The Alaman Boy

The Alaman Boy

A Chapter by Truman S. Booth

A brief introduction of many important elements that will appear throughout STARS.


            Allan Alaman was born dead.  His mother was struck by lightning after twenty-eight weeks of pregnancy, going into labor ten weeks too early.  At the hospital, the grotesque infant emerged without a heartbeat.  As the doctors consoled the devastated mother, Allan suddenly began to move.  To everyone’s amazement, he lived through his premature birth, and immediately began showing special abilities.

            He didn’t start to speak until he was six years old.  At first, people believed he was deaf, but he soon proved otherwise.  Although he rarely responded to people when they spoke, he began following commands at ten months.  By the time he was one, he knew the names of every body part, household object, and animal his parents could find.  His speed of learning was off the charts, and his parents took him to a professional when he was two… and already reading.

            His mother discovered his ability to read when she found him flipping through the pages of an illustrated children’s book she had read to him several times.  Without her aid, he would point to a word, like “dog,” and slide his finger to the part of the picture it described.  Mrs. Alaman wondered if he was simply copying an action she had performed and decided to test his reading level.  She bought a new book and set it in front of Allan.  On his own accord, the baby opened it to the first page and began “reading”: finding words on the page, and pointing to their illustrated counterparts.

            With her husband, she brought Allan to Dr. Spurgess, a local expert on children with special needs.  He immediately diagnosed Allan with high-functioning autism, due to his lack of speech and social interaction.  As to his incredible reading ability, Dr. Spurgess offered his personal attention to Allan to discover any special talents.

            Many were found.  Through several years and several tests, Dr. Spurgess found that Allan’s memory was perfect, his attention to detail was unmatched, but his abilities stretched into the extraordinary, even by autistic savant standards.  Inexplicably, he seemed to know things without having to learn them.  Before being introduced to the science behind the sun, moon, and stars, Allan drew a simple sketch of the solar system, including rays of light bouncing off the moon at different angles to produce its phases.  Before attending school, he drew pictures of atoms and molecules, made separate lists of solids, liquids, and gasses, and experimented with gravity.  At home, he took apart remote controls, cell phones, computers, televisions, microwaves, and car engines, put them all back together perfectly, and later astounded Dr. Spurgess with his understanding of their designs.

            But most incredible was his control of electricity.  One afternoon, while working with Allan at the Special Needs Center, Dr. Spurgess found the young boy placing various objects into a power outlet.  He immediately panicked, rushing towards Allan and alarming the poor boy enough to push a metal knife into the socket.  Sparks spread across Allan’s hand, dancing along his arm, but the boy held onto the utensil unharmed.  He stared interestedly at the voltage webbing around his limb, removed the knife, and continued his experiment with other metal objects, each of which sent a different pattern of electricity over his flesh.

            Alarmed, Dr. Spurgess said nothing of his electric encounter to Allan’s parents, but continued to safely test the boy’s mastery of the energy.  Biologically, Allan produced no more electricity than the average human, but when in contact with a flow of electricity, he was completely unharmed and displayed an inexplicable control over the direction and behavior of the flow.  Genuinely worried about his patient’s safety, Dr. Spurgess taught Allan not to play with electricity, and never to show anyone his abilities.  His parents were never made aware.

            Allan never went to public school, or college.  He graduated with an online doctorate degree in physics at fifteen years old, and applied for a government job researching clean nuclear energy.  He was rejected due to his age, but brought onto the program on his sixteenth birthday.  After two years of leading the project, he was picked up by a secret government program, the Special Talents and Abilities Research Sector (STARS), due to his extreme levels of intelligence.

            On paper, STARS focused on utilizing special citizens of the United States to help their country in the most efficient ways.  In practice, STARS put U.S. super-humans under one roof.  By the time Allan was recruited, there were five “students” at STARS, under the direction of a small, highly qualified faculty led by Daniel Terrence, the institution’s founder.  While in the Marines, he discovered the existence of savants, or unusually gifted people, when he met a man who could turn off pain.  Through research, he learned that there were megasavants, and he founded STARS in order to bring them together.  He hoped for them to learn more about their own abilities and stretch their limitations.

            His hope was not only realized, but unimaginably exceeded.

© 2011 Truman S. Booth

Author's Note

Truman S. Booth
This is very much a "tell" rather than "show" chapter. Some have advised me to delete it, which I might do when more of the story is written up. Right now, it helps give the reader a little background before getting into the real story. Cleans things up a bit, before it gets really messy.

My Review

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Very good piece, Mr. Booth
Couple critiques.

I think the first sentence of the second paragraph makes the paragraph read strange. Maybe delete it or reword the paragraph.
Also you introduce the term savants early in the piece, but do not define it until much later.

All in all I think this was a very well written chapter, with the style only you can bring. But I'd say to lose it. The while thing seems dedicated to exposition in a passive voice, like a prologue. While these things must he explained I'd work them into the story instead of bunching them together.

Can't wait for ch. 3 :)

Posted 13 Years Ago

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1 Review
Added on May 28, 2011
Last Updated on June 17, 2011
Tags: allan, alaman, superhero, savant, autistic, special, autism, intelligent, smartest


Truman S. Booth
Truman S. Booth

the Bubble, UT

I am a young writer, but I believe that talent knows no age--although they tend to increase together. There are a few things I love, and a few things I hate. I love language, piano, animated movie.. more..