LEGACY: The Life of Nikola Tesla (Chapter 1, page 1 of 3)

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Chapter 1

Bolts of lightning are cracking across the sky and thunder rolls. It's midnight on July 10, 1856. We are in Smiljan, Yugoslavia and there is a cry from a newborn baby.

The cuckoo clock on the wall indicates 12:00 and the bird is coming out with the final three cuckoos. A candle flickers in the downstairs rooms of the two-story house.

The plump, middle-aged, graying woman wearing a white cotton cap and all smiles presents the baby to mother.

"Mrs. Tesla, you have a beautiful baby boy. I will go tell Rev. Tesla and I want you to get some rest."

Mrs. Tesla, exhausted, but so happy says, "What a good sign, to be born on a night like this."

Rev. Tesla is carrying a Bible and praying. The midwife says, "Your wife and son are waiting for you." He breaks from his prayers and a look of excitement livens his face. He says to the midwife, "It's an old wives' tale that a baby born in a thunderstorm has special gifts." He puts down his Bible and heads for the bedroom.

All excited, he says to his wife, Djourka, "We have created another miracle. How are you feeling?"

"I think we are both doing just fine." The newborn is comfortably snuggled and quietly sleeping in her arms.

The house is warm and well furnished with many books. Rev. Tesla in his robe and slippers takes the baby and has such a huge smile on his face. "You will be very happy in this family. We will name you Nikola."

Nikola became the fifth child, Dane an older brother, and three older sisters: Angelina, Mikla and Marica.

Milutin Tesla is the Reverend for a church close to his house and has a very devoted congregation.

* * *

A loaf of freshly cut bread is on the table with plates of small crumbs in front of the boys, Nikola is now 4 years old and Dane is 11 years old. They are sitting with their two of their older sisters, and there is a high chair against the wall indicating a younger child who is not present.

Djorka's fantastic needlework has been neatly placed on a table near the comfortable chair where she works. A spinning wheel is in a corner with a basket of various colors of dyed wool sheared from their sheep.

Nikola is watching his mother tinker, trying to fix a toy. She is showing a creative solution to a problem he's had. He is getting impatient. "But momma, I'm through with the toy. I can play with something else."

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