The Library Of Wonders
“I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book” - JK Rowling
The Library Of Wonders
It was a cold and rainy day in London, Alfred had just finished his work and was headed down to the library. Alfred was a pretty simple man. He lived alone in a small house, worked a simple 9-5 jobs, and lived a very normal yet happy life. He loved to travel and explore but couldn’t due to his financial condition. So, every day after work his favorite thing to do was to visit the library near his house and spend his evenings there, reading and dwelling into the magnificent world of books. He adored reading new books more than anything else in the world. And while it was a pretty huge library, Alfred has read and finished almost half of the books there.
The feeling which filled him as he walked down the small, old path, was a clear and simple joy. He was happy and cheerful because this was the most favorite part of his day. A part of the day he would never miss for anything. He was happily walking and wondering at the same time about which amazing book he was going to read. But the moment he reached the library he was shocked. It was closed! This was a highly unusual thing as the library was never closed. Then he read a small notice on the door that said: “The Library will remain closed for a week as the librarian had to leave town for an emergency”. A deep melancholy took possession of Alfred and he was at a loss of what he was going to do for the rest of the evening. Now thinking about what he would do, he suddenly remembered about an old and small library which he had seen quite a few times in a nearby area. His hopes got up and he decided to go there to spend the evening.
After a brief 10-minute walk, Alfred finally reached the old and rustic library. As soon as he entered, he was greeted by a sweet old librarian lady. He returned her greeting with a smile and then proceeded inside. There were thousands of books and he was overjoyed by the sight. After scrolling through the various books, Alfred finally picked up a book of his choice and sat down in a comfortable spot. The library was empty except for him and the librarian. He was delighted as nobody would disturb him. After working on his favorite book for an hour, Alfred decided to take a five-minute break. He stood up and was having a look around the bookshelves when suddenly he saw a small yet mysterious room. It had huge doors but they were made with glass. This was a very unusual thing for a library. His curiosity had increased and he then decided to open the room, but the door was locked. And as he was trying to somehow open the door, he suddenly heard the librarian call him “Sir, please do not enter that room. That is not open to people. It is beyond limits”.
Alfred apologized and went back to reading his book again. But inside his mind, he was wondering why the room was locked, and why she will not let him enter inside. After all, it only had books inside and not treasure. Alfred now wanted to go inside that room at any cost and see for himself what was inside. He left the library for home after another two hours as it was getting late.
A few days passed by and Alfred started visiting the old library regularly. His love for it grew. Then one fine day after finishing his work, Alfred went to the library as he always does to while away his evening working on his favorite book. No sooner he walked in than the librarian favored him with a smile that warmed him from head to his toes. She told him that he needed to attend to a close friend who was ill and asked him if he could look after the library for the evening. Alfred looked carefully into the librarian’s eyes to see if she could possibly be joking, it took a few seconds to see that she was serious. Alfred happily agreed and the old lady gave him the keys to the place and told him to put them in the flower pot outside the door when he is done reading for the day.
Alfred happily searched around and found an interesting book which he sat down to work on with half of his mind fixated on the last incident of the locked glass room which he was not allowed to enter. He had been curious and wanted to know what was in that room. And today, call it a miracle if you want, he had the keys to the room and this was his chance. Now, after a lot of thinking, he finally decided to take the risk and open the room as nobody was around. With a heavy heart and his legs shaking like a baby who is learning how to walk for the first time, he proceeded towards the small room and anxiously opened the big glass door with the key. The room looked old and seemed like nobody had been in it for ages. The entire room had huge gigantic shelves filled with books, which looked centuries old. He started to check out all the wonderful books when suddenly his eye struck something astonishing. It was a huge book with a beautiful cover made of velvet and the center of the book had a huge crystal embedded in it. Alfred was very intrigued and took the book out and placed in on the desk.
