“Fill er up, Burt.”
“You!” I exclaimed beside my old Papa.
Marion Star Harding stared into me while still strolling toward us, taking his time. I knew I shouldn’t say his real name. I’m remembering!
“You know this Bozo?” Papa also stared over at me, but with puzzlement instead of secret knowledge.
“No.” I looked between the two. “No, I was mistaken. I thought this was the man–”
Marion stares again. She’d said enough. She stopped.
“Thought this was the man what?” Keith asked, still with furrowed brow.
“I thought… this was the man who offered to drive me to your place,” she decided to allow. “Before you picked me up.”
“Burt?” uttered Keith B. “A *pilot*.” He stared to laugh. Jennifer join in with him a bit — nervously. Then Marion Star Harding: just a chuckle and a smile. Because Keith B. would only expect that from the silent type guy.
“Whadda ya say to *that*, Burt?” he said between guffaws. He turns to Jennifer. “I’ve known Burt since he was a little boy. He can’t tell right from left, heck, up from down. Right Burt?” Laughter again all around, Keith B. the most, then Jennifer, then Marion. “He… he he… he once tried to build a submarine on top of a mountain and fly it into space (giggle). You remember that old wooden sub, Burt? (grin).”
Marion Star Harding remembered the sub. And indeed, he got it to fly into space, deep into space. But only at night when no one was looking and the stars were out. Because he had a particular Star in mind. His own.
(to be continued)