Bill Hayward is a sole parent father who is having fun
writing poems, short and long stories. It started when he became partly
disabled. He had always worked long hours in top gear, until his first back
operation. He couldn’t slow down so began writing as an outlet for his bottled
up emotions and to stop himself from going mad because no one would hire him.
His colourful well-travelled life working in a wide range of disciplines in management on Christmas Island; throughout Asia, Papua New Guinea and around Australia (with holidays in China and New Zealand) has given him a great store of knowledge. With an over active imagination, he made up short stories as a child to tell his younger sister, as there was no TV in those days. One of the things that held him back from writing for a long time was, he was not all that hot at spelling, but now, with the help of a computer he finds it easier to get around that problem…
By the same
Chapter 1 - part sample
Thirteen-year-old Mitch Brooks was a Mouse Potato, the on-line, wired generation’s answer to the couch potato. Like many other kids Mitch’s age, (when his mother gave him permission), Mitch spent most of his spare time playing video games or surfing the net. In Mitch’s case, he went searching for information on new high-end electronics technology or advanced engineering and science sites to answer questions that would feed his inquiring mind. To be truthful, Mitch was a Nerdical kilometre in front of other kids his age. Mitch’s ability for learning is in the high end of, ‘Like wow, OMG.’ This being the case Mitch is a whole lot smarter than many adults working as computer programmers plus many other technical jobs.
As for Mitch’s choice of games, he likes to play complex interactive computer games that are really Sick and a lot harder to play than the normal run of the mill games that other kids his age play.
It was the first week for the 2007 Christmas holidays for the special Technical College that Mitch attended. Considering that their students were far more advanced than many other students with special needs, this College worked on a different holiday system to all the other schools.
It was only a bit after eleven in the morning and Mitch was already feeling somewhat bored with the video games he considered were designed for younger people of his generation or those older people he called, ‘Low brain power Bipeds.’
Even to blind Freddy it was patently obvious that Mitch needed the multifaceted games with special high resolution graphics loaded with high-end logic, not only to challenge his mind, but to keep him interested to a point where his mind wouldn’t wander then lose interest in whatever it was he was doing.
His teachers at the State School he had attended until he was eleven years old saw Mitch turn the standard maths they taught the other children into mathematical jokes. Even though his teachers tried to give him advance maths, they had a hard time figuring out if his answers were correct or, if he was playing another joke on them.
After consulting with a Professor Adler, who was a mathematician at Batten College in Brisbane, these same teachers began talking with Mitch’s mother. After his mother was told that Mitch was becoming disruptive in class, because he was bored, it was quickly agreed that Mitch needed to be transferred to a special learning facility as the State School maths along with the other lessons did not hold the contents that would keep him interested enough to allow him to grow as many other fast learners did.
A week later Mitch was transferred to Batten College where Professor Adler took Mitch under his wing to help guide him to a higher level of learning. Apart from maths, Mitch was also learning computer science, engineering along with other special disciplines. Mitch took to his classes like a duck to water and began to flourish. Seeing as he was handling these classes so easily, Mitch added advanced electronics to his studies.
Sitting in front of his computer, that his mother had made him move from the lounge room into a spare bedroom, Mitch sighed as he went on to speak his thoughts. “Hey Dude, have to find something with more challenge in these digits. Maybe a game that’s totally sick!” Mitch continued grumbling as the game he was playing came to an end. With a bored sigh, Mitch used all his strength to push himself away from his computer. The wheels of his office chair carried him to the centre of the room where he swivelled his chair around a few times.
With thoughts of getting a drink running through his mind, Mitch jumped up off his office chair. Now in a rather lethargic mood, he wandered off to the kitchen. When his mother heard him walk into the kitchen behind her, she turned from cleaning the stove to watch him making his way towards the fridge.
“What are you up to, sweetheart?” his mother, Lynette, asked as she watched him opening the fridge door.
“Getting a drink, Mum.”
“Coldest drinks are on top shelf, don’t drink too much; we’ll be having lunch soon.”
While Mitch selected an orange juice his mind was consumed with thoughts of writing his own totally sick computer game. With these thoughts racing through his mind he turned away from the fridge and was about to leave the kitchen when something caught his attention. It was his mother’s stance. It stopped Mitch from walking off. With her arms akimbo and her eyes fixed on him, Mitch knew what this gesture meant. He’d forgotten to do something important. His mind went into high reverse until he remembered what it was. “Oh – yeah, sorry Mum,” Mitch said with a grimace. Mitch spun around to go back to the fridge to close the door.
As he wandered back towards his bedroom sipping his drink the thought of going for a ride on his pushbike entered his mind. Happy thoughts of where he could go also filled his mind. In the blink of an eye these happy thoughts changed when he reached the playroom door. The computer was still running so he knew he would be in his mother’s bad books if he left it switched on while he was outside playing. After all it been his idea to make sure all electrical appliances not being used should be switched off at the power point. Mitch had done some rough calculation on how much they could save in one year by switching everything off. Added to that, Mitch had found the statistics on fires caused by leaving appliances switched on. His mother was not only amazed at the amount of money they could save but was even more impressed with the safety factor. She had willingly agreed with him that it was a great idea. From that point on the pair had made sure that all non-essential appliances were switched off at the wall.
