The Angel hardly looked up from his desk where he was busily writing when the new soul was brought before him in chains. He gestured at the wall where a live scene of the soul in front of him, much younger and dressed in a smart uniform was supervising the throwing of books onto a large bonfire.

“Explain”. Hie voice had the clarity of a bell, but there was an undercurrent of sourness.

The soul tried to straighten himself in his chains, but the Angel continued writing, ignoring him. “Those writings were offensive to the Feurheur”.

“Who is?” the Angel asked. He glanced up momentarily.

“I was just…”

“…following orders” the Angel finished for him, with a sigh.

At last the Angel put down his pen and looked directly at the prisoner. “I suppose I could point out to you what a gift intelligence is. How many thousands of years in investment it takes to raise a creature from a dumb, instinctive animal to an intelligent being”. The Angel gestured at the wall again on which appeared bright pornographic images. “If you wanted to burn something, you could have burnt these, and enriched the race in the process. But no. You want to be stupid. Intelligence is wasted on you, so I will relieve you of its burden”.

With that the Angel sat and resumed writing.

The guards turned the prisoner from the room. “Hey, wait. What is going to happen to me?”

But no-one answered.

A short time later life blossomed in darkness. Driven by hunger it started to eat. After a time it rested, and then the room was flooded with light. The librarian glanced up at the bookshelf, then looked again. Then he took down the end book and looked at the one next to it. Then the next, until he had worked his way along the entire shelf. Then he called his assistant. “Take these books out to the yard and be sure to burn them. A bookworm has got into them and we can’t risk infection of the other books”.

The assistant looked aghast. “Burn books?”

“Don’t worry” said the librarian. “Fortunately it was only the porn which was affected. Shouldn’t have been in the library in the first place”.




I wrote this story about 1995, but it got lost somewhere in my travels. I altered the ending in this re-write.

Copyright Prayerwarriorpsychicnot 8 April 2014



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