“Do you notice anything different about me?”
“What do you mean, Amanda?”
“I don’t know. I had a bizarre dream, but when I woke up, I seem to have lost it all. Something feels off.”
“It’s probably nothing. I’ve been your assistant for a long time. You’re the best librarian I’ve ever worked for.”
Amanda smiled. “Come on, Josef, we’ve got work to do.”
Amanda and Josef parked their company vehicle as close to the library doors as possible. There were people who would stop at nothing to capture the two of them.
The doors creaked as Josef pushed the heavy oaken doors. “I’ll wait here.” He said. “You get your read on.”
Amanda smiled, picked up the closest book and began to read. She consumed the text as if it were life giving water and she was dying of thirst. She’d loved books for as long as she could remember her job as a librarian fulfilled that desire. One book after another, she read. Josef kept a respectful distance, only making his presence known when Amanda needed another book. Amanda read through lunch and still had only read a small percentage of the dusty books.
Amanda felt a hand on her shoulder. “Amanda, we need to come back tomorrow.”
“But it’s still light out. There are many more books to read here.”
“It’s not safe right now. Let’s come back tomorrow.”
Amanda waved the book she was reading when Josef interrupted her. “Can I bring this one with us?”
“I wish we could, but these books are contaminated.”
Amanda sighed. “Very well, tomorrow, then.”
“There’ll be no tomorrow for either if you.” Said a cloaked figure standing in the doorway.
“Amanda, get behind me!” Shouted Josef.
Amanda stood frozen, a book clutched to her chest. Josef backed up slowly, shielding the still frozen Amanda from the intruder. “Amanda, move!” Shouted Josef.
“I can’t move!” Cried Amanda, “there’s something wrong with my legs.”
“I’ve disabled your librarian.” Declared the intruder as he inspected a weapon in his hand. “We will take her and see what history you’ve hidden from us.”
Josef scoffed, “You know I can’t let you have her. She’s too valuable. It’s my job to keep her safe.”
“Then your job, it appears, is to die trying.”
Amanda watched the two men and their incredulous conversation. “What are you two saying?”
The intruder turned to her. “My dear, you are a piece of wondrous technology. A repository of all information you come into contact with. With the knowledge you contain, the rebellion would be unstoppable.”
“Not today you won’t.” Sneered Josef. “It was a pleasure being your assistant, Amanda. Josef pressed a button on a device secreted in his coat.
“No!” Screamed the intruder as Amanda collapsed.
“Yes, indeed.” Replied Josef as he pressed a second button on his device.
The explosion killed the intruder and destroyed half of the library.
As Josef lay on the floor, life fading, he spoke his last words: “Good night, Amanda.”