Words on Fire~~by Christine Larsen

Cover image for the story - burning books with the caption "Words on Fire"

“Take us! Take us too! We beg you!”

The creaking and groaning was more than pitiful. It reached horrendous levels. But strain as they would, the bookshelves could not disengage themselves from their sturdy shackles. Their beloved homes had become their bastilles – the only reason they remained in the tragically empty and lonesome bookshops when their ransacking was complete.

“We’d rather die quickly on a funeral pyre, than be left to rot amongst cobwebs and emptiness,” the empty shelves cried piteously. But nobody heard.

Who would have thought the first vandals would be university students, destroying upwards of 25,000 books written in an ‘un-German’ spirit. Or so it began. Tragically, this destruction quickly deteriorated into a frenzy of annihilation of the written word, no matter its form or message. The bonfires burned ever higher. Within days, 34 university towns across Germany had decimated even countless of their own authors’ classics and set the pattern for bookshelves to be ransacked across the land.

“Words are dreams and faith… our tomorrow. Without them, we are nothing,” the bookshelves cried in agony. But nobody listened.

Their cries fell on deaf ears, for this was a cry that shrieked loudest and most painfully in the hearts and outraged souls of true book-lovers… though the brutality ignited horror in even the most illiterate. Few have ever been able to understand why none of those heartless vandals protested, or refused to burn the books in the pogrom of literature lighting the German skies that memorable night. Few have found comfort in the knowledge of how often history has repeated itself. According to Wikipedia:

In some cases, the destroyed works are irreplaceable and their burning constitutes a severe loss to cultural heritage. Examples include the burning of books and burying of scholars under China’s Qin Dynasty (213–210 BC), the burning of the Library of Alexandria (c. 49), the obliteration of the Library of Baghdad (1258), the destruction of Aztec codices by Itzcoatl (1430s), and the burning of Maya codices on the order of bishop Diego de Landa (1562).

If you close your eyes and grant your imagination freedom, you will hear those bookshelves’ message of hope against the odds, saying –

“When WILL you learn Man is a storyteller – has been from the beginning of Time? He’s the reason your legends are born and persist through the history of forever. What he doesn’t know for sure, he imagines. Burn that if you can!”

And they tried, those would-be murderers of human hope – and this particular time was on June 21, the summer solstice, a traditional date for bonfire celebrations in Germany. The callous vandals of this day would not understand that you can NEVER destroy Man’s spirit; his imagination; his memory. It’s a package deal, this human spirit – an indivisible pact between reader and writer.

Throughout history, when all has seemed lost, words, like the fabulous phoenix of legend, rise ever again.

Hush now bookshelves. We hear you and will fill you with our words of hope again… and again.


OMP Admin Note: Christine Larsen is a writer, farmer, wife, mother, and grandmother from Australia. She has never been homeless or had significant cancer – yet – but has had exposure to both – creating a great sense of empathy and desire to help in any way she can. She is humbled by the opportunity to give one of her stories to the sincerely worthwhile causes of Cancer research and Homelessness.


Our short story anthologies written by over 100 writers have been recently published (links below) with all proceeds being donated to the charity organizations our group supports.

If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the complete anthology for FREE, and KU proceeds are donated along with the proceeds from the sale of our anthologies.

Our volunteer authors love to see reviews, and every review helps to make the One Million Project’s books more visible to Amazon customers, assisting us in our mission to raise One Million Pounds / Dollars for EMMAUS Homeless Programs and Cancer Research UK.

LINKS

myBook.to/OMPThriller

myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPFiction

myBook.to/OMPVarietyAnthology

Fear of the Unknown~~by Kate McGinn

Fear of the Unknown~~by Kate McGinn

“You need surgery.” Those words can spark a jumble of emotions in someone. Even someone with three decades of experience in the nursing profession. How many times have I recited the risks of a surgical procedure to the people in my care prior to their own surgeries? They have been too many times to count.

The same feelings of uncertainty can be felt with any illness or medical procedure. We silently wonder at what will be found and how it will affect our daily lives. We worry about how our family will cope if we are unable to work or perform the daily tasks they depend on us to complete for them. In today’s fast-paced world our families are busy and spread out across the country. A health complication might mean a stay in a rehabilitation center or care center if the patient needs assistance during their recovery.

When you read this blog, I will be in surgery having a total knee replacement. It’s a commonplace surgery and has been performed since the Sixties, but when it’s your surgery that feels different. My unknown future and the lack of control are at the top of my list of worries.

As we progress through life, we face challenges and need to make decisions regarding our futures. We have some control over those decisions, but the outcomes are not guaranteed. You can do everything right and still not attain your goal. When you place your life and your health in the hands of the medical staff, you give up some of that control.

You can pick your doctor, your hospital and can make the decision to have the procedure. You can do background checks to see if the medical center has a good rating and your physician is certified and has a good reputation, but you can’t control the randomness of life.

I often recite two sayings and these little ditties guide my general philosophy of life. They are: It is what it is and If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. The first one is a cliché that might imply you don’t think you can fix the issues in your life, but to me, it means that sometimes life has moments where the only control you have is over your response. The second phrase coined by Woody Allen reflects on how something can still come to pass despite all we do to prevent such an outcome.

How am I dealing with my pending surgery? I have my will and health care power of attorney completed. I’m eating as healthy as I can, doing the isometric exercises my physician recommended prior to surgery, and I’m keeping a positive attitude.

My positive attitude is all I really have control over now, during and after.


OMP Admin Note: Kate McGinn is a writer and OMP Network member – one of a group of networkers who will be blogging on a regular basis on various causes and issues. Kate hopes to spread awareness of the issue of American Veterans returning home to less help than they deserve. EMMAUS is one of the two main charities we are supporting.

Kate McGinn’s fiction can be found on Amazon in the flash fiction series BITE SIZE STORIES (Volume Two) along with five other guest writers, and in the One Million Project Fiction Anthology. Her Clare Thibodeaux Series which include the suspense books — EXODUS, WINTER’S ICY CARESS, and NEVER SHOW YOUR HAND — is available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. Kate’s stories can also be found in the magazine — Mom’s Favorite Reads available on Amazon and Smashwords. And also on “The Stories We Tell” podcast on Google Play, Libsyn, Spotify, and http://www.paulsating.com/the-stories-we-tell

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01KUKTYFQ

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kate-McGinn/e/B01KUKTYFQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1473258097&sr=1-2-ent

https://www.katemcginn.com/


Our short story anthologies written by over 100 writers have been recently published (links below) with all proceeds being donated to the charity organizations our group supports.

If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the complete anthology for FREE, and KU proceeds are donated along with the proceeds from the sale of our anthologies.

Our volunteer authors love to see reviews, and every review helps to make the One Million Project’s books more visible to Amazon customers, assisting us in our mission to raise One Million Pounds / Dollars for EMMAUS Homeless Programs and Cancer Research UK.

LINKS

myBook.to/OMPThriller

myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPFiction

myBook.to/OMPVarietyAnthology