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The Pit

Discussion in 'Stories' started by Undead_Lives, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. Undead_Lives

    Undead_Lives New Member

    Jan 11, 2006
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    This was an English assignment, I took themes from Mill's On Liberty and wrote it in the style of 1984.

    The Pit

    The flames were not deterred by the frosted earth on this late autumn morning. Gallio had walked over to watch, even though it was four o'clock and he'd usually be sleeping. It was the first book burning in nearly a year. Or maybe longer. Gallio's memory wasn't what it used to be; maybe he was getting old. The pit was as gruesome as ever. Still skulls sat atop pikes as a warning to all would-be writers.
    Gallio vaguely remembers the first book burning. It wasn't long after that (or was it?) when the first pike was placed down around the Book Burning Pit. Back then a burning was revolutionary, exciting or frightening depending on which side you were on. The general public had united for the first time in centuries in the first campaign against writers. It was a paradox that still plagued Gallio today. Those that were intolerant rioted against those who wrote about tolerance, and those who were tolerant rioted against those who wrote about intolerance, or not their particular brand of tolerance. But the burning didn't begin until the rioters from both sides realized they had a common enemy: books.
    Up until this point writers had been kept safe because whenever they had enemies, they also had allies. Those allies disappeared when being a writer or book lover ended in execution. Society had spoken, and governments had either stepped out of the way or chimed in. In time every nation had made writing a crime punishable by death. Some writers tried to continue in secret, but none of them lived long.
    Gallio was one of the few surviving secret book lovers. He had a safe full of books from what was once his library. After filling it with any books he could save, he buried it where no one could ever find it. Then he joined the madness. It tore his soul to shreds. He acted along in order to save what books he could. Only the thought of saving a few books by burning hundreds kept him sane. His conscience still plagues him for it.
    Gallio doesn't know why he buried the safe. Maybe it was for his own good; knowing that there were still some books out there that were safe was comforting. Or maybe he hoped that a future generation would find the safe and realize that not all of their predecessors had been insane, but the likelihood of that happening was slim and even then there was no guarantee that whomever should find it would not be a book burner, or be able to read for that matter.
    Gallio started to think back further. It had really begun when people stopped reading and started watching. Communication reverted back to its simplest form of spoken word. When reading became unnecessary, books became unnecessary, which led to their destruction. Gallio once had hope that the frenzy would soon diminish and people would once again be able to express thoughts and ideas through text. After all these years he had finally lost his last thread of hope in his generation today. This book burning would be the last he would see.
    The idea had come to him from a quote he had once read: “Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.” He stopped at the edge of the pit and thought again about the paradox of his hidden safe, and prayed silently that someday humans would regain their humanity.
    Facing the pit, Gallio let his body fall slowly forward.

    Comments/critique welcome.

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