The Adventure of the Mysterious Benefactor

Part 6

by Stacey (SST205 at
Both Deidre and Wiggins' mouths were open. Tennyson blinked slowly several times.
Watson couldn't believe his audio-sensors. "Ashton Fayre is your father, lad?"
Tennyson nodded slightly.
"Yet you live with your aunt." Holmes noted, getting off of his knee and moving himself to the couch. Once seated, he levelled his gaze at Tennyson again. "Would it be prying, son, to ask why? If so, I can withdraw the question and we can forget I ever brought it up."
Tennyson glanced down at the keyboard in front of him, then into the eyes of the man who, unlike his friends, he saw as more than a friend and mentor. To Tennyson, he was the closest thing to a father figure in his life. How could he deny this man, whom he knew so much about, a bit of information about himself?
The boy placed his hands on the keyboard.
His aunt had told him that when he was born, his parents were more than mildly upset about his many "conditions" -- particularly his father. Mr. Fayre calmed down little when reminded of the operations Tennyson could undergo at thirteen.
Tennyson had received the hoverchair at age six. Before that, some servant had carried him from place to place -- but never outside the house. The hearing aids were bought when he was still a baby, and adjusted or replaced as he grew.
The hoverchair was a great enjoyment, Tennyson related. He remembered, after he had devised a way of communicating with the keyboard, begging his father to let him go outside. Mr. Fayre finally consented, saying, "Don't tell anyone you're my son. I do have enemies, and I don't want you to get hurt."
Holmes frowned. He had the suspicion Mr. Fayre wasn't as concerned for his son's safety as other things.
Tennyson said that he loved to fly. In the beginning, he kept daring himself to go higher. After a while, he decided that he liked it a lot better up high than down on the street surface. People gave him odd looks, and when his hearing aid was adjusted right, he heard people making comments like "freak", "oddball", and the like. Though they hurt, he tried to ignore the whispers. He was who he was.
There were two places in New London where Tennyson especially liked to be. One was the New London Archival Library. Few people went there--there were no modern literary discs with laptops to check out with a digital card; in the Archival Library there were books -- things he could hold in his hands and turn the pages of -- many of them were considered "gauche", and he could never have found them in the Laser Disc 'brary. He was tickled to find a rather large volume one day -- the works of a Lord Alfred Tennyson. He had wondered where his name came from.
I wonder why he's taking so long to get to why he lives with his aunt, Holmes thought. Then again, I appreciate the information.
Tennyson's other favorite place to go was to the home of his aunt. She welcomed him with open arms, and did not constantly remind him of the operations he'd have at thirteen. She also told him that God had made him special -- that he sent His son to die for him just the way he was. It was a week before his thirteenth birthday when he asked forgiveness of his sins and asked Jesus Christ to be his Saviour.
As Holmes looked across the room, he couldn't help but grin at the glow in the boy's eyes as he 'spoke' of this event.
Afterward, however, the glow dimmed a bit.
Upon Tennyson's thirteenth birthday, his father staged a gala event at their spacious home. There were mostly Mr. Fayre's business associates there -- all of which Tennyson heard his father speak to about the operations he had planned for 'his boy'. Tennyson remembered turning his hearing aids down as low as they could go so that he wouldn't have to hear about it.
The party went on into the night. Tennyson became so tired, he finally asked the butler to put him to bed. His father was busy flitting from guest to guest; where his mother was, he could not remember. Tennyson was sure his father was bragging about the plans he had for him.

On to part 7
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.
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