Scene 7

Dinner went off without a hitch. That is, at least, the consuming of it. From Melody's point of view, there had been a lot of banging coming from the kitchen during its preparation. Also, a lot of crying from Jimmy. However, even though the boy took part in, or at least had been witness to, the creation of the night's meal, he somehow didn't seem to notice there was anything out of the ordinary. Melody cautioned her mother not to mention to Jimmy that the bulk of his burger was soy and not ground up cow, at least not until his mother was at the door, bag in hand.

“Ow,” Melody said, dramatically, after someone kicked her under the table. She glared at the boy sitting next to her. As he ate, which was a horrible scene of gnashing and snorting, Jimmy hummed to himself as if lost in his own world. She imagined, however, that he was also most likely swinging his feet around. His upper torso showed the evidence of that fact by its tempestuous movements. He looked a little like a buoy floating on the ocean in a slight breeze. She scooted her chair closer to her father.

Suddenly, her shin was struck again, and she realized it was actually her mother who had done the striking.

Melody shrugged her shoulders at her, and Lonnie mouthed some words to her silently. Melody sighed and shook her head, getting the gist.

“So, Jimmy,” she said, propping her head up with her hand, and feigning interest. “Where's your sister on this lovely evening?” She hoped that the girl wasn't arriving via a second drop off.

“Hospital,” Jimmy said, not looking away from his food, and barely bothering to take his fingers out of his mouth to respond.

Melody raised an eyebrow. Jimmy's twin sister, Donna, who was more normal than her brother could sit still for longer periods of time and eat like a human being. She knew that something had happened to his father, Rock, but wasn't certain what it was exactly. Her mother had made some announcement a few days ago, but Melody had been in the middle of writing one of her scripts and had not paid close attention. Obviously controlling both Jimmy and Donna at the hospital would have been too much for his mother and father (and all available nursing staff) to handle. Now, though, her interest was piqued.

“Visiting your father?”

“Yep.” Jimmy breathed heavily through his nose as he both ate and spoke at the same time. Conversing only seemed to increase the intensity.

“Is he okay?”


Melody looked at her parents, wide-eyed. Doesn't he even care? Or can he just not care about more than one thing at a time? Currently, it appeared his food was holding him more enraptured than any worries about the safety of his father. She thought for a moment about pulling his plate away and demanding that he show some sign of emotional attachment, but was afraid of getting bitten.

“What happened to him?” she continued in her questioning.

“Fell off the roof.”

Fell? she wondered to herself. Or jumped?

Melody repeated the comment. “Wow. If my father had fallen off the roof, I would be worried sick out of my mind.”

Jimmy didn't say anything.

Melody patted her Dad's hand with the end of her fork. “Believe it or not?”

Bernie took a bite out of his hamburger and held it in his mouth a few moments while he stared at his daughter, conflicted.

Jimmy suddenly stopped chewing and Melody thought the boy might be about to show some concern. Instead, he said, “More French fries.”

Lonnie shrugged her shoulders at him, and smiled, “Sorry, Slugger,” she said. “I make the fries and then I have to portion them all out equally or Bernie and Melody here fight over them.”

Without changing his expression, Jimmy got up from the table and sat down in his corner with his hand-held game. Soon, he began to make queer little electronic and squawking sounds, as though in imitation of it.

“I guess your conversation is over,” Bernie said. “And for the record,” he said, turning to his wife, “I have never fought over French fries. I may have coveted someone else's fries and maybe whined about not getting enough, but I would never argue about it in the hopes of getting more.”

“Of course not, dear,” Lonnie said.

Melody's eyes were twitching and huge. “And you want THAT to sleep in my bed? That kid's got some major problems!”

“He has Asperger's. He doesn't know how to react to the world and the environment the same way we do.”

Bernie began to smile.


“I just realized how thematic this meal was.”

Lonnie seemed confused. “Why?” Then it sunk in what he was talking about. “Oh, because of the...” She shook her head at him, frowning.

Melody grabbed a piece of paper and a pen from the bureau, and asked her mother, “How do you spell that? I want to look it up and make sure he's not going to stab us while we sleep.” She then added, “Thanks, Now I have two nightmares to deal with.”

“I think when you look it up you'll realize just how ridiculous you're being.”

“We'll see,” she said.

Suddenly there was a howl, and all of the Jacksons ears perked up. The sound seemed to be coming from inside the house.

“The wolf,” Melody whispered.

The howl came again, and this time they were all able to pinpoint its source. It was coming from the floor.

They turned just as the boy was raising his head into the air, and letting go a howl for a third time.

It Happened on Lafayette Street

Season One: Episode One

Melody Jackson

vs. The Hound from Hell

by BMB Johnson

Scene 7

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