Life in the Library

When she was just seventeen, Kate had come to live in the library. She had never left it in the twenty years that had followed. Not that she was ignorant of the world and its ways. She discovered the triumphs and tragedies of mankind through the pages around her and from the whispered voices of the people among the bookshelves. From them she had a better understanding of the shape of events than most politicians.

Kate still had no interest in leaving. She was happy and that, she had learnt, was a remarkable state in itself.

She had been a forest child. Her mother used to take her out among the trees to tell her stories. She had been happy there too. When things had changed, as they usually do, she had been lucky to find this place. On thin rectangles of trees were printed stories enough for a lifetime.

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Damian Mark Whittle

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