This is a fictional short story, written especially for the lovely lady and great blogger, Kim. For any of you who follow her site By Hook Or By Book, https://cadburypom.wordpress.com/ you will know of her love for literature, libraries, and Pomeranian dogs. You will also be aware of the difficulties she faces, and her woes over the Trump presidency. This story is just for her, but I hope it will bring some joy to anyone who reads it.
Kim’s last day at the library was a far from happy occasion. Leaving behind her beloved books, her friends and colleagues, and most of all those thousands of children she had introduced to wonderful literature over the years. She had watched their discovery, fostered their love of language, and looked on as they gasped at amazing illustrations, and fantastic new worlds to explore. There was sadness and tears amid the celebration of her dedication, and the love she had given through her librarian skills.
But all those years of reading had taken their toll, and her health was not what it once was. Too many headaches, too painful, too often. She reluctantly decided she had to go, but her heart had never been heavier as she walked through the door for that last time.
Waiting outside, she saw the group she knew so well. The children of her Reading Club, trying to smile through the tears as they watched their friend leaving. Jay walked up to her, holding a notebook. She held it up to Kim, with a pen clasped in her small hand. “Write your wishes in this book, and we will make them come true, we promise.” Kim smiled down at the girl, and took the book and pen. On each page, she wrote a wish, using capital letters, and signing each page with a big heart design, and the letter ‘K’. She handed it back to Jay, and with a smile, simply said “Thank You”.
The kids took the book to where they liked to gather, in the clearing at the edge of the woods. Danielle took the book, and opened it. She read aloud to the rest. “Page One. I wish that I will always love books and reading.” She passed it to Michel, and he read aloud too. “Page Two. I wish that I will have so many friends that I could never meet them all”. Sophie and Rafael read the next page together. “Page Three”. I wish that the pain in my head would go away, and never come back”. Yesha could hardly read her page for crying, but she did her best. “Page Four. I wish that all my library children will never forget me, and always love books and reading.” Deanna and Robbie held the book together, and looked at each other, to see who would speak first. “Page Five. I wish that I will always read books, and tell the world about them too”. Laura, Vinnie, and Diane leaned over, and turned the next page. “Page Six. I wish that there will always be libraries, and they will have lots of books for children to enjoy”. Little Pete and Jay shared the last wish. “Page Seven. I hope that I will see my beloved dog again one day.”
The next day after school, they gathered again. Michel had a plastic bag, and Rafael had brought his father’s trowel. They dug a hole big enough to take the book wrapped in the plastic bag. Nice and deep, and marked with a special flat stone that Robbie had found nearby. Danielle spoke up. “Tomorrow, we will come back, and choose a page. We will wish for the wish on that page to happen, and know that it will. We must always be together, and stand by that pledge. Are we all agreed?” The rest of the group nodded seriously, nobody was smiling.
Soon after, Kim was sitting at home, thinking what to do. Now she no longer had to go to work, she had to do something with her time, as well as reading. “I know what I will do, I will start a blog about books, and spread my love of literature around the world, to people everywhere. Hopefully, they will become my friends too”. In the clearing by the woods, Michel tore up page two, and they all watched as he scattered the tiny pieces into the wind. Then they buried the book again, for another day.
Some time later, Kim finished reading her latest book, and took a while to think to herself. Finally, she spoke aloud, “I am always going to love books and reading, I just know it”. In the clearing, the children opened their eyes in time to watch Danielle scatter the pieces of Page One. Little Pete looked up, smiling. “Wishing this hard is tiring. Let’s go and get some ice cream”.
Kim often thought about the Reading Group, as the months passed by. She knew in her heart that all the children she had ever encouraged would always love books and reading. The rest watched, as Yesha tore up Page Four. This time there were no tears, she was smiling as she threw the pieces into the wind.
In the local paper, there was news of a new library opening. The first for years. The article said that books were making a comeback, and that children were reading as much as ever, if not more. The editorial concluded, “It is our contention that libraries will always need to exist, and that children especially should be catered for.” In the clearing, the smiling trio of Laura, Vinnie, and Diane each held one third of Page Six, before flinging the pieces into the air.
After two days of severe pain, Kim was tiring of the most recent migraine. It was hard enough to open her eyes, let alone read, and she was unable to enjoy writing her blog too. She decided to take a short nap, and was very pleased to wake up that afternoon, to discover the headache was gone. Back near the woods, Sophie and Rafael spoke to the others. They felt their wishing had not really worked, not as much as they had hoped. Everyone agreed that they should not tear up that page, but would come back to it another day. They put the book back into its bag, and buried it back in the hole.
The blog was going great guns by now. There were hundreds of followers, and the community extended all around the world. That made Kim very happy indeed, and she realised that she could still impart her love of literature, despite no longer being in her old job. Deanna and Robbie were pleased. They tore up Page Five, gazing up into the trees as the pieces swirled around.
Sitting quietly at home one day, shut in by the heavy winter snow, Kim looked at the framed photo of her beloved Pom. She smiled to herself, realising that in her heart, she knew she would see her little dog again, one day. Kneeling by the hole, Little Pete and Jay tore up Page Seven, throwing the small pieces out onto the snow-covered ground. The rest of the group looked at each other. “We still have Page Three” said Sophie, looking perplexed. Danielle reassured her. “We will come back to Page Three again and again until that wish is granted, have no fear”.
As Jay buried the book that afternoon, Little Pete muttered. “But what about the other pages, the ones with no wishes written on them?” Danielle and Michel exchanged a glance, and nodded to each other. She turned to Little Pete and told him, “They are for the wishes yet to come. We will know what they are when they are wished for, and we will come back until they are granted”.
The group walked away, thinking to themselves. None of them said any more. They just smiled.