Tag Archives: library

The Price of Knowledge

I originally thought of this as a story for the Friday Fictioneers prompt last week but I didn’t want to cram it into 100 words. However, I will use the picture again. I thought of this story when I realized just how much information we have access to these days, absolutely free.

copyright Randy Mazie

copyright Randy Mazie

The Price of Knowledge

The man strode into the library. “Hi, I’d like to read a book. Hayden’s Practical Herpetology.”

The librarian looked up and smiled lazily. “Okay, let’s see . . . The price for that is—”

“$3.55 a minute. I’ve had it before.”

The librarian looked impressed. “Ah, you must be Mr. Appleton. Three times in the 24 hours. It must be a great book.”

“Yeah, yeah. Great book.”

“How many minutes would you like to read today?”

The man pulled out a crumpled $20, borrowed from a neighbor. “Look, I didn’t ask this before, but do you have any sort of discounts for hardship or . . .” He saw immediately that it was hopeless.

“Sorry, sir. We only allow that for fiction, not non-fiction. So, how many minutes?”

The man looked at the bill again, calculating. “Five minutes, I guess.”

“Okay, that’s 18.85, after tax.” She took the money, gave him change. “Follow me.”

She led him to a reading desk and brought the book. He opened the cover and a digital clock above the desk started to count down his precious seconds.

He turned to page 378: Natural Remedies for Snakebites. Writing wasn’t allowed but he tried to memorize all that he could, fear and panic fighting with concentration. He hoped he could find one that worked. He hoped it wouldn’t be too late for Sarah.

Out There – Friday Fictioneers

Happy very belated Thanksgiving to everyone! I was traveling for most of last week, visiting relatives in LOLIA (the Land Of Limited Internet Access). However, I did have a lot of driving to do: around 24 hours in a car with no radio or CD player. I made up one great story for this picture, but then needed more than 100 words to tell it properly. So I made up another one, but the same thing happened. So I made up a third, which is below. I’ll write the other ones down soon and post them as well.

This story is so late for the Fictioneers that the next week’s picture is due out in a few hours. But I wanted to do it, so as not to miss any.

copyright Randy Mazie

copyright Randy Mazie

Out There

“I just lose myself in the library!” my brother exclaimed once.

“You mean in the stories?” I asked.

“No, beyond them. In the worlds beyond paper and ink and words. Out there.”

I hugged him and thought: quirky.


Until the paranoia set in. He stopped going to the library unarmed and then stopped altogether. He changed his route to school to avoid it. Finally, he broke in and washed the shelves in gasoline. You could see the blaze for miles. The town was about to crucify him.


Until they found the partially-burned thing in the ashes of the horror section.

Classic Arguments – Friday Fictioneers

copyright Claire Fuller

copyright Claire Fuller

Classic Arguments

The library had only been closed a minute when the whispers began.

“You know, it is a universal truth that a single volume in possession of a beautiful cover, must be in want of a sequel.”

“Shut yer rot, Austen, ya gloopy devotchka.”

“Double plus right.”

“As God is my witness, I’m never going to listen to you all gripe again.”

“This is the best of nights, it is the worst of nights.”

Suddenly, from the corner of the library with primary colors and board books and beanbag chairs came a roar of fierce joy:

“Let the wild rumpus start!”

Previous Week Update: 

On February 13, I posted the story The Wrong Tourist, about a person posing and getting their camera stolen. So, in a fit of meta-fiction, I went down and posed by the statue in the photo prompt, handing my camera to a stranger to take my picture. However, instead of a creepy old man, it was a young woman with a much better camera than mine, so I don’t think she would have wanted it.

This was taken back in February, when I still needed a coat.

This was taken back in February, when I still needed a coat.

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