Burke never knew why, but for some reason reading was just more enjoyable late at night, when he knows he should be asleep for school the next day, secretly laying at the foot of his bed with his Lamp-Droid shining it’s soft blue night-light on the pages.
Opening his Time/Life “Mysteries of the World” book that he found in the bargain bin at the used bookstore, he reads the note written on the inside cover to whoever the book was originally purchased for:
“Jason, happy birthday! I love you— Grandma. March, 1979”
He stares at the quickly scribbled note, and imagines the other boy reading this same book after excitedly tearing off the birthday wrapping paper… Burke wonders where Jason is now; Is his grandma alive? Why would Jason give this book up? HOW could he give ANY book up?
Burke inhales the musty old paper as he thumbs through the pages… The words and stories just seemed more alive, more real the later at night and the darker the room was. The book was a window into a world larger than his small bedroom— unexplained phenomenon, aliens, mysterious disappearances, unsolved murders and robberies, psychics, cryptozoology… there’s so much out there.
As he slowly wakes up in the morning, Burke finds his cheek stuck to a page describing domed vacation homes on the moon that are a certainty by the year 2000.
Realizing he is late for his bus, he quickly plugs in his depleted Lamp-Droid so he can read more later that night.
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