December 11, 2012 § 1 Comment
A Hall of Stories
In front of a cosy little window on a happy little street stood a little girl in a big red coat. She couldn’t have been older than seven. She was with her Mother. It was a week before Christmas and the girl couldn‘t wait.
In the window was an object. It wasn’t very big, and it looked old. The girl was too young to care about the past, but something about this object caught her attention. It was so…
‘What’s that Mummy?’ The girl asked.
And her Mother smiled.
‘If your very lucky, Santa might bring you one.’
‘But what is it Mummy?’
‘That darling, is a book.’
‘A book? That’s not what a book looks like.’
‘Well they used to do. You see, back when I was young…..’
The Mother thought about how much of a treat the young girl was in for as she prepared to tell her daughter a story. A true story, about days gone by, about a Palace, a Hall of Stories, where even the mundane was made magical. A Story about an ancient world in which these objects, these ‘Books’ were everywhere. Just pieces of paper full of words that seemed so small, but together, they made up worlds so much bigger. Worlds so very far away.
The Hall of Stories could take you anywhere. Anywhere in the universe, anywhere in history. Everywhere.
And then she’d tell her daughter the end of the story. How the stories started to disappear as the palace closed down. And then how the windows into these other worlds closed. And how, soon these ‘Books’ were replaced with something else.
And she’d tell her daughter about the memories of apprehensive fear at turning a page and seeing some dubious stain. And the simple joy that came with it. Because even though the stain might smell a bit funny, it meant someone else had been there too.
It meant you weren’t alone.
But before she could say any of this, her daughter interrupted her.
She said what any child would say when confronted with another ‘Back in my day’ speech.
‘That was the olden days Mummy. It doesn’t even light up.’
And the little girl marched away from her mother, along the happy little street,
And her Mother was left to remember how little the world had become.
And how big it once was.