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Do flamethrowers belong in the library?

"Combating Ignorance"

By Kamran AlamPublished 29 days ago 3 min read
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The librarian is searching for a lost person in the library, and she is not alone in her search. She has help from the Watchers and Listeners of the shelves, who help her find the scent. However, today, the librarian's search has exceeded more than an hour, pushing it further.

The librarian has been searching and asking around for almost six hours, scouring shelves and listening for the telltale breathing. One of the Watchers says "bad news," and the librarian grieves for the loss of someone beyond the tape. The librarian asks the Watcher to send word ahead of her arrival.

It has been a while since she had to go past the tape, which means it has been a while since she entered the broom closet. The library has a dusty helmet and a bright lamp affixed to the front just above the visor, but it acts as a hindrance as a help. The librarian has a sack full of non-perishables, tinctures, aspirin, and a compass.

She slings the sack across her body and fastens her waist with a utility belt that includes floss, lighters, matches, and other tools not found outside of The Library. She grabs the flamethrower, which she should be very transparent with, as she is not actually the librarian. The Head Librarian doesn't need much of anything to ward off what lingers here.

The tape moves not at random, but the Watchers and Listeners kept a beat on it this time so as to direct her. The tape is dark and serves as a warning, whether it's gatekeeping sections currently under construction, in repair, or missing. The librarian ignores her name as she crawls through the reflective strips.

The tape moves not at random, but it genuinely serves as a warning. Many sleep here, and the librarian sends off a warning shot from the flamethrower, showing she carry more light than just atop her appetizing head. Most of those close to the tape have never been very convicted by nature, so the librarian is not concerned.

There are more listeners and less watchers past the tape, for obvious reasons. They say she doesn't have to go too far. She looks down at the telling clicking sound to see rocks rolling.

The narrator is exploring a mysterious place, feeling acute pressure and vision blurred. They take aspirin and eat it, ignoring their true name. The cold air makes their vision clearer, and they sweep another warning arc from the flame thrower. They enjoy the sound and warmth of the cold air, but they are not led astray.

A few or a thousand steps later, they hear the breathing sound and the rocks moving at a quick pace. The smell is musty and thick, like the air is full of sweat and dust. They take a match from a tiny box and blow it out, causing smoke tendrils to curl and waft. They find the rocks gathering down an aisle, and they find the lost visitor.

The book covers her face, consuming her head like a kid on a large popsicle. The papery quality of her skin and wanting muscle mass show how little time was on their side. The narrator grabs the book by the edges of both back and front covers, and the wheezing turns into a sob. They test the hold the book has on its victim, treating it like a tick and getting the head out.

One of the tiny viles strapped in their utility belt is drawn and pulled out. It smells like nothing to them, but they see the reaction immediately. The book and the girl moan again, and the narrator pours a small amount of the substance into their palms and smooths it gently down the spine of the book. The book and the girl moan again, and the bond between them splits.

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About the Creator

Kamran Alam

"Kamran Alam: Karachi-based Digital Marketing & Content Writer. Crafting captivating narratives and driving online success. Let's elevate your brand's online presence together!"

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