Day 2 | “Smoke hung so think in the library rafters she could read words in it”

The Sherman Library was the oldest building in the world, residing in Seattle, Washington. It resembled roman architecture with several grand ivory pillars lining the front and automatic tall mahogany doors. In the Sherman Library, numerous dark shelves could be seen filled with books of many colors, various textures, different sizes, and various topics. On the right corner of the entrance, the old librarian with purple glasses, Mrs. Franklin, always sat at her large wooded desk, typing in her foreign machine called a computer, waiting for visitors. She was a small petite woman in her mid-seventies with gray hair and blue eyes that seem to speak of the many words she had read. It was mostly empty. It was the only library in the world. In the year 3000, books were no longer needed when all the information one could ever need could be found on their headpiece, much easier to find, much easier to control. Few of the elderly men and women would come and visit the library to find joy in the smooth covers and yellow pages, clinging to the old ways.
The government had recently launched a reform program that called for all the libraries in the nation to be taken or burned down to make room for new houses and city tele connector hubs because they were simply wasting space that could be used for more beneficent purposes, and many nations followed suit. The Sherman Library was the last one standing, but for good reason. Many of the Old-World sympathizers protested the destruction of this library and have gone rather extraneous lengths to preserve it from sabotaging equipment to harassing government workers and officials. They have won so far, but unfortunately it would not last long.
The president, Mason Rutherford, was growing irritated and angry at the setbacks of his reform program. He tried to be friendly and comprising at first, but he is going to take drastic measures.
It was 8am on a Monday. Mrs. Franklin unlocked the large mahogany doors of the library, and entered the dark musty library heading toward her desk. She sat down, leaving her purse off to the side of the desk, and she pondered whether she would have any visitors today. She pulled out one of her favorite books Poor Richard’s Almanac from the desk to read her daily wisdom.

“Let no Pleasure tempt thee, no Profit allure thee, no Ambition corrupt thee, no Example sway thee, no Persuasion move thee, to do any thing which thou knowest to be Evil; So shalt thou always live jollily: for a good Conscience is a continual Christmas”

