The Ghost in the Machine

kindle- picture copied from AmazonI woke up Tuesday morning at around 2 AM.  I glanced over at the bed stand to check the time and noticed a soft glow.  Sitting up to check what was happening I saw that my Kindle Paper White was on and emitting a faint white light.  Reaching over I turned it off.  I really didn’t give it much thought as it was too early and I was too tired.  By morning I had pretty much forgotten the whole incident.

Tuesday evening I picked up my Kindle.  I was in the middle of the book “I am Malala”.  I usually stop reading when I reach a new chapter so I was a little surprised when I turned on the Kindle and it was in the middle of a chapter.  I remembered my early morning interruption so I figured I must have hit the screen and flipped a few pages forward when I was turning it off.  Not a problem, I could always just go back and find the beginning of the chapter.

As I was leafing back through the book trying to find the start of the chapter I began to notice something.  The words were wrong.  I wasn’t really reading them but I could tell something was going on, they just didn’t look right.  I stopped flipping and started to read.  The more I read the more confused I became.  I went back to the Kindle’s home screen.  It showed that I had been in the middle of “This Side of Paradise” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  I wasn’t even sure if I had bought that book and I know I never downloaded it to this particular Kindle (yes, I have more than one).  Sure, I had read 3 different F. Scott Fitzgerald books a few years back, but this wasn’t one of them.  I shrugged and opened “I am Malala”.  I was right back where I left off.

So everything seemed fine.  Yet I couldn’t shake off this nagging feeling that I was missing something.  Finally I had to stop reading and think about it.

It’s very possible one of our cats turned the Kindle on.  They occasionally do knock it off the bed stand.  I’m not sure how they could have turned it on without moving it, but it is possible.

How, though, did they close the book I was reading without turning any pages?  That is a little harder to answer.  And how did they manage to download a book, open it up and flip half way through it?  I’m not sure.

I remember noticing when I woke up Tuesday at 2 AM that both cats were curled up sleeping on the bed.  I remember this specifically because one of the cats, Josephine, had only just started braving the dogs to get up on the bed.  Albert had climbed up around 10 PM and Josephine had been on the bed for a little over a half an hour.  I know this because she woke me up when she came up and, as I implied earlier, I always look at the clock when I wake up in the middle of the night.

I can’t totally rule out the cats, but I really doubt they did it. There are too many unanswered questions.

But if one of the cats didn’t turn it on, close one book, download another book, open that book and then flip through to the middle, who did?

This is a story without an ending.  No, I didn’t wake up in the middle of the next night to find the ghost of a flapper rereading her favorite book on my Kindle.  I haven’t found anything.  I haven’t found a rational explanation nor have I found a supernatural (irrational) one.  I just plain don’t know what happened.  I do know that this never would have happened with a paper book.

So all I am left with is the phrase “Ghost in the machine”.

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