Friday Fictioneers – The Librarian

Photo Prompt © Anshu Bhojnagarwala

In the silvered night, he steals down alleys, ferrying old books from the library to secret caches. The Pure are already calling beyond the walls. When they enter the city, they’ll root out heresy with a great bonfire and smashing of icons. Corpses will swing from the gates.

The librarian isn’t sure whether astronomical texts, and studies of verse are heretical. But he suspects they may be. He believes the invaders might find the land inventory useful. And this too he bears into hiding.

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

115 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – The Librarian

  1. Someone is doing his job really seriously.
    Those books are priceless & need safe-keeping.
    Glad he is preserving them & not allowing them to fall into wrong hands or end up in the bonfire…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You never know when a land inventory is going to come in useful again. I like a man who errs on the side of caution in desperate times. And this is undoubtedly a desperate time. Good one.


  3. I remember reading that the scrolls of the Library of Alexandria were used to kindle the Roman baths. Of course, there’s Bradbury’s work, and Orwell and Huxley. True and awful scenarios, but none of them foresaw cause we’re seeing now: the inability to focus long enough for reading. Well done.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. What a gloriously sardonic title for the invaders – The Pure! I love your librarian as action hero, saving what he can before the brutish and ignorant take over. Haven’t we met him before in another of your stories? He is a true hero, doing what he can, heedless of the consequences, to preserve what’s worth preserving. I fear he’ll pay a very high price.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Penny, especially for noticing “the Pure”. No I don’t believe I’ve written about a librarian before, but I did write one about a monk in a scriptorium. And yes, he’ll likely be crucified

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve only read the first book in the series a few months ago–got it from the library–it was engaging. I’ve enjoyed your little foray into ‘possible realities’ too!


  5. They always burn books, don’t they? He lives in horrible times but has kept his wit. I love it, especially the last line.


  6. Love the line “The librarian isn’t sure whether astronomical texts, and studies of verse are heretical. But he suspects they may be.”

    The purity of the librarian’s motives is evident. All knowledge in book form deserves saving.

    My favorite forbidden book is the one in Orwell’s 1984. It is the only one the hero is able to find, as I recall, in a land as replete with screens as our own.

    I look foward to the invitation–not to the bonfire, but to read the rest of the book. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reminds me of the Connery line in The Last Crusade. “Perhaps you should try reading books instead of burning them.” Or something close to that, it’s been a few years. Good read!

    Liked by 1 person

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