The Book Saver
by Victoria Lynn
The book was like a lone broken survivor after an explosion. Its brittle pages ruffled in the soft wind that blew through the broken window. Gordon carefully lifted the brick from atop it and picked it up with gentle fingers. He blew the layer of dust that covered its printed pages. He thumbed to the beginning. The Scarlet Pimpernel. It was beautiful.
Gordon tucked it into his satchel for safe keeping. He started at a noise outside and brought a hand to his cap, which he pulled lower over his eyes. If he were caught, they might kill him as they had his father. It was a dark world.
Those in power had taken away everything that was precious, instead giving the people technology that the government had developed. Books were banned, tossed aside, and even burned. He had become their protector, their rescuer. He alone, saw the importance of the books. Of the treasure they held.
A shout from outside the bombed shell of a library shattered his thoughts. He slipped beneath a fallen shelf and crawled towards safety. The voices grew louder, closer. His hand brushed something and he paused in his flight to look. Another book. Two in one day! They were so scarce, he couldn’t help but feel surprised. He picked it up in a hurry and shoved it into the satchel as he escaped.
When he opened the door to their apartment, his mother appeared, hugging his neck and brushing the dust from his coat. She did that every night. Always worried sick that he would not return. He clung to the satchel when she tried to take it with his coat.
Her eyes burned into his. “You found another one didn’t you?”
“Do you know what they will do to you if they find them? If they know what you do? I don’t want to lose you like-“ A sob tore off the rest of her sentence and her face crumpled.
He gathered her into his arms.
“We may not need to worry anymore. Tonight is the summit. Tonight, I will show them.”
She looked up. Fear etched in every wrinkle of her face.
“What if it doesn’t work?”
“Then I will have tried.” He held his head high. Ready to be a martyr if need be.
She gulped, appearing to wrestle with her demons of fear. She smiled softly and caressed his face with her hand. “You are just like your father. A dreamer. No matter how they tried, they could not take it from him. And they can’t take it from you.”
That night, he looked around him at all the people who stood in perfect order upon the square. Their faces hollow and their eyes vacant. They had had everything stripped away. It was a ploy of the government. The technology they had created brainwashed the people. Took away their dreams, opinions, and originality. They had developed a nation of blind followers. But tonight, if his plan worked, that would all change.
The President droned on and on. But Gordon couldn’t focus on what his leader said. Only on the task ahead. Before he knew it, it was time.
He stood upon the fountain and pulled a leather bound volume from his pocket. He began to read; out loud. Heads began to turn. “In Freedom Christ has made us free. Stand fast then, do not be ensnared or submit again to the yoke of slavery” The eyes of the people, a moment ago empty, filled with hope and life. Ignoring the soldiers who pushed their way through the crowd towards him, Gordon continued on.
“You are free! Why then do you submit to this bondage?! We must take back our freedom from those who would take it from us! These, they hold the keys to who we are!” He raised the book in the air for all to see. “This book more than the others. But books hold our history, our culture. They represent our dignity! Will you allow the oppressors to take that away from us?!”
A roar of assent greeted his ears and he looked around in wonder at the people who had come alive at his words. They had been pulled out of their trance. Some grabbed the soldiers and held them back, others took the president. The stood transfixed, ready to listen to Gordon.
“We must destroy the technology they have created. It is what holds us in captivity!” A shout rose from the throats of the mighty throng. They would not be silenced. Freedom had come.
I wrote this last February for a short story contest. Needless to say, I didn’t win or you would have heard about it, but this story has a special place in my heart. It was inspired by the picture above and has a dystopian/modern feel to it. The importance of books goes way beyond what most of us realize with how important they are to our society as a whole as well as to us as individuals. And above all, THE Good book. I hope you enjoyed it!
So this prompt is the last one you will see for a while. I have a very special Serial Story planned and I hope to start publishing it here a chapter at a time in November. I am so excited about it!
What did you think of this story? Are you excited for the Serial Novel?
By God’s Grace,