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Дарья Вешникина (FCE)

II место в конкурсе короткого рассказа

A Magic Book (Short story, 2011)

My name is Dasha. Half a year ago my life was not different from the life of an ordinary student. Like others, I went to university, studied English and French, and was not involved in anything mysterious. All this boring everyday routine was going on until a mysterious thing happened to me which completely changed my life.

One day in September after my classes I went to the book-shop to buy a popular bestseller in English. But, unfortunately, my favourite book-shop was closed, and I was walking along the street until I finally noticed an old book-shop. When I stepped inside, I got astonished. I felt as if I had entered a medieval tower. The very silence in here seemed to tingle with some secret magic. I was surrounded with old pictures and majestic statues. When I went forward, I saw a huge room encircled with books on oak shelves. In the corner of the room there was a writing-desk with a candlestick on it. At the desk an old man in a cloak was sitting and talking to himself. He looked odd and I got scared at first. I even wanted to run away, but something stopped me. I went on walking around the room watching interesting books. I was attracted by the section « Countries» and I started to look for a book there. The book «England. The History. » caught my eye. When I had come up to an old man to pay for it, he looked at me disapprovingly and gave me another book «Venice. The Beginning of Eras», saying that it would completely change my life. I did not believe it but took the book just because of a pure interest. I rushed up home to read it. When I came there, I shut away in my room, made myself comfortable in an armchair and opened the book.

At first I was enjoying the description of a magnificent palace. But then, something happened and I felt strangely, as though I had been somewhere else. I opened my eyes and I found myself surrounded by women in fancy dresses, men in dinner jackets and everyone was wearing a mask. I realized that I got to a masked ball and it happened in reality. I was standing in the centre of a hall surrounded by couples dancing a waltz. I saw a mirror and came up to it. I was reflected in it wearing a gorgeous dress of a pearl colour. I also saw that my face was covered with the mask, too. But I didn't look happy in it and I even wanted to take it off, but it was impossible as it was the part of a tradition. I couldn't bear it so I left the hall and ran to the gates. Afterwards, I realized that this mask reflected my sadness, which I had experienced for a long time. I opened the gate, took my mask off and came up to a fountain. I was looking at it stunningly and was dreaming. Suddenly, I saw a young man who was standing near me. He was also holding a mask in his hand and was smiling at me with a grin. We began to talk and he told me about himself. I realized that he was special and shared my interests, and I fell in love with him at the first sight.

He had already taken my hand, but suddenly everything began to disappear… I woke up in my room and I was all alone. Only my best friends Depression and Loneliness were around me. I realized that everything was just a dream. I put my book away and went to bed.

After a long night's sleep, I felt nearly back to normal .I went to university and started to forget about the dream. After my classes I went to the park. When I was wandering around it, a young man called me. I heard a familiar voice and turned around. It was him, the prince from my fairy tale. He took a look at me and suggested having a walk.

When we were leaving the park, I caught an eye of an old man, who was smiling at me. I recognized in him the man from the book-shop. He might be a magician... Now I know that miracles do happen; the most important thing is to believe in this.

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