Library Haven

Submitted into Contest #91 in response to: Set your story in a library, after hours.... view prompt

43 comments

Drama Fiction

         Saundra slowly went up the steps, hand on rail, until she came to a flat surface to take ten steps to come to the majestic doors. Doors with carvings of storylines so many loved to fall in love with many years ago. She is surprised the doors are still in place, but figures ill well comes to the ones who even think of removing them due to pictures now outlawed by ones who preached tolerance. Brings a slight smirk to her face as there is still a little bit of good in the world.

         Saundra fumbled through her coat pocket, producing a skeleton key upon taking her hand out. She then looked to her left, then to her right, and finally behind her. It’s a ritual that takes place, no longer necessary, but still done for her own good.

         The key is inserted into the lock. A twist to the left and the key goes even further in, then a twist to the right. Click! She pushes the door open and enters the place she calls heaven. The place to take you away to so many different worlds. A place to escape tyranny. A place to seek knowledge.

         “So much knowledge has been lost due to lack of teaching to future generations,” she says. “So many fooled and the piper has come.”

         Saundra closes the door behind her which automatically locks. She reaches out with her right arm and with a twist of a knob there is light in the room. The light doesn’t cover all areas, leaving it in darkness. No need for light in many areas of this library. A once vibrant environment in now dead silent and empty. Only the sound of her movements. Just the slightest movement sounds like a giant moving about.

         “The countless voices are gone,” she whispered. “Would the ones left know what to do in this building?”

         There is always a light, no matter how dim. There is always hope no matter how hopeless.

         “Maybe one day it will be vibrant once again.”

         Saundra looked around at the shelves, seeing that so many were empty. So few books remaining, so many taken away.

         It seemed like years ago when they came in as she sat at the front desk reading one of her favorite books. Only a couple of others were also in the building at the time. The usual amount for the poison spoken out to the masses had already taken effect to the majority.

         The leader stepped up to her desk. His pristine uniform and smug look on his face.

         “How can I help you, sir?” she asked him, knowing her world was about to change.

         “Today we will rummage through this library and remove all material that contains questionable views.”

         “Your views.”

         ‘Views of the state,” he said, raising his voice. “Views against the state shall not be tolerated.”

         “Does that mean all views?”

         The leader glared at her then turned to his minions and barked out his orders to them. They immediately started going through the books.

         “If you weren’t so old we would send you to be re-programmed,” the leader said turning back to Saundra.

         “I will be good,” she responded in a mocking voice. “I will be obedient.”

         The glare returned then he went to task taking her library away. Book after book hit the floor.

         “Nothing questionable will remain,” the leader said.

         The piles rose until shelves were empty or contained a book or two. The outlawed books were thrown into bag after bag. Then one by one the minions left with the bags until the leader was left.  Saundra wouldn’t dare look at what would be done with those precious books. 

         “I will visit again to see if any books return to the shelves that should not belong,” he told her. “If so, we will escort you out.”

         “I shall behave.”

         The famous glare and exit from the building.

         Saundra could remember the day crystal clear after so much time has gone by. How many years ago? She lost track, and it didn’t matter anymore.

         She shuffled across the room to her desk. She thought of sitting down, but decided not to. Instead, she went to the west side of the building to one of the bookshelves. She reached behind the bookshelf until she found the switch and flipped it. The bookshelf beside the one she stood in front of slid open. She flipped another switch next to the shelves and the room went back into darkness. Then Saundra went to the opening behind the sliding bookshelf where there was a short passageway before it went down some steps. A faint light showed her the way as she entered, and another switch closed the entrance into the passageway. She went down the narrow way and down the steps. At the bottom another short passageway, curve to the right, and ten steps before entering a room with more bookshelves. Shelves crammed with books. There were also a couple of other rooms. One a washroom and small kitchen, and the other a bedroom.

         “How many nights have I stayed here?” she pondered. “How many people have stayed down here?”

         Not long after the library was stripped, people started to show up on what Saundra figured had to be some unknown, positive Force, and confide in her of their revolt against the system. They wanted their rights, and now they had practically nothing. They needed a place to hide for the time being, and eventually escape to some unknown land that still gave you a certain amount of rights. Many came and departed in the middle of the night. She prayed they succeeded for they all deserved a better life than what this society had become.

         Saundra went to the shelf and grabbed one of her favorite books, ‘Gone with the Wind.’ Such a great read of a history long gone. History to remember to teach the reader right and wrong that took place at that time. History no longer taught. Everything is revised to produce the ignorant.

         “Not this woman,” muttered Saundra as she sat in her chair. “I will always know my history, and the rights of humanity.”

         She opened the cover, and turned the pages until the reading began. Taking her to another world at a different time.

April 29, 2021 18:16

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43 comments

Nyx ⛥
17:44 May 19, 2021

Hello! I love your profile pic! I'm a sucker for floating islands.

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Corey Melin
17:52 May 19, 2021

So many days I would love to be on that island, mainly by myself to get away from all the craziness of society.

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Nyx ⛥
17:55 May 19, 2021

Same, just escape the pressers of life.

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J. Storbakken
21:51 May 17, 2021

Library theme, mythic rhythms, dig the story, the characters, the voices, the book's books. Bee's knees, here. Righto.

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Corey Melin
22:10 May 17, 2021

Thank you for the comments!

