Overthrow at the Temple – Friday Fictioneers, November 2019

Copyright Roger Bultot


Someone will have found them by now.

The Senior Librarian, I filed her behind Crime Fiction.  She’ll probably recover, given time, but she doesn’t have that much time before retirement.

The younger one… meh.   She’s folded neatly into the space between Sci Fi and Historical Romance.  Not in such a bad way, but probably so traumatised she won’t speak again.

Job done there then.

I settle down on a park bench, leafing through my new acquisitions, selecting the latest Victoria Hislop.

The journey begins.

Seagulls wheel overhead, diving, keening, sending a warning to anyone approaching.

Silence please, woman reading.


“I had found my religion: nothing seemed more important to me than a book. I saw the library as a temple.”  Jean Paul Sartre.

My first library – an impressive facade, vaulted ceilings, hushed voices, muffled conversations, soft footsteps.  My current 1960’s style library boasts the noisiest staff ever, all conversing about nothing in particular at full volume. And even when working single-handed, one librarian  (nice woman, I’m sure), insists on voicing every thought out loud… ‘now, I think I’ll catalogue the new releases… and then maybe a nice cup of tea, and after that….’  Grrrr!  Someone whom I’m sure knows how to behave around a library, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, leads the Friday Fictioneers out again this week.  Thank you Rochelle, vent over.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin' and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to Overthrow at the Temple – Friday Fictioneers, November 2019

  1. neilmacdon says:

    *spoken very quietly so as not to disturb* nicely done blend of horror and utter sense


  2. michael1148humphris says:

    I love libraries, the bigger the better, but quiet please,


  3. ceayr says:

    What a beautifully understated depiction of evil.
    How can such a nice lady do this so well?

    PS I empathise with your main character, a library should be a sanctuary

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tannille says:

    The changing culture of libraries. The large old ones you can still hear a pin drop, the local ones are so noisy and more of a social hub (at least in my area they are).


    • Sandra says:

      The last city I lived in, our library was quite huge, but that still didn’t drown out the sounds of a story-telling class for 3 to 5 year olds that took place right in the centre of the hall, several times a week. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Anita says:

    Great thought. Yes, I agree. I too feel libraries are sacred places like temple.
    Have a great week!


  6. Dear Sandra,

    Such a subtly sinister story. This could be a Twilight Zone episode. I agree. Libraries should be quiet zones.




  7. Sue says:

    Very subtly sinister…..


  8. pennygadd51 says:

    Subtle thinking – wham-bam action! What fun!


  9. Lovely and ominous all at once. Library silence is the eleventh commandment, in my opinion.


  10. Iain Kelly says:

    I was on her side until she went with Victoria Hislop. Surely there must be something better to commit murder for! 😉


  11. James McEwan says:

    Where fiction and reality collide; the message is clear, never disturb an engrossed bibliomaniac, since they have learned from reading experience how to commit the most hideous of crimes.


  12. granonine says:

    Sandra, I agree completely. Libraries used to be a place of utter stillness. No distractions. Respect for other patrons. Sad to see that fading. Loved your story, too 🙂


    • Sandra says:

      Thanks Linda, glad you enjoyed it. I’ve made more poor selections whilst I’ve been a member of my current library than ever before, largely because I like to read at least a dozen or so pages before choosing, and it’s impossible to concentrate.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Dale says:

    Oh I love this, Sandra! Love your footnote which ties into your story brilliantly… Libraries have become friggen Starbucks, haven’t they? Actually… I think Starbucks are even quieter now than libraries…
    Those librarians (at your current library) should be dealt with by your heroine… just sayin’
    And I’ve never read Victoria Hislop – shall I add her to my recommended reading list?


    • Sandra says:

      I know I’d regret it if I vented my wrath, Dale. In the meantime I content myself with just glaring. 🙂 Victoria Hislop? I’ve enjoyed some, but a couple not so much. But if there’s a new one out I usually make a point of reading it.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Dear Sandra,

    One of the advantages of being nearly deaf is not being bothered by noisy conversations–or commands from one’s wife.


  15. Oh I love it… you should come and visit my aged librarian… he is a very very silent man, as long as you can stand the egg-yolk left in his beard.


  16. Nobbinmaug says:

    That’s why I type my comments. You can read them very quietly. I have a feeling the next to be filed will be in the rubbish bin.

    My mom used to want to be a librarian, and she is the most talkative person I’ve ever met. She would be just like your librarian. Exactly.


  17. Ha, ha. Preaching to the library choir here!! Now time to go back to my book.



  18. Abhijit Ray says:

    Injuring librarians, robbing a library to read a book! You must be an avid book lover! Why didn’t you get a library membership. I hear they are free.


  19. I live opposite a very lively library! There are book club meetings, children’s story mornings, poetry reading sessions and it’s never silent! I can’t imagine what your lady would make of it!


  20. draliman says:

    I love how matter-of-fact your protagonist is about everything 🙂
    I’ll know to tiptoe around if I ever visit your library!


  21. plaridel says:

    while in college, we considered it as a “loverary”. those were the days. 🙂


  22. Lynn Love says:

    It’s the inclusivity element of modern libraries, isn’t it? It’s lovely but the need to draw in young and old, pre schoolers and their carers, means libraries (where they exist) will now resemble creches. As Neil says, a lovely mix of surreal and horror that made me smile.


  23. bearmkwa says:

    There was a time when our church could stand unlocked all week, and in there I would hide from the world, a good book in hand. The silence of the sanctuary alone was a haven. That no one would think to look for me there, a refuge. Now, I’ve found the library. There’s a small corner way in the back near the geneaology section. Finding me sitting on the floor by the electric outlet several times, the librarian finally put a table and chair. I love it, now! I go there, plug in and insert head phones, and for a few hours escape the world. Often, I’m surrounded by piles of books, papers, or yarn. I’m known to watch documentaries, old b/w classic films, or (at the moment -Torah class), for hours on end while crocheting or arting. I’m so thankful for this…


  24. Liz Young says:

    Oh dear, I pity you your librarian! We have a mixture – normally quiet, but noise when a crowd of mums and toddlers take over the children’s corner. Yours obviously incites violence!


  25. I lived across the road from the public library and my friends and I would hang out there some Saturday mornings. It was quite a reading community. You would find even the ‘cool’ kids, the junkies and ne’er-do-wells there too. So when I moved to another country, it was quite astonishing how little people read books. It is a lonesome feeling…
    Libraries are becoming community centres. It’s a way of keeping people interested in books in the age of visual entertainment. But it does make for more noise than we are used to.
    I loved your take on the prompt esepcially since it reminded me of my younger years.


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