Louder than Allowed | Daily Prompt: Bedtime Stories

What was your favorite book as a child? Did it influence the person you are now?

Naming a favorite anything for me has always been difficult.

Even after all these years, I still can’t pick out my favorite book. Even a top 10 would take me a while—and that is from the years that I could remember.

My parents have instilled in me, among many things, the love of books. Pa showed me how they are made; Ma taught me how to read. He worked at a printing press while she at a school. So a great number of my stuff as a kid involved pages and books.

There were times when Ma would take me to their school. While she taught kids, I would be left at the library. The whole place provided more than enough distraction for half a day. She’d just let the librarian know I’d be there and that was it! I’d be reading until I felt hungry or it was time to go home, whichever happened first.

One time, I found myself alone in the library. The librarian was nowhere to be found. I wasn’t going anywhere myself. And it wasn’t like this never happened before.

Flipping page after page, I unraveled a story I have read numerous times already. This was one of my go-to books for a guaranteed good time. It was about a boy who found a talking magical parrot in Old Septimus’ attic. The bird granted his wishes, which was cool at first—but things began getting out of hand and he found himself in a lot of trouble.

I got so engrossed with reading the book that I never knew that I was reading aloud by then, louder than was allowed in any library. And it wasn’t just that: I was also using voices for every character in the story. Or at least I tried to give my voice personality befitting the parrot, the boy, and Old Septimus.

You know how sometimes you could feel that someone is looking at you from behind?

Someone was looking at me from behind. And it wasn’t just anyone. I would’ve been relieved if it was my mother or the librarian. Or even one of the school kids. But it was the principal herself. The sight of her immediately toned my voice down and decreased the voices I used. In short, I was shamed into silence.

Going home, I trailed behind Ma. Hiding was more like it. And we would’ve gone straight out hadn’t she been called. It was the principal. They had a talk. And I instantly knew I’d be in trouble.

When she came out of there, she asked me what I did in the library. So I told her that I was reading. Then she said that the principal saw me earlier. Since she didn’t know who I was, she asked the librarian, who told her.

And what did the principal tell my mother?

Never had she heard an enthusiastic reader. (Or something to that effect.)

Whatever it was, I’ve been glad all this time that it didn’t get me or my mother into trouble. If anything, that really made me love reading all the more.

The only bad part about in this story?

I have no idea what the title of that book was.

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