Hurrying into what was now the playroom, Mitch plopped his butt onto the office chair scooting it back to the desk. Just as he was about to shut the computer down, he remembered he hadn’t signed off on the last game he’d played.
Pointing at the screen, Mitch scoffed. “Huh, boring, game, Dude. You need to have more challenge in the game for someone like me,” Mitch said as he began going through the menu to log his last score. Once again he was the top player. In fact he had beaten the top scorer by 25% taking him way out of reach of the other high-end players. “Huh, a game for low brainpower Bipeds,” Mitch scoffed once again. No longer did it give him satisfaction to see his name at the top of these players’ lists.
In fact Mitch was one of a small majority of kids who had a much higher IQ than the biggest percentage of adults. Having such a high IQ, Mitch needed to be challenged to keep his mind active enough to hold his attention. After reading a few comments from other players re – banning, Titch (Mitch) from playing these games, he took a drink from the bottle then smirked. “Ha, ha, ha, whatever, I should care, because?” Mitch said sarcastically before taking another mouthful of drink.
Throwing his left hand up in the air, he let fly.
“Ban Mitch Brooks; I’ll sign on under another name, I’ll still kick your skanky butts.” Feeling slightly downhearted at the snide remarks that had been made about him, Mitch logged off, then switched the power to the computer off at the wall.
The truth of the matter was the older players were irked when they found out that they were beaten on the internet by a kid as young as Mitch. To them, it was a global insult to their integrity. It was partly their own fault as they were bragging by telling all their friends and other people who read their blog just how good they were. When these same friends found out how old Mitch was and how much he’d beaten them by, these so called friends poked fun at them. After that it was there for everyone to read. There were many others who weren’t so polite and some of the comments were really scathing.
With nothing better to do, Mitch pushed his chair away from the computer, when it stopped rolling he hopped off. With his drink in his hand he went on sipping it as he wandered out of the room into the kitchen to get his lunch.
That same afternoon, Mitch quickly lost interest in going for a ride on his bike mainly because the weather had changed to a rather miserable day. Walking over to the lounge-room window to see how bad the weather was, Mitch slid the curtain to the side and was greeted by gust of wind that pelted rain against the glass. It was enough to scare him and make him jump back.
“Don’t do that, Mother Nature,” Mitch cried.
After a few seconds of watching gusts of wind with the pelting rain hitting the window, Mitch thought he knew what was generating this bad weather. “Bet it’s that cyclone coming down the coast from Cairns. This wind would be good for generating wind power. But no good for riding a bike; you would get knocked off onto your butt straight under a car. But hey, Dude, hard-core wind surfers would be freaking out skipping across the waves,” Mitch went on mumbling as he closed the curtains.
With nothing better to do, Mitch headed for the games room. A few minutes later he was on the computer. After trawling through three Science sites then playing just two games, where he pushed the scores out of the reach of most players, Mitch became listless. Even though he memorised every game he owned, he decided to search through the box of games his mother had bought him over the last couple of years.
Flipping the lid off the box, Mitch dipped his hand in to pick them up one by one. As he turned each one to face him, he read the covers.
“Done that – too slow, huh – boring, a game for low brain-power Bipeds, a game for ankle biters, this one is most definitely a rug-rats game. Mum bought that one way back with my first computer.” As Mitch carried on searching through the box full of games he continued making sarcastic comments.
After he got through checking them, he put the box away before he went online where he trawled through the list of games available for hire at the local games store. When he couldn’t find a game or anything else to suit his mood, Mitch went searching the net for new games.
After half an hour of full on searching, Mitch came across a self-effacing website. ‘1337 MATH GAMES TO CHALLENGE THE MIND’ it read. The title was enough to brighten Mitch’s enthusiasm. Once again he pushed himself away from the desk. As his chair often did, it carried him to the centre of the room where he swivelled around a few times. When he stopped turning, he scooted the chair back to the computer to re-read what was there.
“Yeah right, like, bite my butt!” Mitch scoffed. Now in a rather cheeky mood he stood up and slapped his butt as he believed there was no game that was good enough to challenge him in a way he needed to be challenged. Even so there was something rather appealing about the title. The headline had caught his attention and yes, he did stop to read it. This was something that didn’t happen very often so he continued reading the rest of the advertising. It only took a couple of seconds for Mitch to realise that this website was different to anything he’d seen so far. Now that his curiosity had been stirred he decided to browse through this website, for something to do and to help pass the time.
After a few seconds of reading what was on his screen, a bright smile lit up his face, he tapped his forehead and cried out, “Hey Dude, challenge my mind.” Feeling much brighter about what he’d read so far, Mitch quickly ran through the list of games this business was offering to the public. As per his usual habit, he was judging the games too quickly when something registered in his short-term memory. It was enough to make his brain go into high reverse. “How far back are you?” Mitch mumbled as he scrolled back through three games.
Pointing at the game he wanted, he took a closer look at it.
“Ha-ha-ha,” Mitch laughed as he spoke his thoughts. “Ha, yeah… right… hey Dude. A freebie test-me game, do you really have an abnormally high rate of mathematical difficulty, as your advertising suggests? Or maybe it is just an advertising gimmick to make low brain-power Bipeds believe it is a high-level game! Yeah, I’ll bet it sucks them in so they come around to hire your games,” Mitch said in a churlish manner as he chose this game to play.
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