Finny crawled back in bed, holding the book closed against his chest.
Get me out of here so we can talk. Mrs. Sander’s gift shook with urgency.
Finny looked around, afraid the noise would bring Mama Jack back into the room. He burrowed deeper under the covers, then peaked out. Nothing happened, so he opened the book’s cover.
The unicorn faced him with flaring nostrils. It nodded its head and snickered with a low soft rumble. Bright blue eyes blinked. That’s better. Now shall we begin?
“Shall we begin what?”
A low angry growl came from somewhere near Finny’s feet. Raskee had retreated there, and was not about to let something like a book keep him from a good night’s sleep. He clawed at the blanket, trying to pull it away from the offender.
“Raskee. Stop,” Finny commanded with little hope the cat would pay any attention. “Raskee, come on up here.”
The cat moved in a low crouch up the bed, burrowing his way to Finny’s waiting hand.
The unicorn reared and landed on all fours. Powerful front hoofs pawed at the invisible ground where it stood. With a soft gentle snort, it nodded at Raskee. Come join us, it called.
To Finny’s surprise Raskee answered. Join you for what?
“What’s going on?” Surely he had to be dreaming. The cat couldn’t talk, but then again, neither could the picture of a unicorn inside a book’s cover.
Yes we can. Both responded in unison.
Now open to page one and let’s get started, Misty commanded.
Raskee clawed at the pages. The first chapter was titled, ‘What you need to know about Mama Jack.’
Finny turned the page to find an astronaut in a spacesuit floating on a tether attached to the International Space Station. He recognized it, because it had been in his special sciences class during the last half of the school year. But what does that have to do with Mama Jack? As soon as the question formed in his mind, a caption flashed beneath the picture. Josephine, Mama Jack, Johnson prepares to replace solar panels that will supply power for her experiments on communication to extraterrestrials. It is her belief we have been receiving information from as far away as three galaxies.
“What?” Finny sat up. Mama Jack was an astronaut? This made her much more intriguing. He liked that word ‘intriguing.’ Data from Star Trek used it. He closed the cover of the book and lay back, letting the soft feather pillow cradle his head.
“Well Raskee.” Finny stroked the cat’s soft fur. “Maybe this summer won’t be boring after all.” He fell asleep with the book in one hand and Raskee curled in the crook of his arm.