,” the little blond boy said.
He’s right, I did promise him. He was also right about the chicken. Alex used to love fried chicken. He didn’t know what he loved anymore.
Thoughts pulled at Alex’s attention like a whirlpool. The doctors in this hospital should’ve known what was wrong. They should’ve been able to heal him. He didn’t want to die.
Alex picked up the painting the doctor had given him. A teenage boy who looked a lot like him held a sword. A shadowy, black figure faced him, and around them were animals and little green men. Alex remembered the doctor’s words: “We’ve tried everything we know. We can’t identify what’s causing you to waste away. Nothing we've tried helps you.”
The doctor paused as Alex absorbed his words. Then, I’m going to die.
The doctor continued. “I’m just a doctor. There’s a limit to what I can do, but one thing I know from many years of experience, those who have hope and faith in a better future have the best chance of a miraculous recovery. You need to be a fighter like the boy I painted. You have a real enemy. We just don’t know what it looks like. So think of it like this black figure. Don’t give up. Fight. Fight to live.”
The doctor ran a hand over his hair. “I’m not sure why I added the aliens. Perhaps it was your aunt. The thing to remember is we don’t know the future. That’s the best thing about hope and faith. We never know what might happen. Even when possibilities seem unlikely, no one knows if there are aliens or not and we don't know if you'll die. Good luck.”
Alex shook his head. He liked the picture, but…. If I just had an enemy I could fight. He remembered his dad’s words from when his parents still lived. “When you’re in a fight, don’t hang onto anything except what helps you win.”
Alex looked back at his cousin. “I’ll try the chicken leg.”
His cousin, Sammy, lunged toward him holding the chicken leg. In the process, he bumped into the glass of water. The food disappeared.
Alex stared, not comprehending. Where did the chicken leg go? How…?
Sammy said, “Alex! A raven just did magic.” The words and laughter pulled Alex out of his confusion. He turned his blue eyes to look, and his mouth fell open in amazement. The raven fluttered outside, pecking at the chicken leg hanging on the window pane. Then, tearing the chicken leg loose, the raven flew away with its booty, leaving a small piece of chicken skin stuck on the window. Alex stared at the window. Magic? That’s crazy. Uncle Nate would call it unexplained phenomena. My folks thought magic is evil. Could this be something God created? And could it heal me? I don't want to die.
His cousin turned, and a premonition made Alex reach a thin arm out just as the little boy knocked the glass of water over. Alex snatched the glass out of the air. “I told you to be careful.”
Just then a nurse came in and said, “You’re going home.
To be continued...