sunshine the abacus

In one little slice of the pie, one little, lonely corner of the universe, connected to the all of everything, but separated in detail was a finished basement and a storage closet. Connected to this storage closet by reasons of life, emotion, and metaphysics, were some board games, but most importantly, a book.  This book was not stolen, but found by a young child who lived in the slightly larger, more furnished version of the closet, a house which sat on top of the closet, with some bedrooms with their own closets, and this surrounded by a ball of water vapor on a planet called Earth.

This young child’s name was Paul.  He had two older siblings, Priscilla and Finn.  Finn was the oldest, a young boy of barely 12, and Priscilla, with dark hair, was 8.  Paul, himself, was only 4 or 5, maybe 7, but if you asked him, he could tell you exactly.

The three had found the book, although Paul had spotted it, while playing in the wilderness outside of their neighborhood.  The wooded area surrounding their home probably went on to the whole ends of the Earth, they figured.  Finn had mentioned that there was deserts, and some oceans, so this probably wasn’t true, but Paul and Priscilla both shared with each other that they thought this idea was pretty cool.

They knew, as kids know, that this book was in some way, shape, or form, a magical book, in the sense that it would share, with any person who read it, a special story just for the reader.  They discussed this at great length on their way to their home, as the book ended up in a basket of laundry next to the dryer and eventually moved into a closet.  It was stored with games, plastic bins of markers and pens, and some holiday decorations labeled in cardboard boxes.

Later on, maybe two weeks or ten years (as it felt to children) Paul found the book (again) and brought it to Priscilla and Finn. “Let’s open it!” Paul said, as he ran into the room in his cool superhero pajamas.  Finn was sitting on his bed and Priscilla was coloring.

“Ok,” said Finn, and they all gathered around on the carpet and opened the book to read what was inside.

Paul, unable to contain himself, started first.  “This book was found by Paul Wakesfield on October 11th, two Wednesdays ago.  He was really excited to find this book and he totally had forgotten all about it.”

“Wow!” Paul said.  “That’s what happened!”  Excited, he turned to his older sister.  “You go,” he said.

Priscilla looked down at the book.  “Priscilla is currently reading this book.  She has dark hair and is only 8 years old.  She has a lot of fun most days, but some days her brothers tease her so bad that it makes her want to cry.  She wishes her brothers would be just a little bit nicer sometimes, but she loves them.”

“Oh my gosh,” she says excitedly, and Priscilla and Paul turn to Finn.

“What does yours say?” Paul asks.  “Is it vikings?  Pirates?  Robots?  Flying cars? The stuff it has said so far has been pretty boring.”

“Yeah, this is boring guys, come on,” Finn says and he closes the book and gets up.  “Let’s go do something else.”

Later on, as Finn is lying in his bed, looking at the moon through the window in his bedroom, he sighs.

The book had been blank for Finn.  He wondered what it could mean as he fell into a deep sleep.

The book was no longer in the house after that night. It went back to where it came from, or maybe it moved on to an alternate reality, but it was forgotten by the three, as they grew up to live rather nice lives, though Paul continued to find life a little boring, and did most of what he could to make it more interesting for everyone.