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The Orange and The Black: Brooke and Jared Nescott

The Orange and The Black: Brooke and Jared Nescott

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Published by Devon Pitlor
Brooke Nescott and her son Jared become embroiled in another enigma.
Brooke Nescott and her son Jared become embroiled in another enigma.

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Published by: Devon Pitlor on Aug 11, 2010
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07/20/2013

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The Orange and the Black: Brooke and Jared Nescott
by Devon Pitlor
I. Another episode in Brooke Nescott's strange life is about to open.Something new was poised to happen, but Brooke Nescott, at age thirty-six, didnot see it coming. She had, as the reader knows, lived a life punctuated bymoments of utter improbability and would probably not be surprised if morewere to come. But the imposition of strange events into otherwise ordinarylives, and Brooke lived a boringly ordinary life, must by definition come whenone least expects it, and as the fall approached and the college crowds returnedto Aristock, Brooke expected very little. The only thing new in her life wasthat, mostly on her son Jared's request, she had begun with some reluctancedating once more. By September, 2010, she had given up hope of ever seeingthe almost mythical Dragonsnort again, except in the eyes, thoughts andexpressions of his son Jared, and it was characteristically Jared whodominated most of Brooke's activities outside of work, save for the occasionalsocial encounter. One of the latter was going to become very peculiar and onceagain force Brooke to make choices and see perspectives that ordinary peoplerarely see. But first we have to visit the trigger point which will begin this newadventure.II. A call from Jared's teacher
 
Jared's fifth grade teacher, a Mrs. Umberly whom Brooke knew rather wellfrom previous visits to Casgrove Elementary, was an even-tempered womanwho did her job well and was not given to drama. If she called a parent, as shedid suddenly in Brooke's case, it was for a good reason, and there was everyreason to return her call as soon as possible. Mrs. Umberly had left a rathertense-sounding voice mail on Brooke's phone about needing to see herregarding some peculiarity regarding Jared. That was totally unexpectedbecause Jared had always led his class in attentiveness, ability to learn,inquisitiveness and interest in school.. Perhaps, thought Brooke, thepromotion ahead of his class to the fifth grade had been a mistake and that waswhat the call was about. Maybe it was good news. Some new, creative,achievement on Jared's part. Certainly the news couldn't be bad.So when Brooke finally reached Sarah Umberly after school on Monday of thesecond week of classes, she was shocked by the serious tone in the woman'svoice. "I think we need to schedule a brief meeting," she said. “I havesomething rather odd to convey to you about Jared’s behavior last week."Brooke agreed to a meeting that very day at five o'clock after she left work.She drove up to Casgrove Elementary school expecting the worst. She keptJared on the longest leash possible, giving him all possible freedom to develop,remembering always that he was Dragonsnort’s son and that would have beenthe way Dragonsnort would have wanted it. But there was a limit to Jared’sfreedom too, and Brooke ardently hoped that her son had not passed it.Sarah Umberly was known far and wide to be an animated and captivatingteacher who could--without reservation--hold the interest of the children in her
 
room. Jared had always been fascinated with her in previous years, and hewas thrilled, or so he said, that she was going to be his teacher this year.That being mentioned, the problem was that on Thursday of the previous week during a lesson on geometry--a subject that enthralled Jared---the boy hadsuddenly gone blank right in the middle of class. His eyes had glazed over andhis eyelids drooped. "He was totally out of it," Sarah Umberly said. "For a lotof less alert children that would have not been surprising but for Jared that isnothing short of shocking. I had to call his name aloud several times, and stillhe would not come out of his...his trance. It was kind of like a reverie. Finally,I patted him on the shoulder, and he blinked open his eyes, looked around andwas, I guess, surprised that my demonstration of isosceles triangles was overand that the other kids were already bent over doing problems. All in all, itwas really not all that much. I'd say we lost him for less than three minutes,but with Jared...""I know," said Brooke, concerned. "Maybe he was just tired. We had aexhausting two weeks before school began.""At a nature camp in Tennessee? Jared told the class all about it. Soundedlike fun.""It was, except for the....""Ticks," concluded Mrs. Umberly. "He told us about those too. I hope youhad him checked."

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