In the Pages of a Book – Chapter 3
This story is part of a collaborative series. You can start reading from the beginning here.
Chapter 3 – Lucas’ Story
Lucas felt his mom tap on his shoulder, and he pulled one earbud out but didn’t take his eyes off his phone. His favorite streamer was live right now playing the beta of a new game.
“Do you want a book?” Lucas’ mom gestured at the shelves around them.
“Nah,” Lucas answered, “books are boring. Nobody reads anymore.”
As Lucas went to put his earbud back in, he heard a soft chuckle. He paused.
“I’m of the opinion that there is a book for everyone,” said a middle-aged woman in a cardigan.
Lucas just scoffed at her.
“I’ll make you a bet,” the woman said with a smug grin.
A bet? Now Lucas was intrigued.
“I’ll let you borrow this book, free of charge.” The woman held up an old-looking leather book. “And you have to read the whole thing. If I’m wrong, and you don’t like it, I’ll take you to the video game store down the road and buy you a game.”
Lucas gasped and a wide grin spread across his face. “Any game? Even a new release?” he asked.
The woman nodded. “But if I’m right, you’ll come back with your mom and pick out another book to read.”
“Bet,” the boy said with a smirk. He couldn’t wait to get a new video game. It would totally be worth spending a few hours reading a lame book.
Lucas was mesmerized by the fast-paced action and futuristic technology in the story. The plot even revolved around video games. But it was the closing words of the book that really got him.
“The virtual reality he played in kept him endlessly entertained, and provided an escape from the monotony of daily life, but in the end none of it was real. His one regret was that he hadn’t spent more time in his own life, making it as adventurous as his video games.”
He hated to admit it, but the woman at the bookstore was right. It appeared anyone could enjoy books, if they were the right ones. He supposed he’d be willing to give another book a try, providing she helped him pick it out. She was quite sneaky by giving him this particular book, but he found, rather than being apprehensive, he trusted her judgment.
The next day, his mother drove him back to the bookstore. She dropped Lucas off at the curb, while she went to park the car. Before Lucas got inside the store, a man in a dark jacket approached him.
“That’s an interesting-looking book you’ve got there. Would you mind if I took a look at it?”
Lucas didn’t like the look of longing in the man’s eyes. “Actually, it’s not mine, and I’ve got to return it now.” He gestured to the store and took a step towards it.
The man stepped in front of him to block his path. “Surely the owner of such a lovely book wouldn’t mind you showing it off.” He reached towards the book. “I’ll just take a quick peek.”
Lucas turned and clutched the book to his chest. The man looked ready to snatch the book from Lucas’ grasp, but then he pulled away. Lucas heard footsteps, and his mother stepped up beside him. The man disappeared around the corner. He had never been so relieved to see his mom.
Lucas shook off the odd interaction and didn’t bother telling anyone what had happened. He knew his mom would fuss over him if she knew. Instead, he returned the book to the shop owner and begrudgingly admitted that she had been right.
The lady helped him pick out another book from the sci-fi genre, and his mother thanked the woman profusely as she paid. Lucas found he didn’t mind the prospect of starting another book. He would still be playing his video games frequently, but he might find the time to squeeze in a book here and there, and maybe even a real adventure.
What did you think of Lucas’ story? Let us know in the comments! Continue with Chapter 4 here.
Thanks so much for reading!
-Clever & WTF