Richard Siddoway’s “The Cottage Park Puzzle“will see the light of day officially on Tuesday, Jan. 13, when it will finally be available in bookstores. Get your copy today (we’ve heard most stores will sell it to you the day before its official release day. You didn’t hear that from us, though.)
About the book: When two teenagers are found beaten in the quiet town of Cottage Park and another boy is standing over them holding a baseball bat, it seems like a simple task to convict the perpetrator. There’s just one problem: he’s autistic. This poignant tale of one town’s journey to forgiveness and love will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.
Corky let out a screech from the family room bringing her back to the present. He was tented underneath the overturned rocking chair watching the television set from the corner of his eye. A program was just ending and he was transfixed by the credits that rolled by. Lorraine knew better than to interrupt the credits—for some reason Corky loved to see them although he paid little attention to the programs themselves. At last they ended and a commercial replaced them. Corky wiggled out from beneath the chair, righted it, sat down, and began to rock.
“Come on, big guy, let’s get you into the tub.”
He ignored her and continued to rock back and forth.
Lorraine took Cork’s hand in hers. “Bath time,” his mother said.
He rocked a few more times then launched himself from the chair and ran squealing down the hall to the bathroom with his mother following behind. She turned on the water and began to help Corky out of his clothes. He’d chewed a hole through the top of his blood-soaked shirt and somehow during the day had managed to get his pants on backwards. As soon as Lorraine started pulling his shirt off, Cork squirmed like an eel and pulled it over his head. When he was younger they had to watch him like a hawk or he pulled off all his clothes and ran naked out of the house. At least that hadn’t happened for a few years. He peeled off his shoes, sank to the floor and stuck his feet in the air. Lorraine massaged them while the tub filled. He loved to have his feet rubbed.
When she reached past him and turned off the water, Corky leapt to his feet, peeled off his pants and his underwear, and jumped into the tub. Water splashed everywhere as he let out a satisfied moan. He placed his feet against the end of the tub and pushed himself back and forth, sending waves onto the floor. Without even thinking about it Lorraine pulled the extra towels she kept in the linen cabinet and dropped them next to the tub. It was standard operating procedure with Cork’s baths.
She left Corky soaking in the water, picked up his clothes, and dropped them into the washing machine. “I don’t know if the blood will come out,” she shuddered.