DPchallenge: The Sound of Silence
“Silence!” he barked at the four of them as they dipped their heads lower. The enormity of their actions began to weigh on the boys, but it was the folly of youth that should be blamed. Their shoulders sloped as the burden of guilt bore down on their little frame.
“You are to go directly to your homes and inform your parents that I shall call upon them this evening. Do you understand?” Mr. Tiddlebanks instructed in his deep, steady voice. “Dismissed.”
Without looking at each other, the boys headed in the direction of each of their homes. They were relieved to be freed from Mr. Tiddlebanks’ presence, but not entirely because there would be more to deal with at home. Still, for those few short moments when they were alone with their own thoughts, they felt as free as winged creatures able to flit and fly at will.
As they entered their homes, the boys realized they were numbed by the complexities of their emotions that ranged from fear to shame to anger. Why they did what they did was beyond their own understanding, only that at the time, everything had made complete sense. Even now, no matter how deeply they tried to probe, they could not explain why their actions were unacceptable. If it were not for the bitter taste of guilt, they may not even know they had done wrong.
Did Mr. Tiddlebanks or the look he gave the boys have something to do with it? Or, was it how little Mary-Joe had cried so pitifully, or how she ran off when she was set free? It seemed the only way to get to the bottom of all this was to wait for Mr. Tiddlebanks and for the situation to be laid in plain view for their parents.
The trouble was, when Mr. Tiddlebanks did finally arrive and was invited to sit in the family room, everyone simply nodded their heads afterwards. No one invited the boys to share their point of view. After finishing his tea, Mr. Tiddlebanks took his leave, but not before encouraging each pair of parents to “deal with it accordingly.” Needless to say, the boys were as confounded as when they were caught red-handed!