• Patrick Rizio

LaCost - Free read Chapter 1

Updated: Sep 18, 2019

As promised I'll be posting several pages of LaCost -The Evolution of Jason, every week at this website so you can read it for free. Here's chapter one. Hope you like it!

Such things as are hidden I learned; and such as are plain; for wisdom, the artificer of all, taught me. 

WISDOM, 7 (21-22)


"Five out of seven times the leaves hit inside this circle.”

He was careful to take his time drawing the circle, knowing the apprehension of the others worked in his favor. He even made a bit of a show of it by rolling up his sleeves and picking out just the right stick for the job. He took great care making sure the crudely dug circle was clearly visible. They watched with their eyes. He watched from inside. He would soon discover other people didn’t do this. Right now, he simply figured he was outsmarting the others, and it was fun to see if he could pull it off.

“No way Jason. It’s impossible,” shouted one. The biggest one.

“Yea, you’re nuts,” echoed another.

“Tell you what,” he said, digging into the pocket of his faded jeans, “I’ve got a dollar says I’m right.” He knew none of them believed it was possible. He knew it wasn’t possible. He also knew none of them would call his bluff. It was just peculiar enough of a thing to bet on to make the others uncomfortable and back off.

He wasn’t guessing though, and he wasn’t exactly following a hunch. He knew what they would do, what they were thinking, because he could feel it.

After about a minute or so it became clear no one was willing to risk a dollar to find out. The big kid again spoke first.

“He knows somethin. It’s some kinda trick.”

The other boys gladly accepted this as a way out. They soon left looking for something else to do, at which point he found himself, once again, alone.

Jason was unlike other kids. Most kids his age had rooms littered with clothes, dust and toys. His was littered with clothes, dust and books. His insatiable appetite for reading, along with his extraordinary memory, left him with few friends. He would much rather read than play. It was just more fun to find out something new than to interact with another child his age.

He was constantly correcting everyone, (quoting this and citing that), and had the very unpleasant habit of continually being right. He seemed to be forever coming up with strange ideas concerning one thing or another and invariably finding ways of “testing them out”. Adults found him a bit of a curiosity. The other kids mostly just ignored him.

As he turned and looked at the forty-year old oak tree a gust of wind blew a dozen or so leaves from its branches. He smiled to himself as they came to the ground, landing nowhere near the circle.


The drawings were disordered at best. Miss Redmond was content at this stage to have her preschoolers hold their crayons effectively and, of course, use both sides of the paper. Budget cuts being what they were nothing was to be wasted. Her four-year old class had progressed enough in their development to demonstrate controlled repetitions of motions, draw crude circles, and most could tell stories about the drawings they had created. All in all, she was pleased with their progress. The whole class seemed to be developing suitably in their motor skills and in their ability to visualize in pictures.

Putting the children’s folders together, it occurred to her how productive this year had been. No one was left behind in any of the expected stages of development, and discipline issues seemed non-existent. It was probably the best class the young pre-school teacher could have hoped for. They were all pretty good students. Except of course for Sarah. And even she wasn’t much trouble really. Simply a little slow to understand things at times. “Nothing to be overly concerned about,” she would tell Mr. and Mrs. Newman at the parent teacher conference later that night. “I’m sure she will do just fine by the time she reaches kindergarten.”


Donna Newman carefully rinsed the dinner dishes one by one above the garbage disposal before putting them in the dishwasher. First the plates and bowls, they go in the bottom rack, then the glasses and cups for the top. She found herself getting upset when the big pieces stuck to the plates and had to be pushed off. She was not, of course, concerned about food sticking to plates. Her anxiety had started two hours before. The very idea that her child was in any way not…well…normal was just unacceptable. It had to be some kind of mistake on the teacher’s part. It just had to be. Her child was every bit as smart as the other kids. Smarter.

“Hon, relax. You’re making too big a deal about this. You really are. Think about what she said for a minute, will you! You’re acting like the teacher said she was retarded or something. All she said was…”

“Would you please keep your voice down. She’s in brushing her teeth. She’ll hear you.”

“Fine, I’m sorry. But you honestly are getting worried over nothing. I mean if her only concern is over Sarah’s artwork, who cares? We both know how good she is with numbers, and that’s a much better yardstick for intelligence, if you ask me.”

“It isn’t her artwork that Miss Redmond was talking about, John. It was more than that. She said Sarah was having trouble taking direction and…”

“Mommy, I’m ready.”

“Ok, sweetheart. We’ll be right in.”

John Newman hugged his daughter just like he always did, walked back to his own bedroom and fell onto the bed. He worked hard and rose early. His eyes closed and he enjoyed the feel of the mattress under his tired body. By the time his wife  looked in five minutes later he was already snoring.

“Sarah, show me which one of your pictures you like the best.”

“This one, mommy.”

“Let me see, sweetheart.” Donna Newman looked at the one her daughter had chosen. It really was about two steps above a scribble. Circles inside circles, (eyes?), and multiple lines, (hair, noses?), and what appeared to be several arms on each side. She asked Sarah why it was her favorite.

“Because it’s you and Dad.”

Her heart soared.

“Sweetheart, do you remember what your teacher said about both sides?”

“Yes, mommy.”

“Can you tell me what she said?”

“She said to do both sides.”

“Did you do both sides?”

“Yes, mommy. I always do all the sides.”

She had laid awake for what seemed half the night while her husband slept undisturbed. Every paper in Sarah’s’ folder had the same style of drawing. All had multiple lines and crude circles. All with coloring only occasionally inside the lines. All, from the perspective of motor skills, typical for a four-year old. All with the drawing on only one side of the page.

Maybe the teacher was right. Maybe she had to consider the possibility that Sarah was behind the other children, even if only a little. Maybe she just had to face it. (How could John be so unconcerned as to just fall asleep?). When Donna Newman finally drifted off, she had convinced herself that she would just have to deal with something that was not quite normal about her daughter.

She had no idea.

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