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Larry Brown, 12 Oct '12

An Overfilled Bookcase

Smell of mold and dust caress my nose as I walk down the wall of books. Each tells a story of love, lack of love, adventures, thrills and all things of the human experience. My finger touches each one, moving it a fraction of an inch, just to get a feel for the content. I want magic to happen, to have the printed knowledge leap through my finger into the recesses of my mind. Much like an electric shock, but with the result of more knowledge and experience without the boredom of learning or the risk of doing. I learned to hate reading while growing up in this room.
One book says little about someone, but an overfilled bookcase lays out the map of a persons mind. What they like, doesn’t like, won’t read, must read. It’s all there. Given enough books you can look into a person’s soul and find who hides there. Books mold the mind, the mind directs the actions, and actions alone tell us more about the reader than they can themselves. We are what we read. We do what we read. We live as we have read. My father made me read for punishment. This old overstuffed leather chair was my jail cell. The stand beside it has rings from the terrible drinks he provided.
The child knows nothing except what those adults in his or her life choose to tell them. It’s their religion, their culture, their tradition that is passed on. And their fears. The child reads and finds there are other ways to think, do, act. And find strength. The mind grows, new thoughts emerge, life changes, all due to books. My father forgot that.
The room around me is covered with books. Four walls, each with seven or eight shelves and each shelf full of books. More books stacked on the floor. Each one selected for its content. It was not the color of the binding, or the graphics of its cover, but the special information of its contents that made him pay good money and take it home. Sometimes one page in a book is enough. Another book may have a collection of words needed by the reader. Searching for something, sometimes not knowing what it was, but with the trust that a book held the information. Maps are important also. The stiff wooden pointer still stands by the row of cylinders holding hundreds of maps. The same pointer he would beat me with if I didn’t remember the location of some obscure country.
Around me is the answer of every question I ever had. And questions that I have never thought to ask. The why of people, things, and places, and the reason for their existence. I will never know enough about everything but I know too much about some things.
I complete my tour of these overfilled book cases. My finger is dirty from all the dust I had touched on the binds. Satisfied that I know the person I want to kill, I wipe my finger off on a tissue and open the gun case. I pick up the small bore shotgun. Excellent choice for a sure and sudden death. I learned that in a book. He is coming and the deed is soon done. A pressure comes off my shoulders, a release of anticipation and expectation.
The room looks better now, more interesting if you will. I sit down in that old overstuffed chair and look around. A book catches my eye and I retrieve it. I start to read and its fun. I am open to the information it is about to give and I am content.

Comments · 2

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  • Anthony Blackshaw said...

    Welcome to Burrst Larry, great debut burst.

    • Posted 7 years ago
  • Mary Beth W. said...

    Wow. I love this! First of all, I was definitely not expecting the ending. It was good, though, and you used nice visual description. I wonder who will die... :)

    • Posted 7 years ago