There was once a bookworm that was cursed by an evil witch. The curse said that every book the bookworm would finish, would turn into a bird. The bookworm could not read the same book ever again. He was inconsolable because he loved a good book collection and now he could only settle with remembering the ones that he had read. He couldn’t read indoors. A huge picture of him was hanging behind any librarian near his house as a possible threat. After the incident with the flock of birds that filled his local library he was not welcomed in any library anymore.
How can he be so unlucky? The one thing he loved the most, causing so many bird problems all over town. He confronted his parents!
“What is going on? Why does this keep happening?” asked the bookworm.
“You were really young when the curse happened. You were enjoying your books so much in the playground. The witch was so angry because she wanted you to play with her kid or something” said the father.
“Yes, we weren’t expecting she could actually cast a spell on you. You know we don’t believe in these kinds of things” said the mother.
“What am I supposed to do? Never finish a book again? Stay always outdoors when reading? And what kind of birds are these? Am I hurting the ecosystem?” asked the bookworm with real terror in his eyes.
“I think we should pay a visit to this lady. She may mean well after all these years” said the mother.
“No” said the bookworm.”I have to go alone” said with determination.
His parents looked at each other and decided to be supportive but at the same time keep an eye so he doesn’t get hurt.
He decided to go after the witch. Learn why he was cursed and maybe try to reverse it.
He had a plan but he needed something first to complete it.
Before he went on his journey he made a stop at his local bookstore.
“Take any book you want! ” terrified, the bookseller told him. She was afraid the bookworm would start reading and fill the shop with birds!
“I just want as many short books as I can carry. Where can I find them?” said the bookworm.
“Short books? We do not categorize them according to size! Just look around and take everything you want!”said the bookshop owner.
“Are you serious?” said the bookworm ecstatic.
“Yes! Please don’t read them here! The last thing I would like to do is chase a flock of birds out of my shop! Just take them and leave” she said, scared to death.
“Thank you! Oh thank you! I will find a way to pay you back!” said the bookworm with gratitude as he was filling his backpack with short books.
The reason why
His plan was simple. He will use her own curse against her. He will try to sneak into her house and read as many of the short books as possible.
The house is going to be filled with birds, one book after the other, the witch will be forced to reverse the curse.
The house was far from the rest of the town but he found it. He could see light from the window so he guessed she was inside. He looked inside and there was a girl around his age trying to make dinner. He had never seen her before, not in school, not in the park. She was navigating inside the room a little funny. She touched everything like she couldn’t see. She couldn’t see.
He thought he should say hello.
He knocked and waited for her response.
“Who is it?” she said.
“I am Will. We met when we were young. I doubt if you remember,”said the bookworm. “Oh, I remember,” said the girl. “I am Amelia”.
“Is your mother here?” asked the bookworm.
“She went to buy some groceries. You can wait outside if you want” said Amelia.
“Ok” said the bookworm and started thinking how to put his plan in motion. He sat on the bench outside the door, took a book from his backpack and started reading. Once he finished a bird appeared but didn’t fly away. It sat outside the kitchen window and sang a song. A beautiful song that could translate all the emotions of the book. The bookworm was in tears. That was nothing he ever heard before.
“It is a songbird?” said the bookworm with both realization and astonishment.
“It’s a black bird, my mother told me. They come from time to time. They sang stories to me!” Amelia said.
The bookworm was speechless. He couldn’t believe what he heard. He was so absorbed with the curse he never imagined the birds would be something so wonderful.
Breaking the curse
His backpack fell from his shoulder beside the bench.
“What are you holding there?” Amelia said.
“There are just a bunch of short stories I brought with me,” the bookworm said. “I was supposed to read them to fill your house with birds!”
“Do what? Are you ok?” Amelia asked.
“Yes you know. The curse your mum cast on me. I haven’t been able to read in an inside room without filling it with a flock of birds” said the bookworm.
Amelia laughed so hard. And it was a sweet laugh you get when a friend reminds you of an old happy memory.
“You believe my mother is a witch?” said the girl.
“Well yeah! That is the reason why I am here” he said.
“Prove it!” said the girl while letting him in.
They both sat at the dining table. The bookworm took a book out of his backpack and read the story out loud. It was about a girl who fought the dragon who was keeping her captive and saved herself. While reading the last page, the bookworm was prepared for chaos. But no bird appeared.
“That is strange,” he said.
“Read another,” she told him.
He read a story about a boy who lived in a magical land and never wanted to grow up. In the last page he was bracing himself but still no bird in sight. And then he read another and then another.
“Maybe when you read them out loud you are ok,” Amelia said.
“I haven’t tried that before. I think I can live with that. But libraries are out of limits again for me” said the bookworm holding the books he read tight in his arms.
“But again that bird sang so beautifully! How can I stop doing that?” asked the bookworm.
“You don’t have to choose now!” Amelia said.
The girl’s mother sat and watched the two of them outside the window.
“Hey, sorry to bother you!” said Will’s father.
“Hello, we are Will’s parents,” said his mother.
“Hello there, I am Agatha. Amelia’s mum” she said.
All three of them stared at the scene inside the house.
“Well, you have some amazing matchmaking skills there” said the father to Agatha and was elbowed by Will’s mother.
“Would you like to come inside?” Agatha said. “We were about to eat dinner.”
“Of course,” said the mother.
And all of them had dinner and spent an evening listening the beautiful music of black birds hanging outside their window.