How It Begins (Flash! Friday: Vol 3 – 32)

Flash! Friday: Vol 3 – 32.

Today’s challenge: Based on Orwell’s 1984, select from the following and create a piece of flash fiction, 200-225 words:

Conflict: man vs society (government)
Character: historian
Theme(s): Censorship and/or totalitarianism
Setting: dystopia (near-future society ruled by an evil, oppressive government)

How It Begins (224 words, character: historian, setting: dystopian future, oppressive government, and theme: censorship)

“They’re coming.”

“Yes, I know.”

“Shouldn’t we at least try to hide the books?”

I looked up from the screen in my hands and stared across the room at the pacing teenager. “Patrick, really. I’m a licensed historian. I have the necessary permits for everything that’s out here.” I turned back to the screen and updates of the riot police raids.

“Aunt Evelyn, please.” When I looked back at the boy, he was wringing his hands, emerald irises almost obscured by the dark pools of his pupils.

“Alright, Patrick, alright.” I stood and swiped my finger across the screen, erasing my trails from the device. He scooped up papers and books from table tops, carrying them to a large basket. He pressed a button and the basket disappeared underneath a neighboring chair, then moved a large potted plant to cover the vacant space. I ran my finger along the top of the bookcase, stopping at a depression in the wood for print recognition. The shelves full of books, mostly containing those detailing the Holocaust and Nazi Germany, shifted backwards as another panel of books moved into place from within the walls, meeting and locking together in the middle. I surveyed the contents of the shelves, mostly post-Holocaust materials and all approved, and looked to Patrick as the banging began.


“This is how it begins.”

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