Chapter 9

Chapter 9: Maddie

“It’s 12:58 am. Why aren’t you sleeping?”

The message blinks red from the clock above Maddie’s bed. The clock was a birthday present from Sadina, who bought it at TecknoTurf. Maddie loves watching the clock flash out a new message. Sadina and Rio wrote them all and programmed them into the clock. Maddie’s favorite so far is the one that shows up at bedtime: “Maddie Reyes, it’s half past nine, can you get to bed on time?”

But Maddie never really gets ready for bed that early. Dad calls Maddie a night owl. She loves the sound of that. Maddie looks out her bedroom window at the black sky and the banana-shaped moon and imagines herself perched on a tree limb, feathery and alert. She has heard that owls can turn their heads almost all the way around, and that’s what she would do, so no one could sneak up on her. Her owl-voice would be smooth and pretty as a song, hoo-hoo-hoo-ing all through the night.

Maddie checks the clock in time to see the message change again. “It’s 1:00 am. Pat your cat and GET TO BED NOW!”