FFfAW – Whispers in the Library

Posted: June 20, 2016 by J.A. Prentice in Flash Fiction
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


On moonless midnights, piled high amongst their own kind on shelves of hewn wood, the books whisper. They tell the secrets they know, singing like sirens of wise words and hidden knowledge.

“Open us,” they cry. “Learn from us.”

Then they start the promises. They offer to make the unloved beloved. They say they can give beggars mountains of gold. They will make the crownless kings and the desperate content. They swear they can deliver the whole of the earth if only someone prizes open their covers and reads them.

The librarian never listens. He is their jailor, like his father before him. They keep the books of magic, the books from the wild darkness and chaos of the earliest ages of the universe, bound in endless shelves.

But the books always whisper, hoping one day that he will give in and let the darkness out.

Word Count: 146

This is for Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and to TJ Paris for providing the prompt photo!

  1. Ooh, the whispers in the restricted section. This flash fiction had great atmosphere and flow. I was hooked from beginning to end. Beautiful, eerie writing. Excellent job!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooouu, I like your spin on the prompt! The books are in “jail” and are screaming to come out but the librarian keeps them on the shelves and the words within the pages! Great story!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. David Cook says:

    Very atmospheric!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. mandibelle16 says:

    Like this imagery a lot. The idea of the librarian as a “jailer” is unique. I like the picture of the books whispering, telling secrets and knowing how to solve problems. Hopefully, one day they escape, into the arms of people searching for knowledge. Fantastic job.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Chekii says:

    I really enjoyed the imagery you have woven into this piece, it is haunting, yet, comforting to know that they will not be opened as their keepers are smart enough not too. Very good indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this very much, so they’re bad books despite their cries.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jenn says:

    Poetic. I loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Su says:

    Loved how you have written this story that books are in jail and need to be freed.. A different way to think.. Very nice..

    Liked by 1 person

  9. jademwong says:

    Oooh this was a neat spin on the prompt! The dark side of books. I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. afairymind says:

    Wonderful imagery, J.A. 🙂 I love the whispering books. Maybe there will be a time when they’re given their freedom – after all, what’s viewed as evil by one society may not be by another. Really well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. athling2001 says:

    What a unique perspective. I love the thought of the books whispering, wanting to break free.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a stiff librarian. It would be lovely if someone opened the poor books. Enchanting.

    Liked by 1 person

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