Eating Clouds

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Chapter 3: Doing Magic

Chapter 3: Doing magic

On a particular day, Ozzy was reading the dark blue book in the special chair in the special place, when the shop owner bumped into the ladder the little boy had left in front of the shelves so carefully. The books the old man was holding all fell around him on the ground with loud thuds, calling Ozzy back from his trance, back to the special chair for grown-ups. A little confused he blinked his big eyes and looked around. The safe surroundings and the smell of old paper seemed strange in his eyes, as if he had to get used to it all over again.

“Damn it…” The grumbling voice cursed the world and everything on it while the shop owner entered the special chamber, where Ozzy quickly closed the book. When the old man eyed the boy a few wrinkles appeared in his forehead and his mouth turned in a downward line. Ozzy smiled innocently, but the old fart didn’t buy it.

“So this is where you where, you brat!” the shop owner said, still grumbling. He took a few steps towards the reading table, with a furious expression on his face. He squinted his brown eyes, but Ozzy only had eyes for the weird moustache of the man. It was grey and every time old man Gerald spoke it moved around like a weird hairy worm. Gerald’s eyebrows were also weird, because they looked like his moustache a lot. Two hairy moustaches above his eyes. Gerald had three moustaches in his face.

The old man crossed his arms, trying to look dangerous and mad, but as soon as he noticed Ozzy wasn’t paying attention at all he dropped the act. “My eyes are over here, worm!”

The little boy looked away from the moustache, and frowned. “How do moustaches grow?”

Gerald raised one of his upper moustaches. “I honestly don’t really concern myself with such knowledge, but I’ve got a feeling there’s a book about it somewhere in the store.”

“Why are eyebrows called ‘eyebrows?” the boy asked then.

“Someone came up with that, and other people just went along with it, like they do with so many things, but also because no one else had thought of a word for it.”

“But why…eyebrows?”

“Because it’s above your ‘eye’. The ‘brow’ part is something to think about, but like I said; there probably exists a book about this subject.”

“But that doesn’t make any sense” Ozzy objected, while rubbing his own eyebrows with his fingers. “Eyebrows? Eyebrows, eyebrows…”

The shop owner sighed. “Well, what would you call it then, genius?”

“Simple” the little boy answered, straightening his back. “Eye moustaches, of course.”

“Eye…moustaches?” Gerald repeated.

Ozzy nodded. “It makes sense, other than that other name.”

The old man scratched the back of his neck, not knowing if the kid was intelligent or just plain stupid. Keeping the age of the boy in mind Gerald could manage to keep himself from smiling, and nodded in agreement. “Yeah, makes sense.”

The boy nodded again, and then shoved the book he was reading under his arm and jumped off the chair.

“I think I have to write a letter to person who makes dictionaries, because there’s mistake.”

The shop owner chuckled. “Ambitious, as always.

Ozzy left the special room to return his book, while the shop owner stayed behind. He glanced at the reading table, just to make sure the ink pot was still in place. With a smile he turned off the reading lamp, and carefully awed the table. Then he left and followed the boy back to the store.

His eyes locked at the book the boy was holding and read the almost faded title, which made him frown.

“Boy, oh boy” he mumbled. “Where did you find this, then?”

Ozzy halted in front of the shelve he had found the book, and shrugged.

“It was up there somewhere. Why, exactly? It’s a fun book. Fun books should be put on a lower shelf, for me to reach.”

The boy held out the book to the old man, who stared at the dark blue cover and asked himself why he hadn’t put this even lower in the book case.

“How much have you read of it?” he asked. The little boy grabbed the ladder from the ground, or at least, he attempted to. With a little help of the old man he managed to put it up against the bookshelf without him being crushed by it.

“I’m not sure. Some parts were boring, so I skipped those. Did you know it has pictures? At first I didn’t think so, but it’s true!”

Gerald investigated the book from all perspectives and carefully touched the golden letters on the side. It was barely recognizable, but he could tell the contents not supposed to be read by kids, pictures or not. He quickly read a few pages, and then shook his head.

Ozzy climbed up the first few steps of the ladder, but paused when he saw the face the old fart was making.

“Is there something wrong?” he asked confused. Gerald realized he must’ve looked rather unpleasant in the eyes of the boy. Ozzy didn’t care whether Gerald was mad at him or not, but when the old man looked concerned over something , it scared him.

Gerald forced himself to smile, and put away the book nonchalantly on top of one of the many piles around him. “Nothing you should worry about. By the way, isn’t it about time you go home? You won’t get any lunch from me.”

The little boy shook his head, and proudly placed his hands on his hips, still standing on the ladder. “No. I’m not going home. I’m going somewhere else.”

The old man sighed. The brat always talked in riddles, said things that made the other person in the conversation ask questions till he discovered what the kid was talking about. “Where, if I may ask?”

Ozzy pointed at the book the old man had put away. “According to the book I have to go to the forest.”

The old man glanced annoyed at the book. “To the forest, at this hour? Don’t you feel hungry, then?”

The boy shrugged. “I’ll find something to eat. I just have to leave as soon as possible, because I have to search for something and it has to happen today.”

Yet again the old man wished he had put away the book more careful. Kids like Ozzy thought everything that was written was supposed to be true. Thanks to this book he’d come up with all kinds of strange ideas. “What are you looking for, if I may ask?”

“Magic.”

And there it was. Gerald chuckled to himself and patted Ozzy on the head. “Is that what this book’s about? Where to find magic?”

The boy nodded happily. “I have to find the little elves first, because they do magic.”

Do magic?” the old man asked with a laughter. “Boy, I think men use magic, not do it.”

“Doesn’t matter, I wanna do magic” Ozzy quickly said, and Gerald rolled his eyes. “I’ll ask the little elves if they can teach me and then I’ll become a wizard and then I can do magic.”

Gerald nodded, still laughing. “Yeah, I can see that. But what are you going to do once you can use magic?”

Above Ozzy’s eyes a deep frown appeared and he thought about it for a time. “I’m not sure, but it’s probably something fun. Maybe I’ll magic you a new store, because this one’s dirty.”

“Beg your pardon?”

“And a new ladder, and a new secret reading chair.” Suddenly, the boy gasped, as if the best idea ever just came to his mind. “I’ll magic a moustache”

Gerald let out the greatest laughter in ages and had to grab the table behind him to prevent himself from falling to the ground. “Delusional ideas, that’s what they are.”

“How would you know?” Ozzy asked, crossing his arms sceptically. “All you do all day is hang around pretending to help customers and read books yourself.”

“Those are the things a working man like me does.” The old man wiped a tear out of the corner of his eye and chuckled again. “When you grow up you’ll become just like me.”

“No way, I’ll become a wizard, didn’t you hear me?”

The old man smiled warmly. “Oh, right. I forgot. Then please ‘magic’ a lot of smart people who like to read, then my nothingness will have had some good influence.

“Don’t you want to come along?” the little boy asked, and the old man smelled hope in the young voice.

“What? No. What would the little elves want with someone like me? And besides; it might be good for you to hang around kids your age instead of an middle aged man and a bag of dust.”

“Middle aged? I’d say ancient.”

“B-beg your pardon?!”

“Bye!” Then he had disappeared. Giggly the little boy ran between the piles of books, jumped over them and around. The bell above the door sounded before he closed it with a swing.

“Farewell!” he shouted, just like all the adventurers from the books. Gerald shook his head while chuckling, rubbing his balding skull, still thinking about the foolish ideas of that kid, with his ‘doing magic’.


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