The kingdom of ash

I sat at the top of the scaffolding looking out at the bleak landscape and sighed. Almost every street had at least one burnt out shell of a house or a house on fire. I suppose I should have been happy as it meant more building work for me but I wasn’t. I was angry. Angry that books had been banned and angry that innocent people got there houses burnt down as a punishment for wanting to read. The pinkie red evening sky reminded me of fire. Everything reminded me of fire these days. I went into the house I was working on and downstairs.

It was another victim of the ‘firemen’, people employed by the rulers to burn down any houses found containing books. Everything in the house was black. I had a search around among the ruins searching for my treasure. I looked in a few cupboards and found nothing but blackened food cans. I noticed a freezer tipped on its side. Like everything else it was a bit black and charred and I wondered if it would open. I pulled the door open carefully and easily and looked inside. YES! I found what I was looking for.

Five leather bound black books were inside, stacked neatly on top of one another. I collected them up in my brown bag and hurried out of there. On my way to Doris’ house I noticed everyone on the street was moving to the side and I knew what that meant. The shiny white highly polished surface of the ruler’s limo came into view and as it did I felt a sudden surge of hatred because these were the people who were responsible for the book ban. I had to bite my lip to stop myself shouting abuse at them and just hurried on.

I was relieved when I finally reached the dental practise the Doris had been living above before it had been burnt down because she had a book on being a good dentist. I went in to the ash covered operating room and set to work straight away as I knew Doris wanted it done as soon as possible because she needed the money it brought in. I had been there earlier that day so I just picked up where I left off and was soon busy. I looked up and Doris was in the doorway watching me work.

She let out a sigh. I know it looks bad now” I comfort her “but it will be as good as new, better in fact, when i’m finished. ” “Thanks I really appreciate this. I wouldn’t be able to live without my practise. I really need the money. ” After that I worked into the night and didn’t return home until the early hours of the next morning. Chapter 2 The next morning I slept late. When I woke, I remembered I was meeting with Cecil and Lotty so I got dressed, grabbed my brown bag and hurried to the doctor’s surgery that Cecil owned.

As soon as I walked past I was yanked into a back ally. The shadow of the ruler’s castle was making it dark and I thought I saw something moving but I just ignored it. Cecil and Michael were already there and Cecil was saying something about how the rulers need dealing with but I don’t really pay much attention as he is always going on about them. I notice Lottys edgy look, as if she doesn’t really like what’s going on. “Cecil” I interrupted his ramblings, “I got a good haul yesterday. 5 books in one house, all unharmed by the fire” How come they weren’t burnt? ” he asks “Freezer, oldest trick in the book” I answer.

“Lets see them then” Lotty demands. I get the books out and Cecil inspects them all, one by one “The city is uneasy today” lotty comments. “Yeah I noticed something odd on my way down here. Its like everything got darker and no-one wants to stay outside” “Troubles a’ brewing. I can feel it in me old bones” Cecil says “something big’s gonna happen, and soon. Maybe we’ll even get our books back. ” He inspects one book in particular. “Poisons and potions, ay” he mutters

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