by D Carlson
A collection of library books fear being forgotten
|Booker O'Page opened his eyes when the library lights came on. “Hello, Mrs Willis,” he said. “Is it a good morning outside?”
Mrs Willis didn't answer him. She never did anymore. Booker remembered a time when the big people would bring their young ones in and talk about how the words on his pages were like the author speaking. He didn't see many big people anymore.
O'Page glanced around the large room with sadness. He was the last one; all of his friends had gradually faded away. The first was Ency Clopedia. Booker had thought that even with the new computer thingies, the beautiful Lady of Knowledge would always be there. After Ency the others quickly followed.
I wonder how long I'll last. Has everybody stopped believing in the magic of the printed word? Booker heard a clamor of young voices and looked toward the door. School children! I like children. Sometimes they actually want to read before going home to their computer things. Children still believe in magic, don't they?
The elderly human arranged the kids on the floor and smiled in Booker's direction. He stepped up to the shelves and placed his hand on Booker's own. “What should we read today, kids?” The man said, “Here in this wondrous room we have science, romance, westerns, history. In these rooms there is something for everybody.”
A little girl said, “This whole building smells musty.”
“Oh, not musty, Sandy. That is the breath of life. That is all these books breathing, talking, whispering in your ears. SHH! Listen.”
A boy raised his hand. “Do you have any books in here, Mr. King?”
“Oh, yes, Mr. White. But the books I write are not for young children.”
Booker O'Page gave his biggest grin, knowing that the humans couldn't see him, but he recognized this Man, and everything this Man had gone through to be here. He gathered his strength and began to push. He groaned with effort. I can DO this! For this Man I can do this.
O'Page's shelves gave a tiniest tremor, but Mr. King felt it. A thin book had slid out a couple of inches. The man took it and said, “I think this one is tame enough for you guys and it's one of my own, 'The Colorado Kid.'”
Mr. Stephen King took a moment to caress a few spines. “Oh, yes, my very old friend,” he whispered. “ There are those of us will always believe.” He smiled at Booker's contented sigh.