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.”
‘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.