A MIRACLE CURE
By Mary Wright (me)
She sniffled. She coughed. Her head hurt. She heard on a knock on the door. Why couldn’t her body let her be in peace?
“Go away!” she croaked, pulling the blanket tighter around her on the bed.
“We’re going to the bookstore,” said her mother from the other side of the door. “Alice and I will be back later so-”
“You hate me.” She was going to be a frog forever – at least that’s how it felt like.
Her mother continued on without hearing her, “-Do you want us to bring anything back for you?”
She cleared her throat, and her nose stuffed up even more. With a sigh, she said, now nasally, “A miracle cure.”
“You’re going to be fine.”
“No. You’re going to the bookstore without me,” Maureen stated.
“Get some sleep,” her mother said.
“I’ll be dreaming about books.” She said with a huff, quickly grabbing a tissue from the almost-empty box beside her. “No, mom, wait! I need more tissues.”
“I’ll get more tissues,” her mother said, and she heard her mother’s footsteps walk away from her door.
She sighed, her eyes bleary. She was exhausted, but she knew she wouldn’t get to sleep easily.
And then, after whatever time it takes to accurately fully stare at every aspect of a wall, she found herself on a horse riding through the forest.
“To the bookstore!” a voice said, and then she heard the sound of a trumpet. The horse had done both of those things.
In dreamland, she didn’t question it. “Onward!” she announced, and the horse trotted on.
After a while, they came to a clearing, and ahead, there was a log cabin.
“Is that the bookstore?” she asked the horse.
“No. That is the store of e-readers.” the horse said, and Maureen shuddered.
“Let us leave this place,” she said worriedly, and the horse galloped faster.
Eventually, they made it to the real bookstore. Maureen sighed in relief. “Go find yourself some water to drink. I will be in there for a while,” she told the horse. She neighed and walked off just as Maureen was swinging open the grand door.
She smelled cinnamon and lavender, and she smiled. The bookshelves reached the ceiling, and from the air, the formation of the bookshelves themselves probably looked like the holes in a spatula – except there were many more bookshelves than six. More like ten sets of spatula holes.
It took her a minute to realize that she was lost in thought, and not concentrating on looking at the books. There were so many books. Her eyes shined in delight as she read book blurb after book blurb, and put them in the basket on her arm that magically, conveniently, apparently appeared out of nowhere. Muffled, she heard the sniffles of the cashier, and the customer at the counter cough once, then twice. With the sound of the tissue being pulled out of the box on the counter –
– She woke up. “Still sick,” she croaked, “And still sounding like a frog.”
“Hey Maureen,” said her mother from the other side of the door, “I got you more tissues.”
“Thanks,” she said, trying to keep the sarcasm from her voice, as her mother came in and put them on her night table.
“Have a good sleep?” her mother asked.
“I wasn’t sick in it.” Maureen replied, crossing her arms. “And there was a horse with a trumpet that could talk.”
“So. Better than awake.” her mother stated.
“Then rest some more,” her mother suggested.
This time, it didn’t take a lot to go back to sleep. She barely heard her mother close her door, as she entered the land of trumpeting, talking horses, and bookstores with shelves that hit the ceiling. Here, there was peace.