A terrible thing happened the other day... and I'm not really sure I am able to talk about it with you, as it was such a traumatizing experience. But I will try.
See, I was at the library. Innocently, I was gathering books for the coming week. Hours later, I innocently went up to the checkout counter and piled my 21 books (barcode up, you're welcome, librarian) on the wood surface. 20 beeps later, and I was almost home free.
Then something happened that, at the time, I didn't notice as being strange. But now I realize how naive this was, for of course it sticks it out now! You see, now I recall the event and in recalling the event I remember the librarian's appearance. Gnarled, wrinkled hands with lengthy fingernails the ends of which were tinged green. A gray bun in the centre of her head framed perfectly by wispy gray hairs. A hooked nose, a mole, beady eyes... and a suspicious smell.
At the time, I dismissed her slightly odd appearance but now I wished I would have been more alert (oh, what the excitement of 21 new books to read can do...)
The strange librarian scanned my last book, and then did a strange tapping pattern on the cover before sliding it over to me. The next part gives me shivers - she grabbed a bookmark from beneath her desk and tucked in this last book. After closing the cover, she gave it one last tap and grinned at me, revealing yellowed teeth. "Enjoy," she said in a decidedly sickeningly sweet voice that was flavoured with cackle.
Strange things were happening - and this was only the beginning.
I went home with my bags weighed down with lovely blocks of words, eager to dig in. When I got home I was for some reason drawn to that last book, the one the librarian had tapped and slipped a bookmark into. I opened it.
And soon found I could not let go. My eyes devoured the pages and my heart pounded and I could feel the drip of sweat on my forehead. What was happening to me?
Despite my efforts to not read this book all of the time, I could not stop. I spent all of my time in this book. It was a lengthy book, too, and I began to realize everything was disappearing around me: my family, my friends, my life outside of the fictional realm. My social life was disappearing along with my health - now in addition to increased pulse and sweating, my head hurt and my eyes drooped.
At one o'clock A.M. that night (morning, I guess) I realized I had been talking to the book. I had been yelling at the characters, warning them of what I thought was ahead, and crying with them when they were hurt. I was talking to fictional characters! Yet at the time I thought, I knew they were real.
My mind, my health, my family, my friends... all gone. What was going on?
That's when I remembered... the strange gray-haired, hooked-nose librarian. The tapping. The bookmark. The sickly sweet "Enjoy" accompanied by a yellow-toothed grin.
It was five-thirty in the morning. I was on page 254 of many more. I gasped.
A witch! A curse! The tapping... obviously some sort of code to unlock a crazy spell. The bookmark... obviously injected with some sort of witchy potion. I had been cursed!
Yet I could do nothing to stop it... the only thing I could think of was to finish the book.
I holed up in my room for the next two days, not wanting anyone to know I had fallen for any librarian's harebrained tricks. I read and read and read, and my vision began to swim but I kept on.
On the third day, I finished the book. I closed the cover with a smack and immediately felt a sigh on my lips and a weight lift off my chest. I knew the curse had run its course. Although I could still feel some remnants of the curse as I felt a twinge of sadness that I had finished the book...
And maybe I am still cursed after all... for I still have a longing to return to that wretched place, the library, that caused me to be cursed in the first place....
**This entire post is fictional, although I may have been "cursed" by a good book a few times... also, librarians, my description of you is for the purpose of the story. None of you that I've seen ever look like that... :) What books have you been "cursed" by??