"I'm telling you, you'll want me to do the reading this afternoon,"
"Why?" The other voice on the end of the phone was daunting, teasing almost
"Just trust me,"
"If you say so," the line went dead. Bear hung up and looked around his office. His newly published book was lying on the desk, half-read. A bookmark with paw prints lined the side of it. A gift, from his mother. She had proclaimed that he'd done something worthy. Finally. When his book had been published people had raved about it. Now he had been asked to do a reading. Of his book. He was beyond excited. No one had ever asked him to before. His mother had never expected anything of him. Being a single mum and only child was hard. He often found ways to entertain himself. Ways that didn't involve interrupting his mum. She was very strict about her working hours. He had often ventured off into fantasy worlds and gotten lost in his imagination. He had thought it was just something he could do. Just his imagination running wild with him. But suddenly, he had found himself being publicized for the wrong reasons. People all over had wanted him to read to them. They had wanted him to read for a reason. he made the character's worlds' come to life. Magic would fly around him and people would love it. But it became too much. He'd gone into hiding, protesting that his power had gone all of a sudden. Surprisingly, people had believed it. now he was a small bookshop owner who had published his first book. A fairytale. They were his best retellings. He would write it in his own way. From his own perspective. It was called, A Tale Of Two Foes. He was very proud of it. He just hoped that people would see it in the same way he did. He didn't want to be something that was sold or bought. He wanted to be a person with value. Reluctantly, Bear dressed in his best suit and headed into the town. There, he would read his story. To a hopefully, willing audience.
Bear arrived at the town shortly. It was not far. He had departed with good intentions in mind and had not stopped to think how the people would react to him being the reader. He arrived and opened the door to the library. People were squirming in their seats. He was a couple of minutes late. People feared he had 'wandered off,' as they put it, into another world. Sighs of relief echoed through the room as he walked in. The silence was deafening.
"Hi, I'm Barnold-"
"We know who you are," An old lady piped up. She was relatively near the front and Bear feared what she would do if she was presumptuous.
"Get on with the reading son," He assumed it was the lady's partner speaking, although Bear could not see their face, the voice sounded feminine so he assumed that it was none of his business and thought about it no more. Bear shrugged it off and walked to the front. You could hear a pin drop the silence was so great. Bear sat down on a chair near the front. It creaked as he sat down and he winced.
He opened his book to the first page, his fingers trembling. This was harder for him than it had ever been. He hadn't used his talent on so many people before. Not in one go. He started to read nonetheless.
"This story starts in a small woodland cottage, where birds fly and cockerels crow," The library space around them opened up into the scene. You could hear a brook running and a bird squawking. Bear gulped but kept going.
"One day, a farmer came out to water his crops," A farmer materialised before them. His story was a fairytale, which meant that it followed the rules of any fairy tale. It had a message. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. The message was simple but effective. His story followed two farmers that were rivals, then a new guy entered the town. A cheater. They had to team up with each other in order to get rid of him. In the end, they became good friends. Fairytales were Bear’s most famous readings. He had a way with the words. If the wind blew in the book it would blow in the scene. Everything was so lifelike and fairytales were so well known. It was almost fate that he had written one himself. Bear felt his hands start to calm down as he continued reading. The readers and listeners were in awe. They fell in love with his book, with his voice. everything about it was perfect. Bear shut the book and immediately, the scene vanished into thin air. Gasps went around the room. Bear stood amongst it all, pleased with himself. No one was taking photos or videoing anything. He heaved a huge sigh of relief that he hadn't realise he had been holding and turned to the audience.
"How do you do that?"
"A trick of the light?"
"A magic trick?"
"It's not real, magic doesn't exist,"
"It doesn't?" A small girl asked
Bear felt sorry for her, these adults were running it for her. They were ruining her experience,
"Of course it's magic, and of course it's real, if you don't believe me, let me take you into another book," Bear grasped a book to the side of him. The most dangerous fairytale of all. Hansel and Gretel. Bear started reading before anyone could stop him. He would show them, he would show them all. This was for all those people who pushed him. Everyone who hated on him for being gay. Everyone who didn’t want a single thing to do with him. This was for himself. And no one else. They didn’t want to believe in magic, that was up to them. But if they still didn’t believe it after this, then they would have to be so dense that they could run into a brick wall and it wouldn’t hit them.