As she was reading, Mrs. Franklin heard the door creep open and was greeted with the sight of the Old-World sympathizers entering her library, many of whom she had seen at the library occasionally. They were a rough crowd with determination although they only amounted to a meager group of 60 people, but it had proven enough so far.
“Good morning, Mrs. Franklin! How are you?” Mr. Lee, the leader of the protestors, asked politely with a bright smile. Mr. Lee was a tall man with a lean figure in his late fifties, and his brown hair was beginning to gray. He was the most frequent visitor at the library, and Mrs. Franklin always enjoyed having him around.
“I’m good, Mr. Lee! What are you doing in this fine morning?”
“Unfortunately, Mrs. Franklin, we aren’t here to do a group reading. We are here to protest once again. I heard they were going to try and burn it when the protestors weren’t around. Well, we are going to be here all day so I would like to see them try.”
Mrs. Franklin was grateful for all their work and effort. She would have been utterly devastated if they had burned down her library as it was like a home to her, a place of tranquility and of knowledge. You cannot get wisdom from those stupid headpieces; they only reveal to the people information the government wants them to know. It had not always been like this.
Government had once been for the people. It used to perform actions at the people’s permission and will through elected representatives, but the government began to realize how inefficient it was as it would often take months or some cases years to even accomplish anything, and the common man did not seem intelligent enough to act accordingly to the best interest, blinded by emotion. The government officials knew that simply revoking away it’s democratic principles would certainly cause a revolution that they could not win so they devised a plan that would simply control the way the people thought. They reached a conclusion: He who controls knowledge controls the world.
Headpieces were created not purely for the advancement of the people rather of the government. They were constructed and programmed with biased information, and were advertised as the perfect companion for anything you want to know, hear, or see. It was a silver band make of steel and in the center of the brand was an oval that contained the “magic.” It had several sensors that could monitor thoughts, feelings, sleep and moody cycles, heart rate, and much more. To access the “valuable” information inside, one simply had to think the question, and it would be answered. As the technology became more advanced and reliable, the government ordered that all citizens wear a headpiece once they have turned the age of 2. But, not all had succumbed to the headpiece. Those who continued to read books until they could no longer were not fooled by the propaganda and soon formed a “radical” group called the Old World Sympathizers.
The sound of the door being locked and bolted could be heard. A stout man with a shiny bald head and a large grey mustache rushed to investigate the source of the sound and reached to open the front doors, but it would not open.
“Lee, I think those workers tried to lock us in! I can’t budge it open,” the man said.
For only a split second, the expression of worry was on his face but was quickly replaced with his usual composed facial expression. “Don’t worry Hemingway! There is still the fire escape.”
The men rushed to check the fire escape in the library located near the back corner of the library. Once they reached the grey door with flashing red letters that read exit, they pushed the door open, but it did not budge. They keep pushing, but the door would not open as if something was blocking it.
“We’re trapped!”
“It’s okay, guys. We are in the library, and there is no way they would burn it down while we are here,” said Mr. Lee.
Everyone in the group seem to agree, and the panic was extinguished, but it would not last long. The members headed toward the center of the library to wait until the doors could open again. Half an hour later, the library began to smell like smoke and became more prominent by each passing minute.
“Do you smell that?” A middle-aged woman by the name of Ms. Austen asked, who at the time was reading the classic Pride and Prejudice.
“It’s smoke. Something is burning,” replied a wry old man by the name of Mr. Steinbeck.
“Let’s go check it out, might be a faulty wire in the electric system. I don’t know when the last time this library ever received any maintenance,” said Mr. Hemingway.
“You don’t think they would burn down the library with us still in it, right?” Ms. Austen asked rather nervously.
“Don’t be silly, Ms. Austen. Those people are crooked but they wouldn’t commit murder like that. Imagine the outrage they would receive if they attempted it,” reassured Mr. Lee.
They headed out to the back part of the library to check where the source of the smoke could be, while Mrs. Franklin headed toward her desk to fetch the key. She was met at a horrible sight. The mahogany doors of the library were engulfed in flames, and the flames were spreading fast. Mrs. Franklin screamed.
At the sound of the scream, the members of the group hurried to Mrs. Franklin to only to discover the disheartening sight of the library burning down slowly.
“Those bastards! They’re going to burn us alive,” exclaimed angrily Mr. Hemingway. His fists were clenched with such aggression that can only come from one’s treasures being destroyed. The smoke grew heavier, and it became more difficult to breathe. The people began to cough aggressively.
“There is no way out! We die by the flames,” yelled Mrs. Austen with anguish. “I’ll never see my family again.”
Mr. Lee made his way to the front of the group, no longer with his notorious calm composure, but of the flames of passion. He was a martyr, a man with a cause.
“Old World Sympathizers, I thank you for your service and sacrifice to protect true knowledge and uncensored thoughts. You are a people of great strength as you did not fall into the devious trap the government has made, and you stand firm with stubborn hearts. Our death is imminent,” he coughs violently and his chest shakes with such ferocity. The smoke is black and heavier.
“But I am honored to die with my brothers and sisters for a cause that I am passionate about. We will not die in vain, and others will rise up and make the world what it once was.”
At his words, the protectors of knowledge held their heads high and gathered together to join hands one last time. Tears fell down Mrs. Franklin’s face as she watched her home and her books slowly die by the flame, but as the flames grew stronger and approached the group, she had comfort in knowing that she will going down with in. She looked up. Smoke hung so thick in the library’s rafters that she could read words in it. The words come to her from one of her favorite Persian poets, and she closes her eyes to see the words on the page:

“The world’s flattery and hypocrisy is a sweet morsel:
eat less of it, for it is full of fire.
Its fire is hidden while its taste is manifest,
but its smoke becomes visible in the end.”
― Jalaluddin Rumi

The words comfort her.
Soon the intense heat becomes unbearable, like the gates of hell opening to welcome them in, and breathing becomes extremely labored, like fish out of water.
They fall unconscious, one by one like dominoes scattered on the ground. They do not feel when the first flames reach their bodies.
It was 8am on Tuesday. The library had burned slowly for eight hours, as if too stubborn to give into the flames easily. The President had come to Seattle to see the ashes of the last library in the world. He walked on the ashes with indifference.
“You did well to inform that these pesky protestors were in the library,” the President said to one of his best workers Mark. “Now we can proceed further with our plans.”
He stepped on something, hurting his foot in the process. Clutching his foot with irritation, he said, “What is that stupid thing?”
He looked down to be greeted with the bones of the Old-World Sympathizers, laid out with hands clutching each other for dear life. The President felt this eerie shiver go up his back, but quickly dismissed it. “Get rid of the bones, Mark.” He left Mark to his duties.

As the government workers scavenged the bones and threw them in the garbage to be disintegrated for later, a little girl of about 7 years old hiding behind a building, clutching her headpiece in her hand saw the bones. Bones that should not be there, the girl thought, bones that died protecting something worthwhile. The spark was lit. Although their bodies were burned, their souls and their mission would carry forth.

One day the world would be made right, and those who play with fire will burn.

