Wednesday 8 May 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 106

This weeks photo prompt is of a bookstore/library in Yangzhou, eastern China, taken by photographer Shao Feng. It is actually a small shop, but the angle and the mirrored floor gives it a different perspective.

I wasn't sure where this would go but I liked it, and although I have said this many times, I think this might actually be a story I could expand on here, it's definitely got a future in it. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

Academic Revolution

I ran my fingers over the rows and rows of book spines, marveling at what the fissure had uncovered. We could never have imagined there was such knowledge available to us; we thought it had died along with the earth.

‘Books,’ I sounded the word out; it was a new word, one of a collection that was expanding with this discovery. A few of us had grasped the process of reading fairly quickly, and were teaching the rest, but it was slow going.

People were used to visual living through the world of fantasy games, which only required vocalization or clicking on pictures. The art of reading had been lost along with all the books in the fires and storms that had been the ending of surface living. The computers, along with the remaining people, had moved underground and survived there.

The only reading now was done through coding and that was all numbers. The number literate were the bosses and lived as such.

But the latest round of earth shocks had revealed this untouched room, full of perfectly preserved books. (I reveled in the sound of the word; they were things of perfection).

Besides learning the words and their intended meaning, there was debate about the content: how factual was it?

It was difficult to imagine that what most of them held could have been real. Did people go on those kinds of killing sprees? It was difficult to imagine some of the murderous scenes, or the intelligence of criminals portrayed in some of them. Did lives really twist and turn like that? Had elves and dwarfs really existed? Maybe some of the creatures in the fantasy games were based off them. Had there really been intergalactic space travel? Were there other civilisations out there we didn’t know about? Could we contact them?

And then the wealth of relationship matter: did everyone write about their love lives? Was that the fashion? It was strange to imagine people could be such explicit with each other, so physical. It was no longer the way, everything was through computers now except for the odd occasion when it was necessary.

But were they all history books, or were they like the fantasy games? People making it up for entertainment? No one was sure. We were still decoding the categories they had been put in and their true meaning.

But in the meantime, I was the first to open many of them; I was becoming revered for my understanding. Soon I would be like the game coders and able to make an impact on our society.
The resistance might claim that there was nothing of value here, but I begged to differ, they just wanted to keep the number one spot. We were on the verge of a revolution – an academic revolution, one that would see the game coders toppled from their top ranking.


  1. Love your story, Miranda. Well done.

  2. Here's my story for the picture Secrets and Knowledge Hope you like it.

    1. Wonderful tale. Suit the prompt well. I want to go there! Thanks for joining.

    2. Thank you for creating the game and choosing a wonderful picture.

  3. Love how the lines between fact and fiction that seem so definable in our modern lives are so easily blurred (or erased) in the post-apocalyptic setting you've imagined.

    This prompt jumped right out at me, so here's my story: My Favorite Place

    1. Different but I like it! Thanks for joining in.

  4. TOVAH, by David Lunn Milburn

    The journey here had been taxing for the young girl. She was used to hardship but these dark, dank passageways took her out of the sunshine she loved. The vine strewn floors didn’t help her mood either. She had been promised a reward but was now seriously regretting her choice to enter these catacombs.

    “Mummy,” She said plaintively, “I’m tired.”
    Her mother, Lydia replied, “Don’t fret Tovah, we’re almost there.”

    Unconvinced, the girl gripped her mother’s hand a little tighter. They seemed to walk forever and then her mother stopped. The passage had ended. Taking a key from her pocket, she walked over to a door, partially hidden behind a bramble bush. With barely a whisper, the door opened and the woman stepped through. Tovah quickly followed.

    They entered to complete darkness. Three loud handclaps and light suddenly blossomed to reveal a room which stretched as far back as Tovah could see. She gasped and stood there, trying to take it all in. Lydia smiled and moved along a twisted path which ran down the centre of the room.

    “Careful, Love, stay on the path for now.”

    Questions piled up in Tovah’s head, tried to tumble out as one and all she said was, “Mummy, what…”

    “This is a sacred place Tovah. We call it The Hall of Legend. It holds most of the known books of history. Thousands of years of knowledge.”

    Tovah, in her child like curiosity, noticed and immediately pointed out two blank spaces up on the right wall.

    “Were some books lost, mummy?”
    “Yes, sweetie, many books across the centuries. That’s why I’ve brought you here. You’re going to write the books that will fill those spaces.”

    A new understanding dawned in Tovah’s eyes. Her heart filled as she realized what she had been going to school for when none of her friends had ever joined her. She would be the link between the past and the future. She would never leave this place, there wasn’t enough time. She would read and she would write and when she filled the two empty shelves, more would be created for her.

    With Lydia at her side, Tovah walked across the glass floor to the first book and reached for it.

  5. I just cannot get the clickable link to work! But here is the link to my offering if you want to copy paste it into your browser

    1. Weird that you can't make it work - simply paste & copy between the speech marks to replace the url (keep the speech marks) - and the title in between the speechmarks to replace home. And hey presto.

      But I'm here to do it for you, so don't worry.


  6. Decided to stop everything, and make time for myself to write some words this week. I need to write more. It's part of how I survive. :)


    1. And it was worth it too. Really enjoyed this tale.

  7. Here is the link (I hope) to my belated story. I love this prompt. Thanks

    Seeking Knowledge


    1. Great little dimension jumping tale - just my kind of thing. Thanks for joining.