Image: http://publicdomainarchive.com/public-domain-images-royal-path-life-vintage-book-circa-1880-green-gold/


The opening sentence for the February 19th Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: “There it was. You could see the corner of the folded yellowed parchment sticking out of the torn lining of the battered book.”  

The children had circled the object taking in his ragged appearance, the protruding parchment serving to whet their curiosity.

The red haired girl spoke up asking what it was.

“It’s a book,” the old man announced.

“Do you plug it in?” asked one.

“No,” the old man continued chuckling. “This is a relic of long ago when people read from paper books such as this one.”

“But what does it do?” asked the red haired girl, looking intently, wondering what she had to do to make it move.

“It contains knowledge.” The old man replied. “ Inside is all the information held in the minds of men.”

“They didn’t know much then,” said the girl as she hovered above the book her mind trying desperately to make it move.

“Compared to now, no they didn’t.” said the old man.

“So why are you showing us?” asked the first boy.

“It’s a reminder that knowledge came from somewhere. We know what we know because a long time ago men gathered knowledge into books and that knowledge was passed on to others.”

“But we are born with knowledge.” said the red haired girl.

The old man looked at her and understood her arrogance and remembered a time when he too thought such things about the past.


Written for: https://rogershipp.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/flash-fiction-for-the-purposeful-practitioner-week-8-2016/

This entry was posted in Uncategorized, Writing prompt and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. rosemawrites says:

    Oh. Wow. Nice take. I like the subtleness and the depth of your tale.

  2. Excellent! Your story compares the difference between the generations. Maybe we all thought at one time or another that we are born with knowledge. I hate to see books become a distant memory.

  3. Great story! The idea of a world without books seems terrifying to me.

  4. swritings says:

    Brilliant! I really loved this story! Great message!

  5. Uday says:

    Wow, brilliant story! A conversation similar to this might actually happen in the future.

  6. I wonder from where the children’s children will acquire their knowledge. Perhaps it will be built into their brains at birth!

    Visit Keith’s Ramblings!

  7. Unfortunately, the conversation is already going on. Digitizing books, journals, magazines, etc. means the physical form with leather and paper is ceasing to exist. Books crumble after being digitized; the question of archiving the original away. I worked on digitization projects, and while more would have access to academic journals, the paper ones disappeared and going forward the journals were often on-line only. A curation of on-line material is a whole new way of looking at preservation.
    Long comment, great story!!!!!

    • Thank you my friend, I think a paperless society is not so far away if not already upon in some forms.

      • Then, again to be contrary, in Secretarial (Administrate Assistant) School in the mid-1970s, a crude word-processing typewriter was demonstrated, and we were told that , the paperless office would soon exist. Still have a ways to go on that.

  8. I have my typewriter, a collection of books and a love of all things old. This was lovely and I’m sure, soon to be played out. Sad. 😦

  9. Kalpanaa says:

    Fantastic idea for the prompt. Well written too.

  10. rogershipp says:

    Enjoyed! Very thought provoking!

Please feel free to comment, I appreciate your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s