He drew a deep, shuddering breath and opened the beautiful book; and as soon as he flipped the cover open, he felt a strong gush of wind zoom past him. He was surprised but continued. The second page had a huge list of names, it was names of countries and cities, and Alfred found it a bit unusual. Then as he flipped the page and read it, he was awestruck! It said that this is a magical book with the power and abilities to transport you anywhere on this planet! And it read that to go to a destination you must flip to the page number of the destination and say aloud “Start the Journey” and to end it and return back you must say “Stop the Journey”. But there was a warning too that you cannot stay in a place for more than 6 hours. If you did, then you will be trapped in the book forever and the portal would close. All Alfred could feel at the moment was joy mingled with nervousness.
Alfred had always wanted to travel the world but most of all he wanted to visit Paris. He dreamed of climbing and reaching the top of the Eifel Tower. Now, this was his chance to fulfill his dream. So, after gathering his courage Alfred opened the page to Paris and said the words out aloud “Start the Journey”. There was a huge cloud of white smoke and then it slowly faded away. Alfred was still in the library. He was shocked and disappointed. He picked up the book and decided to have a look outside the library. As soon as he opened the front door, he was shocked to see that he was no longer in London. It was the streets of Paris! He was ecstatically thrilled. And as soon as he exited the library it disappeared and turned into a big stone wall. Alfred then took note of the time and started his wonderful journey in Paris. The streets were beautiful and filled with joy and happiness. He explored here and there and saw some wonderful things. There were people everywhere and he decided to try out some of the French cuisines too. The meal was delicious and he had never tasted such amazing food in his life. Finally, after a lot of time exploring Paris, he reached the magnificent Eiffel Tower! It was majestic and huge. He was delighted to see it in person. Alfred then took the stairs and climbed to the top of the tower. The view was worth the climb and the city of Paris looked like a beautiful glowing gem from there.
After having spent an amazing and glorious evening in Paris, it was time to head back home. Alfred was savoring the amazing view from the top of the tower when he suddenly remembered and noticed that he had been here for more than 6 hours! He got worried and hurried down almost tripping over his feet in the process. He took out the magical book and spoke the magic words out aloud “Stop the journey”. The white cloud came and it was all foggy, then it started disappearing, but shockingly Alfred was in a small dark room instead of the library. It had no doors or windows. It was like a box! He got terrified and he tried again with all his might “STOP THE JOURNEY”! But to his horror, he was still there. He got stuck in time. He looked around wildly for help. All he could see was darkness. All sorts of negative thoughts started flowing through his head like “Will he ever get back home ?” or “Is this the end?”. He quietly sat down in a corner and started praying to God to help him out as this was his only option left.
The next morning, when the old librarian reached the library, she noticed that the library was open! She was shocked and didn’t even find the keys in the flower pot. She started to sense that something had gone wrong. And she was absolutely right.
She noticed the small glass room was open and when she went inside the magical book was missing. The old lady got worried and realized that Alfred must have got stuck in the book itself. But she was not any ordinary librarian, she had learned the magic and crafts of the magical book and knew how to get him out. With all her power, knowledge, and magical spells, she started to perform a ritual that would get Alfred out from there. She sat down and started chanting spells. Almost 2 hours had passed since she started the process when all of a sudden, the mystical white cloud appeared, everything went foggy, and then it started to disappear. And finally, Alfred was back home! He had been saved by the old lady from being stuck in the book forever. Alfred was overjoyed and speechless at the same time. He had been saved! For a moment, Alfred was so dazed by this startling act of luck that he almost forgot to thank the librarian for saving his life.
The old lady was annoyed and furious with him. She had trusted him but he betrayed her trust. Alfred was ashamed of what he had done, but then he started to thank her with all his heart for saving him. He started apologizing to her for his mistake and repented doing this act while begging for her forgiveness. Seeing this the old lady realized that he was not a bad person and it was a genuine accident. She finally agreed to forgive him. Alfred was out of words to thank her for saving his life. She then told him about the magical book and its powers, how it was an amazing and powerful book, but it could be deadly if not used properly. Now, Alfred wanted to visit and explore new places. He asked the lady if he could use the book with her permission. She was a little hesitant at first but then asked him “If you can keep this secret to yourself, then the whole world can be yours”. Alfred agreed happily and promised to never disclose this wonderful discovery. The old lady then handed the key of the room to him and smilingly said: “Now go ahead and explore your heart's desires! But always be careful!”. And so, there and then began another extraordinary journey for Alfred!