Day 1 |An Impulsive Buy leading to an Intergalactic Warfare

Ding! I opened the rather heavy glass door of the little shop, setting off the little bell on the upper corner of the door, letting the shop owner know that a customer was in the shop. The shop was in a sketchy part of town, but I am honestly desperate at this point. I must find a gift for my fiancé, Valerie, soon because our three-year anniversary dinner is this afternoon, and frankly I do not want to show up with a Starbucks gift card like I have the previous years (as you can probably tell I am terrible at giving gifts and don’t even get me starting on Christmas season…). The shop was called Foreign Treasures, and it was strangely dark and stuffy. Foreign Treasures sold exotic jewelry, antique furniture, extravagant rungs, robes and scarves of many colors, and clear-cut mirrors that could be found all throughout the shop. I headed toward what seemed to be the jewelry section of the store; girls loved jewelry so I figured this was a safe bet to start out with. As I was looking at the jewelry, I heard a door creak open toward the back part of the store, a man with an unsettling appearance came out. He had eyes the color of pitch black and wrinkly skin that looked to be too yellow to be natural. He grinned a creepy smile once he noticed me displaying his rather impressive set of teeth that could probably rip out your insides. I’m sure he is a nice man.

“Hello, welcome to Foreign Treasures! Is there anything I can help you with?”

“Umm, do you any recommendations on gift ideas for a fiancé?” I asked, reasoning that if I get help I could get out of this eerie store faster.

“Oh, a present for a lucky lady? Let me see.” He led me to another part of the shop that had a giant glass case filled with the most sparkling of jewelry. I could already feel my wallet screaming. “These are one of our most precious gemstone jewelries that most of my female customers seem to enjoy. I am pretty sure you will find something that your fiancé will like.” He grinned even wider.
I skimmed through the glass case until I noticed a necklace that caught my eye. It had semi-thick gold chain and attacked was a perfectly smooth and glossy stone that reflected every color of the rainbow, creating an ethereal glow. Without thinking much about it, I pointed to the necklace and asked, “I want that one. How much for it?”
“Ahh…I see you have quite a taste for precious gemstones. I bought this one not too long ago for a hefty price, but I am willing to make a bargain with you. How about $250? Normally, this is priced at $400 but since you seem such a nice young boy, I will make the exception.”
Hey, I wasn’t going to turn down a great deal so I agreed, already reaching for my wallet in the pocket of my jeans and bought it rather impulsively.
“I hope the lucky lady likes her gift. She will find that it is more than what meets the eye,” he said with an expression that seem to hide more than tell. I had no time to dwell on the fact and bade the shop owner farewell. I hurried home to get ready for the anniversary dinner.
A shower later and a serious hair taming session later, I pulled up in front of Valerie’s apartment building, and I got out of my car and entered the building. I walked up the stairs and headed toward her apartment. I reached her apartment, and I was ready to knock on her apartment door with my hand ready, but the door opened before I could knock.
“Thomas, I didn’t know you knew what a shower was,” she said with her signature smirk. She reached up on her tippy toes to ruffle my blonde hair, that I obviously did not take thirty minutes fixing (whatever). She looked beautiful as she always did with her dark brown hair loose in waves and a classic red dress, but often, she makes it difficult sometimes for me to compliment her when she throws insults me.
“Valerie, I didn’t know you wore dresses,” I responded back.
She hugged me very tightly, and I hugged her tightly wrapping my arms around her waist.
“Gosh, I don’t know how I survived three years with you,” she muffled through the tight embrace. “Me either.”

We arrived at the fancy Italian restaurant that I obviously could not afford, and we were seated right away since I had made reservations a week ago (my wallet is screaming again).
“Wow, this restaurant is so nice. How could you afford this Thomas? You’re the only guy I know that uses coupons as often as you eat.” Hey, when you’re a student at graduate school and planning to get married soon, saving money is on the top of your priority list.
“Umm, I pulled a couple of strings,” I said while scratching my head nervously. By that, I meant I picked up extra shifts at work, and cleaned my dirty Uncle Earl’s feet (the things I do for love…).
“I know we usually give gifts after dinner, but I don’t think I can wait any longer to give you my gift, Thomas. So close your eyes.” I closed my eyes, silently praying that by surprise she doesn’t mean throw the cocktail shrimp at my face (it’s happened before).
She grabbed my hand and cups it, and I feel something cold and metal-like being placed in my cupped hands. Valerie tells me to open my eyes.
It was the silver banded bracelet that I had lost almost six months ago on a trip to Europe, and I was devastated because it was the last thing my father gave to me before he died of terminal cancer. I flipped the band to find my father’s name engraved into the bracelet: NATHAN D. PETROV. I almost cried.
“Thank you so much.” I leaned in to give her a loving kiss on the lips in which she gladly returned.
“I guess it’s my turn now.” I reached into the pocket of my grey blazer for the small box that contained the necklace.
“Let me guess. Another Starbucks gift card?”
I smiled and gave her the small white box. “Not this time.”
She opened the box and gasped at the gift, placing her small hand on her mouth.
“Do you like it?” I asked nervously, secretly praying that the little shop takes returns.
She looked at me with tears in her brown eyes. Oh no, she hates the gift.
Unexpectedly, she gives me an aggressive kiss on the lips and hugs me tightly.
“Wow, this is the best gift you have ever given me,” she sniffles.

