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Where would we be without books?

By Lucy Purbrick All Rights Reserved ©

Horror / Scifi

"To die will be an awfully big adventure."

As I stand here, about to go onto the stage, I am not afraid. Many would be, if they had to act in this grotesque performance. That would be the normal reaction. But I was never normal, and I won’t start at my own public execution.

“Saffron – McKellar. Stand – On – The – Stage.” A pair of hands roughly pulls me up onto the synthetic platform as my name is called out by the speaker. Nobody makes speeches anymore, like they did in my books, unless it’s an incredibly special occasion.

I stand on the plastic and stare at the news screens around the square, where 3D images of me are shown. I don’t look particularly special; just a mixed-race teenager with dark corkscrew curls and eyes the colour of dark chocolate. I wear the clothes of judgement – a plain, white, cotton affair, consisting of a t-shirt and loose trousers. My feet are bare, and the only adornments I have are a dog tag with my data engraved on it and a crown of golden roses, which I chose as my one item of colour to wear.

The idea is that The Master of All Things will judge you only on what your soul is like, so you can’t bribe him with finery or riches. You choose a colour to represent what you believe in, and you receive an accessory of that colour. Most choose white, grovelling to Him for forgiveness of their sins. The rest usually pick red or black, out of defiance, with the occasional person opting for blue or green in a hope for peace in death. But here I am, peculiar again, choosing yellow – the colour of hope – to wear as I die, slowly and painfully.

You may not consider it fair to execute 14 year-olds in your time, but society is strict about reading fiction in 2649. Apart from the Librumelior, our holy book, there are no other books with stories in them. The politicians decided that reading fiction gave the general public too much freewill. People are taught to read, sure, but reading facts off of screens is the only reading they do.

My parents, when they were still alive, were high up on the social ladder, and rich, enough to not be bothered by anyone. They home-schooled me, tutoring me themselves, and I learned of what it must be like for you – for reading to be a pleasure, a necessity. For there to be great buildings called libraries, which inside held shelves upon shelves of books, meticulously ordered by the names of their authors or the topics they covered. That’s why I ended up here – I built my own library.

It was an old warehouse, the one I had lived in since the “accidental” fire that destroyed everything I knew. I was 12 when it happened, and it took another year for the idea of going back to the ashes, to rescue my parents’ collection of books, to occur. Since they had been in the vaults they suffered no damage, just smelled a little smoky, so I began to lend them to close friends. Word got round, and my secret library was established.

But it’s all gone now, because of a traitor, and it’s my time. I gaze up to the gunmetal sky and hope my parents are proud. As the syringe penetrates my light-brown skin, I manage to get out my last words before the drug sets fire to my blood, tortures me, kills me. They are whispered, and are from my favourite book, Peter Pan.

“To die will be an awfully big adventure.”


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Further Recommendations

Ding Fernando: very nice read.so realistic you can hardly put it down,i really like the character so human despite posessing immortality and eternal youth.though i would prefer a better ending..i still love this novel and i am recommending it to all sci fi fans to give it a try .you will love it too!!

SandraHan1: This story is very descriptive, with vivid scenes from the very beginning, which made for a good scene setting. I love the symbolism in names, such as “Naysayers”, “Hadd”, etc . The story itself is revolutionary, intriguing, emotional and exciting. I was very pleased to see that there is a happy ...

ElusiveBadwolf: I loved this book so much! It's a shame that i already came to the end of this. I really enjoyed the story, and i liked it how everything became in the end. It was a great book and i can say that you are a great writer too. Keep it that way and i think you can make it in the writing business!

heavyreader: great scifi novels but needs a better spell checker (check auto-substitution level) and grammar checker!!! otherwise, ready for mass market publishing!!

debmart6901: I could not put this story down. I stayed up reading when I should have been in bed. could not get enough, could not wait to find how it ended. Great story telling. Great detail. Loved it. The characters were very vivid.

re8622: The Last Exodus quickly grabbed my attention. Almost as soon as I started reading the story, I couldn't put it down. I found that the ideas the author put forth were very thought provoking given the turmoil we have seen gradually rise over the last several years. I felt that I could understand th...

matrixmark: I thought that the introduction to this was relly well written and structurally sound in its presentation.The introduction to the cabin in the woods was good too. To me, it felt like a Blair Witch of yesteryear, but the things which you added in about the mutilated boys were certainly something n...

internathunal: I was held captive by your sense of style. I would love to see more from you. I enjoyed this immensely.

Andria M. Redlin-Author: POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD-READ WITH CAUTION: The book was an enjoyable read overall, with many surprises I wasn't expecting. There were only a few things that bothered me: 1. There were times when the characters (mainly Opal and Lee) were talking too much, which got in the way of the action.. ...

More Recommendations

Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...

spooky jedi: Love your story!I really hope more people read this story!Its amazing!! The plot is very unique and different, which is very good to have in a world full of stories. You have very complex and intellectual plot line, with your many loveable character and that hint of 'will they, won't they' is ju...

John Smith: This is what Sci Fi is all about. Reads like early Heinlein. In the style of Space Cadets. No esoteric problems..but good ol blaster and space action with a host of relatable characters

Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.

ericaporamoralcine: La trama es muy interesante y original y eso ya dice muchísimo cuando todos tratan de triunfar con ideas ya trilladas.No puedo opinar en detalle sobre la gramática, porque a pesar de entender el inglés a la perfección, la falta de uso en cuanto a lectura y diálogo hacen que me maneje bastante mal...

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