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Ryan Lm Colli
14:21 May 11, 2021

Great story: Pls join this link... https://www.guilded.gg/i/6pR8goy2

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Corey Melin
17:26 May 11, 2021

Thank you for the comments!

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23:06 May 05, 2021

great story loved it!

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Corey Melin
00:16 May 06, 2021

Thank you for the comments!

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Olivia Dutton
13:15 May 04, 2021

thank you for writing this is what I need this morning

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Corey Melin
20:28 May 04, 2021

Good to hear!

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Olivia Dutton
13:20 May 05, 2021

how many words did you write and how did you do that

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Corey Melin
00:20 May 06, 2021

The funny thing is I write out my stories then type them up. Showed I was short in Word so added then copy and paste to Reedsy. Got an error that it was under 1k. Huh?? So added more and off it went

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Olivia Dutton
14:01 May 06, 2021

that's cool so you used 1000 words

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Corey Melin
17:32 May 06, 2021

I believe this came out to 1030. Life has been crazy so I tend to keep my stories short just so I can get one or two out. Many times I don't have time to even write one in a week.

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Robert Consiglio
03:38 May 04, 2021

This story defends freedom of speech and expression. I Like your take on "Gone With the Wind". Political correctness has ruined us. I have some things I don't like about Gone With the Wind, but it's still a classic story from a different perspective. I still love the last line of the movie : "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!" Classic. Anyways, I like the theme and tone of this story. A library should be a sanctuary for classic works and they should be protected from narrow minded social activists or state censorship like we saw i...

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Corey Melin
03:44 May 04, 2021

Thank you for the comments! History teaches the rights and wrongs of humanity. Always good to remember but there are ones who would love all to be ignorant. Some would say they are doing a fine job.

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Rheo Graham
03:06 May 04, 2021

I like your take on the writing prompt 🙂 Dystopian worlds can be great to explore!

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Corey Melin
03:24 May 04, 2021

Thank you for the comments!

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Taylah G
02:55 May 04, 2021

Gorgeous story. Kept me thinking! If you've got spare time, I've got 'Hungry Librarian' that I've written that I hope you can give feedback for.

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Katharine Johns
23:18 May 03, 2021

Your story has a haunting and unique approach! Not just after-hours of a typical business day, but also when days like that seem to be a thing of the past that people are (still) fighting for. It was officially haunting when "the state" came into the picture.

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Corey Melin
03:04 May 04, 2021

Thank you for the comments! The hope is that we don’t see such a thing

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The Cold Ice
08:46 May 03, 2021

Wonderful story. I thinked You was left. But you came back. Keep writing. It sets nice to the prompt. Wonderfully written. Amazing job. Would you mind reading my recent story. “The book reader””thanks”?

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22:28 May 02, 2021

I liked this: History to remember to teach the reader right and wrong that took place at that time. History no longer taught. Everything is revised to produce the ignorant.

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Corey Melin
23:24 May 02, 2021

Thank you for the comments! History repeats over and over.

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Kristin Neubauer
18:49 May 01, 2021

I like this Corey - what I really liked is how you imbued the story with this sense of steeliness, inflexibility, and threat.....but despite all of that, we are left with the feeling that Saundra will not break. That somehow, in some way, she will triumph. And you did that with such subtlety. I mean, you didn't hit us over the head with anything, but the way you wrote raised all those suggestions and feelings. That's an art for sure. Great job!

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Corey Melin
01:09 May 02, 2021

Greatly appreciate your feedback. There will always be ones like Saundra throughout time

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Alex Auclair
15:28 Apr 30, 2021

Great story! It's sad because of how true this can be in some places, but I really liked how there was hope at the end. I think if you started the story with the interaction between the police and Saundra to create tension right at the beginning it would have drawn me in right away. I like how Saundra was a voice of resistance and it really made me root for her and want to know more. Really well done!

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Corey Melin
01:34 May 02, 2021

Thank you for your feedback!

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Rachel Smith
06:25 Apr 30, 2021

Hi Corey, this was a good story. It's tragic that this happens and I think you painted a vivid picture of the library and Saundra's personality. My only critique would be the police officers dialogue,"Today we will rummage through this library and remove all material that contains questionable views". This didn't sound quite right to me. Too polite and I don't think he would say "rummage" which is quite informal. Still a good story though, I liked it 👍

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Corey Melin
14:00 Apr 30, 2021

Thank you for the comments and maybe today I will look at dialogue to see about changing it up

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Aisa M
06:04 Apr 30, 2021

Oh, I like Saundra! No one can bring her down. I enjoyed reading this. Just small feedback about the tenses, I think there are some shifts to the present tense.

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Corey Melin
14:01 Apr 30, 2021

Thank you for the comments!

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Arwen Dove
04:43 Apr 30, 2021

This is amazing!

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Corey Melin
14:02 Apr 30, 2021

Thank you!

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Arwen Dove
21:37 Apr 30, 2021

:)

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Kelly Dennison
18:40 Apr 29, 2021

Ugh, can you imagine?? Nicely done! Her haven, for sure...

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Corey Melin
19:34 Apr 29, 2021

Story in fiction, but how close to reality? Or I should say has been reality? Thank you!

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Sue Marsh
19:22 Apr 29, 2021

great story

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Corey Melin
19:36 Apr 29, 2021

Thank you!

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