I took the necklace from her hands, and I placed it around her neck for her to wear. It looked stunning on her. Unfortunately, the romantic moment did not last long.

There was a trembling roar that shook throughout the restaurant, causing everything to vibrate Elegant, and startled screams could be heard. China plates and Champaign glasses fell off tables and flew across the room like deadly throwing knives. To make matters worse, the glass windows shattered into tiny sharp pieces by the sheer force of this mysterious earthquake, leaving empty frames.

In those frames, entered the most weird and ugliest creatures I have ever seen. They were huge with various skin colors that screamed supernatural with antennaes, more than two bulky arms, and deadly foreign weapons that made machine guns look like water guns. Their eyes were yellow, and they displayed a large set of razor sharp fangs that could tear easily into human flesh. The biggest creature of them all, wearing what seemed to be a golden crown, looked directly at me with a glare to kill.

Valerie clutched my arm with a death grip.

“Is it just me or is that thing staring at you?”

I gulped. “Maybe he likes my blazer?”
“I don’t think so.”

The leader roared and pointed at the necklace around Valerie’s neck, “You have stolen our precious artifact, the Infinitum Gem, feeble human.”
“No wonder I got a deal on the necklace,” I mutter to myself. Valerie glared at me. “You knew about this?”
“No not really.” I don’t think Valerie has ever wanted to kill as much as she does now. I guess shopping in creepy shops in a sketchy part of town is not my smartest idea.
The alien lifts his giant solid gold staff, glowing dangerously in the night, “We will wage an intergalactic war against Earth and anyone else who stops me. You will regret the day you stole from the Potens!”

“You know, what Thomas? You should have just bought me another stupid Starbucks gift card.”

Writing Everyday Makes You a Better Writer | 30 Day Writing Challenge

As an aspiring author and editor, it is important that I write everyday as well as read everyday to further my skills even more, but often times writing everyday is not simple. I do not lack the motivation or the time, but I almost always lack the inspiration to write something new and creative. Often times, if I write something new, I think it’s horrendously stupid and I archive it in my Junk files. I am such a fierce critic of my own writing that a lot of times I never end up sharing a lot of my work to the world.

To solve this problem, I decided to participate in a 30 day writing challenge from eadeverell.com (great website for writers by the way you should totally check it out) so that I am forced to write everyday and share it with the world even if I think it’s garbage.

For all my writers and readers out there, feel free to join me in this writing challenge and fully stretch those writing skills. I would also recommend it to anybody else not just my writing friends because being able to express yourself clearly and eloquently is a skill that everyone should have

Starting tomorrow I will actually become a daily writer.

Happy Writing!

30-Day-Flash-Fiction-Challenge

The Esurient Man

This hunger is bigger than me
And stronger
It punches my stomach
and drains my energy
It demands food.

It gripes my sides
Leaving only skin and bones
It intrudes my mind
Demanding my attention.

Feed me!
Feed me!
Give me what I long to have!
Feed me
Feed me.

But I have nothing to offer or to give
No food.
No water
Nothing.

Beauty of the Flower

 

Flower grows petals,
Petals of rich color that
Make Queens envious for no
Robe or gown could match
Its beauty.

Flower blossoms beautifully,
A might crown on its head
Makes High Kings rage
For no gold of theirs
Could match.

Flower dies gracefully
Where Kings die of bloodshed and disease
In a meadow, far from
Prowling eyes
Where Queens in deathbeds are mourned for
Petals fall, and
Strong stem hunches
King’s last breath
Queen’s failing heartbeat
Into eternal slumber.

 

Summer is in full blossom, and I couldn’t help but to take a picture of these gorgeous flowers that I found in my daily travels. These pictures really inspired me to truly look at the many beautiful things that surround my daily life. I don’t need to go to Paris, France to truly see some breath-taking sights when I could just look in my backyard.

This poem I wrote is inspired by that philosophy. The flower represents the beautiful object that is present in one’s daily life, and the kings and queens represent the exotic places that many dream of seeing. But in our daydreams, many of us focus so many of our time on the kings and queens that we miss out on the beauty of the flower in our life.

So, I encourage everyone to take a little time to remove ourselves from our personal bubbles and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.

-The Daily Writer