Smoke hung so thick in the library’s rafters she could see words in them.
The bonfire blazed with a ferocity she had not seen before. The heat emanating from the books was at odds with the snow drift which continued to build outside the window at a frightening pace. The warnings of the extremes global warming would bring had been ignored and now they were forced to literally watch human history burn in a futile attempt to keep this small group of humanity alive for just a little longer.
Lying on her back, she imagined she could read the words of the Shakespearean texts she had thrown into the fire herself only moments before dance carelessly across the air. The soft, mournful hiccoughing from the head librarian punctuated the silence and added a syncopated rhythm to these sooty dancers before her eyes. Much ado about nothing twirled and floated while Banquo’s pleas for Fleance to fly shot across the room.
And the head librarian wailed.
She looked away from the performance of lexicons before her and allowed herself to feel sorry for the head librarian for just a moment, but only a moment. The head librarian had been foolishly protective of these books screaming at the others to stay away from them; these pieces of kindle of keep the occupants of the library warm for just a while before humankind would be gone forever. The punch the young teenager in the corner had landed on the head librarian’s jaw had managed to silence her for long enough to put the Elizabethan literature section onto the fire.
She wondered if the head librarian was crying for her loss or her pain.
Then she realised that she didn’t care.
Once again, she lay on her back to watch the words leap and dance before taking a final deep breath of dark smoke which filled her lungs.
She coughed; wheezed and cursed the obscuring of the dance.
Then the dance ended and the head librarian no longer cried.