The sign was installed in a hurry, fastened directly on top of the election posters we had just come to remove.
– DETOUR –
“Dunno… some sort of leak?”
“It says… ‘public protection ordinance’,… yadda, yadda … ‘harmful materials’…. blah, blah… bugger me!”
“What is it? Asbestos? Lead?”
“Say’s ‘materials can have long term deleterious effects on human brains, particularly young children’… ‘developmental/behavioural issues’… ‘severe personality implications’… far out!”
“Lets get out of here.”
Behind the library, a curl of black smoke rose, joining other columns in the progressively darkening sky.
Anathema – A thing or person detested or loathed
No mystery around the idea for this story – its taken directly from the photo prompt – a library and a detour sign. Simple.
This is really another idea that has been banging around in the back of my mind for a while – brought to the fore perhaps by me recently finishing (again) A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess*. An amazing novel (this was a re-read – albeit over a decade between reads), it prompted me to think carefully on the topic of censorship** (this book having been variously on and off of banned lists).
I am generally disinclined towards censorship of books. I strongly believe that people should be able to be challenged. Challenge your way of thinking by reading something that conflicts with your point of view, and it causes you to question why you have that point of view. Having your freedom to read, and by this the freedom to challenge your own or someone else’s views, hampered by Government or other censorship… that is deeply concerning.
Censorship is more about maintaining the status quo – not protecting the public.
Anyway, enough of me banging on, let me know what you thought in the comments.
*As I might have implied in earlier post, Burgess’s novel was at least a partial influence to the Friday Fictioneer’s story I did called A Clockwork Universe.
** Do yourselves a favour, and check out Banned Books Week – a site that is dedicated to celebrating the freedom to read.
PS – Apparently I have a problem with libraries… for those who are interested my other short library-related tales: