The Last Bookworm

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
A little boy discovers a whole new world

Submitted: December 28, 2011

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Submitted: December 28, 2011

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New years day, 2500,the whole world celebrated the development of the I-Think, a vast archive of all the worlds information that could be accessed from anywhere at the blink of eye, all on a device smaller than fingernail. A chip connected to a brain implant surgically inserted into babies at birth could provide a instant mental download of any possible movie, game, t.v. show, work of art, or geographical area that one could  possibly need or want. All one had to do was close their eyes and they would be enveloped in a virtual reality that contained all of the thoughts of mankind for the last twenty thousand years. It was a miracle of technology, an incredible demonstration of mankind’s potential and scientific advancement. Now every person could learn to become a surgeon, a physicist, a gourmet chef, a chess grandmaster. However, as with all miraculous new technologies, many did not avail themselves of the full potential of this wonderful resource. Instead, many began to see the I-Think as a diversion, an escape from daily life where they could distract themselves by watching endless hours of cat videos, catch up on their latest t.v. shows and dramas, or experience full virtual reality shooting games such as the new Call of Duty Four Thousand. Casual human interaction began to fade as the world inside people’s heads became much more exciting and interesting to people than the bland and harsh reality of the World City, the jungle of subterranean tunnels and caverns built to house the world population after the atmosphere dissolved in the late 2100’s. However one small boy did not follow the crowd. He hated what he saw in school where children sat in class with closed eyes, not even pretending to listen to the teacher’s monotone voice, herself busy enjoying the newest episode of Two and Half men, a show which followed the hilarious antics of two three legged mutant surface dwellers attached at the spine. At home, his parents barely noticed his constant comings and goings, too busy zoning out with their own equally fascinating virtual reality vacations to which they had a monthly subscription. Putting on his little orange hazmat suit and plastic helmet, Jules often escaped the drudgery of the World City through little known ventilation shafts leading to the surface, where the expanse of the brown and arid landscape seemed to him an endless sea of the unknown, a terra nova waiting to be discovered. Often he wandered amongst the ruins of concrete monoliths, twisted glass and steel monstrosities that once towered above the landscape but now sagged under their own weight, ravaged by the endless passage of time. He would find and pick up artifacts that seemed interesting to him, a funny doodad here, a shiny thingamabob, and every day sift through and attempt to classify his collection of objects, the location of which he jealously guarded as any object brought from the surface would quickly be destroyed for fear of contamination. One day he came to a magnificent building in the middle of the ruined city, a beautiful marble and granite temple replete with titanic white columns, faded to a dark grey from constant acidic rainfall. Intimidated yet at the same time fascinated by this discovery, he cautiously crept into the silent halls of the dark and foreboding antechamber, where he saw tall wooden shelves that seemed to stretch endlessly into the gloom. Curious, he dared to step up to one of the towering ledges and saw that it was stacked high with dusty leather bound objects, all titled with strange names and places of which he had never heard before. As he stared at one such particularly thick object with the mysterious word “Bible” written on the side of it, a sudden flash of recognition hit him on the side of the head. He knew what this was, he had heard of such places before, long ago in his ancient civilizations class his teacher had mentioned a thing called a “library”, a place where primitive humans had stored their ideas on things called “books”, archaic compilations of words written using pigments on a wood derived substance known as “paper”. Jules was astounded to find that such objects still existed as he was told in school that the last known example of a “book” had disappeared during the Great Clarification, during which all “books” kept by people in private collections were burned as antiquated and dangerous items whose ideas morally corrupted peoples intelligence. He was told that such “books” proposed evil and subversive views such as the idea of “ human rights” and the existence of a demon spirit known as “God”. As he gently pried the precious “book” from the shelf and used his sleeve to dust off its cover he felt a surge of excitement overcome him. Here he was, the first in centuries to experience another world of forbidden knowledge, a whole universe of thoughts, ideas and philosophies completely alien to anyone around him. He would delve into the depths of this “library” and discover all he could of that which the world had forgotten. As he eagerly cracked open to the first page of the yellowed tome, he began to read, “In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth…..” 

 


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