JIMMY WATSON and THE MAGIC DINOBOT
The search for Jimmy's savings eventually extended to the loft and garden, but there was no sign of any clues and the search fervor died down to just the occasional passing thought after a couple of weeks. Then one day while putting some jeans in Jimmy's cupboard, Marion noticed that the carpet in the corner of the room was rucked. A stickler for neatness, she went across to straighten it, wondering how she'd never noticed it before.
Marion remembered when the carpet fitters had laid the carpet and what a good job the father and son team had done. She'd watched them skillfully cut and stretch the carpet with special knee pads in a very energetic ritual that had obviously been perfected over years of practice. She wished she had that kind of oomph for some of the physically demanding jobs she did around the house. She was though a wizard with the vacuum cleaner and could apply a decent coat of varnish to a table or chair when the mood took her.
Marion went over to the corner and got down on all fours. On closer inspection it was not so much of a full blown ruck as a bit of carpet had come free from under the skirting board. She tried to tuck it under with her finger, but that did not work very well. She decided that the only way to get it absolutely right, was to pull up the carpet past the irregularity and smooth it down into the corner - as she'd watched the fitters do. The carpet came up easier than she'd imagined. Then she noticed that the corner floorboard was not part of a continuous plank, but cut as a small section on its own and there were no nails securing it.
It was hard using only her nails, but Marion managed to pry the board up just enough to get a finger under, and then it came up fairly easily. Rather oddly, the board was bedded onto what looked like draught excluder and that held it securely in place.
There was nothing under the board. Marion thought she was onto something. She reached under the board and felt a cold metal object that was smooth. Her eyebrows arched. She pushed her arm further in and pulled the metal object out. It was a money box. She was onto something. This must be Jimmy's elusive stash. But the box was locked, and then she remembered the key that her son wore around his neck. She shook the box and could hear coins rattling inside and a muffled sound.
Marion used a handy paper clip to try and pick the lock. The keys for that type of money box were usually simple, single lever jobs. It would not budge even though she could feel movement, indicating more than one lever.
Marion called her husband on his mobile. "Darling, I've found it," she said, slightly panting.
"Hello sweetie, what have you found? The spring of eternal life, judging by the sound of your voice?"
"Nearly. No, I've found a money box under the floorboards in Jimmy's room." She waved her free arm, clenching her fist.
"You sly minx. What's in it?" said Tim, now laughing out loud.
"I've no idea and it's killing me. It's locked. There is money inside, I can hear coins rattling." Marion shook the box again.
Tim stopped laughing. "Lever it open. Strike that. Find the key"
"I know where the key is, it's around Jimmy's neck on a lanyard. He almost never takes it off."
"But he does take it off," said Tim thinking out loud. "When does he take it off?"
"When he takes a shower, sometimes he leaves it in his bedroom."
"Great," said Tim. "We need to make a copy, or can you pick the lock?"
"I've tried that silly."
"Of course you have. Knowing Jimmy, the lock will be dual or triple lever. If you can't find a spare, use putty or plasticine to make an impression of the key. Then I can get a copy made."
"You can?" said Marion, a little surprised.
"Yes, we have chaps here that do that sort of thing all the time. Once you have an impression, text me a photograph and the dimensions of the shaft and tang. Can you manage that?"
Who hasn't dreamed of having a special friend as a child - of making something extraordinary. Believing your parents would not approve. And, you'd be sent to the naughty step, or banished from the dinner table, with just sandwiches, instead of a roast dinner feast. And yet, that thought would not go away. Better to keep such ambitions to yourself. Mum and Dad would not understand anyway.
Jimmy Watson is just an ordinary boy. He attends an ordinary school. He is a loner with just a few friends, and quite a few enemies. He often wanders off into a world of his own in classes, not listening to his teachers fully, on those occasions. Although he truly admires his science master, and loves physics and maths lessons. And especially metalwork, when he gets to make things in steel and other exotic materials. Learning all about cutting, joining and even hardening methods. Another world of wonder.
Jimmy's special talent is programming. He was taught that at school quite early on. He was always in demand in teams for robot competitions. The only time he was popular at school. With his programming, and provided the robot was sturdy enough, his team would nearly always win.
Jimmy would read books on robotics from cover to cover. Sometimes, under the covers by torchlight. In the town library, he would always check out for any new books on animatronics, and mechatronics. His favorite subjects.
Then one day in the covers of a robotics magazine, Jimmy saw a kit for a hexapod, designed for developers of artificial intelligence.
LINKS & REFERENCE
THE MAGIC DINOBOT - From Jameson Hunter, originally conceived in 2016 as a book and television film idea. Jimmy dreams of building a giant robot ant as a special project, then one day his dreams come true when the robot he has built is transformed into a living, breathing, companion. NOTE: This story is Copyright © Jameson Hunter Ltd, March 30 2016. All rights reserved. You will need permission from the author to reproduce the book cover above or any part of the story published on this page. The author welcomes comment and would like to hear from any artist (preferably in Sussex, England) who might like to illustrate this story.
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