Sing, Gracious Book | Daily Prompt: Mad Libs

Turn to your co-workers, kids, Facebook friends, family — whoever — and ask them to suggest an article, an adjective, and a verb. There’s your post title! Now write.

(Before I asked my mother, I was confused which kind of article: grammar or actual item. So to be safe, I asked four: article (grammar): a, article (item): book, adjective: gracious, and verb: sing. Item made more sense than grammar. By the way, it’s not stated that the words should be in the order they were asked for in the DP. So it could be put into whichever order I wish! And one more thing: this is not edited.)

——-

Once upon a time, books could talk.

While they did not have bodies like plants, animals, or humans, they had faces. Each book’s face had eyes, lips, tongue, teeth, ears, and every part that you usually found in other humans. Humans already knew how to read then—but the things they read are things that did not have faces and voices, like scrolls and parchment posters and loose pages and paper.

Books were more special then. Even before you could open them, they could already tell you what they have written inside of them. And, if you wanted, they could tell you what it is themselves.

Do you know what they sounded like?

Some say they sounded like the clear water of a tiny brook or the mighty roar of the king of the beasts. Others would say that books sounded like a summer wind passing thru a flying flock the crash of the huge waves on the rocks.

Each book could tell you a story, give you advice, sweep you with a poem, stun you with a speech, or make you laugh with a joke. But, even with their many beautiful and varied voices, there was one thing not one of them could do. No one among them could sing.

——-

While there were many books, not everyone could enjoy their company because of the lack of money.

One such person, Vitaly, approached a book store. He marveled at the noise the books—very new books!—made. At every direction, there was a story, a speech, a poem, a joke, and many other things. But Vitaly could not listen to them for long because the owner would see him and send him out. The owner was sure Vitaly would never but for he looked like he had no money at all.

So Vitaly sneaked into the library, the noisiest place known to man.

No market, arena, or tavern could be as loud or as noisy as the library. A library held more books than everyone else in the country had. And Vitaly loved whatever he heard there! But, alas, he would be sent away from there too. He had no money to get a library card so he could not borrow any book.

Vitaly would just content himself with just standing outside of the library, listening to the voices of the books. And he would listen to them, every day and every night.

——-

Vitaly awoke, thinking he overslept for it was already so bright and hot outside.

When he got to the streets, he saw the marker, the tavern, the arena, and the houses. People were running everywhere. It was chaos. There were so many cries. So many voices. And some of them belonged to the books trapped in the library.

He raced for the burning building. But it was too late.

——-

When morning came, it was quiet.

Vitaly picked through the rubble. Nothing but ashes. Nothing but silence. Only the charred remains of the books were to be seen in any direction.

Once again, like he used to—before the fire—Vitaly stood just by door, listening to the books. He strained, imagining the ghosts chanting in the wind. His imagination was so wild and vivid, he believed that he could really hear a book in the debris. He stood for a while and began convincing himself that was a book talking.

There was a book talking!

——-

Vitaly now had a book. But it was a book no one wanted.

The book store did not want it. It was old and dirty. The library did not want it. It was burned beyond recognition. It no longer had a face. And it had begun to fall apart.

——-

Vitaly tried to fix the book as much as he could. But he could only do so much.

So he wrapped it a blanket, like an infant. It looked poor and pitiful. So Vitaly sang to it. Every night, he sang to it. He would delicately open the book and flip the pages while he sang. He would look from the first page to the last. And then he would fearfully close it, while tears formed in his eyes.

He could not read any of the words and the book had been silent since he took it from the library. But that did not matter to Vitaly. He now had a book.

——-

In his dreams, Vitaly was able to read. And he read so many books! He listened and learned their stories, advice, poems, speeches, and jokes. And in every dream, he would wake up singing, singing for the joy of reading.

But all that happened only when he slept.

——-

Vitaly’s house was taken from him. He no longer had a home.

But what made him sadder was they took all that belonged to him, including his book. Even when he said that the book is his, they never gave it back.

They took it to the library. And he knew he may never see it again.

——-

Vitaly sneaked into the library. Or he thought it was the library he sneaked into.

There were still books, many beautiful and varied books. But each one of them was faceless. And each was quiet.

He could not believe that these things were real books.

So, Vitaly tore through every shelf looking for his book but he could not find it. The librarians tried to stop him. But they couldn’t. The soldiers came and tried. They too could not. Only when he had gone through the last shelf did he stop. He could not find his book.

And they took him away.

——-

No prison could keep him or keep him quiet. So Vitaly had to be sent far away.

To go out of the country, they passed by the library. He was sure he would never see the building again, much less his book. He began to sing.

And as Vitaly sang, he could hear voices singing along with him. Not only could he hear the words, he could see them now. And not just his words but everyone else’s.

Vitaly continued singing. But he could see that no one was singing with him. No one from the streets or the houses or the market or the arena or the tavern. The only voice that was singing with him was coming from the library.

 

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