If books could talk… by Mia Crewe
13-15 yo Catherine Martin Literary Highly Commended 2019
This story begins in a dark, musty corner. I hadn’t seen the light for many years. It was just as I was thinking about the story inside of me when I was blinded by a piercing light. An old man coughed and reached towards me. He pulled out the box I was in and blew a mighty breath all over me and my friends. Dust flew everywhere, swirling and spiralling in the light. He began pulling us one by one, out of our box, examining us and then placing us into neat piles. When he came to me, his old wrinkly eyes brightened up and he began flicking through my pages giving an occasional chuckle at the words inside of me. Finally, I was placed on a desk and I got a good view of the room I was in. The walls were lined with other books and The man sat next to me at the desk.
Just when I had finished carefully examining the room, a teenage girl walked in. She was talking to the old man when she saw me on the desk.
‘What’s this Grandpa?’ she asked.
‘An Australian Girl, by Catherine Martin.’ he replied.
She picked me up and she began talking about me with the old man. He told her my story and the girl listened attentively smiling and nodding as her eager eyes ran over the lines and lines of my pages.
She hugged the man goodbye and ran out of the room, me under her arm.
The girl took me home and opening my covers and began pouring through my pages, immersed in my story.
One day, she put me into a backpack and got into her car. We drove for many hours and many days and I saw places in my story in real life. We travelled around, visiting forests, beaches and deserts. She often took me from the bag and read me and I got a good view of the scenery. A day came where she was on my final page. I watched as her eyes darted eagerly back and forth. She was sitting under a tree, leaning back against its broad trunk. She closed over the back cover and looked out over the mountains she could see from where her car was parked. She hugged me tight to her chest and placed me at the bottom of her bag.
When she arrived back at her house after so much travelling she put me on her bedside table. And there I sat, on her bedside table, watching her grow, from a teenager to a young adult to a woman. One day she began packing. Putting all of her things into boxes and taping them shut. When almost everything was packed away, she sat on her bed, a sad look on her face and she picked me up. She blew off the dust on my cover, opened me up and began to read. We sat there all night together. It wasn’t until early the next morning when the magpies began to sing and the sun began to peak over the horizon that she finally turned over the last page, rubbed her eyes and after smiling fondly, placed me in a box of my own. It was very dark in that box. I sat, for many years, the dust gathering and the words on my pages getting lonelier with every passing day. Many times I thought that the girl had left me forever and I would never see her smile again.
But one day, my box was opened and a bright light shined all over me for the first time in many years. A woman reached down and picked me up. I didn’t know who it was but she handed me to a girl. For a moment I thought it was her, for she had the same long wavy hair and blue eyes. But no it wasn’t. I looked back at the woman and it was when she smiled down at me that I realised who it was. She was all grown up now, with a daughter of her own. And I was happy, for she was the best owner I had ever had.
‘This book has travelled a long way.’ She told the girl.
I was read many, many times from then on and I realised that even though I had felt lonely for many years, I would always have her and her daughter and maybe one day her granddaughter to flip through my pages, falling in love with my story more and more with every word. If only books could talk, imagine the stories they would tell…