“The Light House Keeper stopped writing just like that?” the Captain asks.

“He was given the Light House as his home and was allowed to write from within the confinement of its secured metallic walls,” Hate continues, “that way the words couldn’t escape.  He still indulges in it but his time is mostly divided into looking after the incoming bad books and the maintaining of the fire.  Once he finishes writing one of his own books, then he is obliged to and must destroy it.  Often, he re-reads it to his leisure and memorises it before burning it, just in case he might one day be able to come out of exile.  After all, he is a hope merchant.”

“Some hope,” Labaguette comments.

“Well,” the Captain continues, “it’s all been very interesting but—“

His words are interrupted by a deep roar that rises from the chore of the planet they’re standing on.  It is the end.  The furnace-with-no-name is out of control, its fire raging as it swallows good words and good books that have escaped from their shelves, choosing to die home rather than see it come apart.  They are indigestible and terrible explosions follow as the furnace spits them back out, unable to even swallow them.  There are volcanoes rising fast and erupting, black smoke billowing, lava spurting.

“There’s no exit,” the King insists, “we’ll never make it out of here alive.”

“Capitaine!” Labaguette, inspired, exclaims, “review your books.  There must be one or two on ‘exits’.”

To be continued…©


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