Happy Sunday to everyone, I know it has been quite a while…but I have just finished chapter 2 to be released Science Fiction YA Chapter Book titled “Garden of Forgotten Archives.” It is a diamond in the rough, but please feel free to share your comments.
He slowly sank back into his rocking chair, placing his fragile arms upon the armrest. He then began rocking back and forth mumbling and tapping his fingers nervously on the edge of his rocking chair as he just gazed into the darkness.
“The world we live in today is so much more different than when I was a young man your age.” He mumbled while shaking his head in disappointment.
“How so grandpa?”
“Life back then just seemed to have so much more possibilities,” he paused and lowered his hand upon the wooden chest that sat next to his chair tapping it anxiously, “Until that very sad day.” He continued.
I was holding on to his every word, eager to know his secret. Was he about to show me what was in the chest? Could it be what he had kept secret for all these years?
“Well, my boy,” he paused “There was a time when we had something called books and these books were magical and these books were in buildings called libraries.”
“Magical books grandpa?” I moved closer to the base of his rocking chair. “What is a library?” I asked.
Grandpa was getting on in age and he was always eager to share his stories to anyone who was willing to listen. Somehow, I was always at the right place and the right time. Mom always called them tall tales with never any truth to them. Somehow this one seemed different.
“What happened to these books grandpa? Do you have one? Is that one in your chest? Can I see it?” I flooded him with questions.
“Never you mind with all the questions, just zip those lips and listen…. where was I?” he sat drumming his fingers upon the side of his head.
“You were about to tell me about…”
“Ah, yes… I remember now!” He interrupted
“The year was two thousand sixteen and it would be one that would go down in American history. It was such a terrible dark time for our country. The United States was in awful turmoil and the government brainwashed everyone to believe that books were evil and led only to corrupt free-thinking. What a bunch of hogwash! Technology and virtual libraries was going to be the wave of the future, they said. The only way the government could ensure our safety from these uprising and so called free-thinkers from overthrowing our government would be to destroy it at its source – books! It was then by decree of the government, for the safety of the people, that all libraries were to cease operation immediately and all books were seized and now property of the United States of America. I still remember it like it was only yesterday.”
I didn’t know what to say or think. This was not what they taught us in school, I thought. Maybe mom is right and this was just another one of grandfather’s tall tales. Maybe he was telling the truth. I just didn’t know anymore. I just sat there with my mouth open and continued to listen as my mind raced with so many questions left unanswered.
I could see the thoughts forming through his sunken eyes as he tried so hard to gather his memories.
“Yes, I was just around your age and I remember that day just like it was yesterday.” He continued without warning.
“School had just let out and I decided to walk to the library before heading home. At that time, I had no clue what was going on, so naïve to the world around me. I had wanted to pick up a new book to read. Ah, there is nothing like the smell of the pages of a book.”
Grandpa’s thoughts had become so sporadic, but I tried to keep focus, piecing the story together like an intricate puzzle.
“But by the time I had gotten to the library, they were removing all the books – by the truck loads. It was one of the saddest things I had to ever witness. I wanted to get a closer look so I sneaked in through a side door to try and see what was going on. Mrs. Randolph, the librarian, was crying while they were destroying the library almost as if they were looking for something. From out of nowhere an officer came up from behind me and snatched me up and asked what I was doing here, I was too scared to say anything. He said I was interfering with government orders and that if I didn’t want to be taken down to the station to run and never look back. He quickly put me down and told me to be off. I cried for months afterwards.”
“Wow – grandpa, I never…”
“Fetch me my walking cane boy!” his voice trembling. “It is up against that box by the door; I want to show you something. You must never tell anyone I told you – understand?”
“Ok, grandpa.” I replied as I quickly scurried to fetch his cane and returned.
“Here ya go.”
His snatched the cane from my hands and gripped the handle tightly and he let out one big moan as he lifted himself up out of his rocking chair, his legs frail and shaking.
“Just don’t stand their boy, help me to the window!” he growled
We both stood gazing out the attic window. Grandpa’s eyes appeared tired and heavy moving rapidly from side to side, frantically scanning the world beyond – for what? I was dying to know. His thick wiry eyebrows landscaping the top of his eyes.
“Over there!” he yelled, as his bony finger tapped on the glass.
All of a sudden the attic door flew open.
“I have been calling you two downstairs forever, dinner is ready!” Mom said, she was very upset.
“Mark Alexander Mathews, you get downstairs right now and I mean right now!” she said angrily.
“You can finish the story later grandpa, I love you!” I gave him a hug and quickly went downstairs.
“Close the door behind you!” mom said.
“Dad, I have asked you over and over not to fill Mark’s head with your stories. He does not need to hear that type of nonsense. Now, hurry downstairs before your dinner gets cold.” She said as closed the door behind her.
Grandpa slowly followed the floorboards with his eyes to where the chest sat on the floor.
“Don’t you worry, the time will come again and this time – I won’t fail!”