What the Books See


Innocent as lambs, the books wait.

Professor Lucas stares at the books, pushed against each other like vertebrae in a crooked spine, and wipes the sweat from his brow. With a shaking hand, he reaches up and pulls one down. He looks around like a frightened groundhog, heart racing so violently he thinks it might rip open his chest.

Here, he thinks. The key will be safe here.

Full of dread, the books wait.

They are a hurricane, the two men in black. They move precisely, destroying each thing in turn, ripping open seats, turning drawers upside down. They know it must be somewhere and they will not rest until they find it.

They check the pages of the books but find nothing.

Relieved, the books wait.

Eyes red with tears, the girl goes through the destroyed room. She looks at photographs torn apart, work dumped all over the ground and trampled under vicious feet, and remembers the face of the father she has lost, the face she will now see only in memory.

She reaches up and takes down the novel she got him last Christmas.

Her finger brushes against something in the spine.

Word Count: 195

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction.

14 thoughts on “What the Books See

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  1. Great tension! Glad to see that he was thinking clearly, even under so much stress. And especially glad that the book his daughter gave him was an old hardcover! I hope she knows what to do with the key, and is able to foil those evil bad guys and avenge her father’s murder, grrrr.

    Liked by 1 person

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