The Daily Post prompt – The Great Divide – When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?
These really aren’t the most electrifying prompts so I am glad I can turn them into stories. If you feel you must know my answer, it is that:
All reading is fun. I read anything and everything and it is all pleasure. I do not need to pick one over the other as they are all worthy of my time *wink*
I’ve also used the story to fulfill the prompt at 3 Words (here) and the words I used are highlighted in bold.
Timmy wandered the aisles with no real idea of what to check out. The library stacks towered above him on all sides leaving him mildly uneasy, expecting them to teeter and fall, burying him in actuality as he currently felt buried in choices. Fiction or non-fiction? His library ticket gave him the choice of ten books, but Timmy’s had a purple star in the top right corner. A superb reader, both Timmy’s mum and his teacher had asked the women at the library to grant him access to the adult sections; the purple star was his backstage pass, his entrance into a million new worlds unknown to his peers, and an additional two books each week.
He clutched the ticket and ambled along, scanning the autobiographies of people he suspected were long dead and he didn’t recognise. The opposite shelves contained a hundred or so books dedicated to geography and Timmy was tempted. He loved reading about places he’d probably never go to, spending his nights dreaming up adventures for his hero, Sir Hugo Thrilling. Aged five, Timmy had often spent the weekends with his Grandpa Jo who believed in bedtime stories. No reading from books for Grandpa Jo; instead he told Timmy exciting tales of his friend and one time partner, Sir Hugo Thrilling, world’s greatest marksman, spy extraordinaire and treasure hunter.
Timmy drifted, idly drawing and returning book after book, wishing Grandpa Jo hadn’t gone to the home and taken all his tales of Sir Hugo deep inside his brain where they couldn’t get out any more. Grandpa Jo didn’t even appear to recognise Timmy these days. Sadder than he knew how to express, Timmy stood gazing at his feet, fighting for his calm place, when he spotted a book on the lowest shelf which was almost falling out. Timmy knew you shouldn’t assign meaning to random events but when he bent to push the book back into place the title gave him pause.
‘Follow Me!’ was emblazoned in bold black script over a photograph of a man swinging on a rope over a wide crevasse. The man had his back to the camera, but something about him seemed terribly familiar. Head bent, studying the cover, Timmy almost dropped the book in fright when a voice issued from the other side of the stacks.
“You lad, come this way”
A hand appeared around the side of the stack, index finger curled and beckoning. Timmy knew all the reasons you should never follow a stranger, but somewhere in his heart he knew this was no stranger. He hurried to the end of the stack just in time to see a solid teak cane vanishing between the history and science stacks. His heart leapt; he knew that cane, knew it would have a beautiful gold lion head and the initials HT carved into the handle. He wanted to run but he was a good lad indeed and knew the library rules by heart. He walked so fast he could hear the swishing static of his trousers rubbing together, peeling around the stacks and struggling to suppress a laugh of delight as a pith helmet waved a couple of times from the gloomy recesses of the archives and was gone.
Setting his book choices, a healthy balance of fiction and non, on a side table, Timmy forgot all the rules, running full tilt for the usually locked archive doors. The wrought iron gate swung open at his touch. He hurtled inside, racing headlong into the gloom and was brought to an abrupt halt by a meaty hand and a booming voice.
“Always break the rules do you, lad?”
“Not always, Sir, but sometimes… sometimes rules aren’t as important as knowing.”
“Good answer, that man! This way then.”
Timmy stepped smartly into line behind Sir Hugo Thrilling, watching a trap door open in the floor of the archives, following the receding bulk of his hero without a qualm. A man who looked incredibly like Grandpa Jo.
At Bide-a-While nursing home, Grandpa Jo settled back in his chair, allowing his imprisoned mind to wander free within the fantastical form of Sir Hugo Thrilling. It still amazed him, this new-found ability to project his mind out of his dying frame, giving him the chance to beat the dementia which had deprived Jo and Timmy of so much. He took a final breath, smiled and swept through the ether to join his grandson on their latest adventure.