Last month Talia entered the Library Time Warp contest being held by the Huntington Beach Library. The contest was to write a story about either 100 years in the future or 100 years in the past at the library. She got a call last week informing her that she won an Outstanding Merit award. The award’s ceremony was held today. She won a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card.
You can watch her getting her award in this video.
Here’s her story:
Books? What Books?
I was walking home, reading, when I looked up. I was at the library. I thought Iâ€™d stop by. But at the moment I opened the door, I knew something was wrong. There was a heavy mist inside the library, definitely not usual. I decided to investigate, starting on the left. Here, the mist was clearer. The library looked old, an ornate, 1900â€™s old. â€œOdd.â€ I said aloud. Moving to the right, I noticed the mist was really thick here. Something was moving toward me. It definitely wasnâ€™t a person, it was a robot! Iâ€™ve always wanted to see one. I could put two things together. Past or Future? With no hesitation, I threw my science fiction book aside and headed to the future!
The mist closed in, and then cleared. There was nothing where I was standing, but skyscrapers everywhere else. There was a fluorescent blue street – no cars, just people and robots. I really needed to learn about the future. I stepped on the street and started moving. No, the street was moving! It stopped at an info center and I walked in. A robot there named Bot (Total clichÃ©!) handed me an â€œeRecâ€ (thatâ€™s what it said on the top) and wheeled off. I opened the eRec and read the first page that came up.
â€œFollowing the banning of books, the government has made it possible to attain information by mass producing these eRecs…â€ At this point, I had to back up. Banning of books? As if the eRec had read my thoughts, another page popped up. â€œIn 2070, the government officially banned books because they were poisoning the minds of the people.â€ This confused me even more. Books arenâ€™t bad! (Except in some cases when a hardback gets in the hands of an angry librarian.) I had to sort this problem out, and fix it. I left some money on the steel table and walked out, taking the eRec with me.
After finding out where the town hall was (and where they first banned books), I hatched a plan. I was going to talk to the man in charge and attempt to convince him to un-ban books. Stepping off the street moments later I walked in and asked another robot (Named Rob, this time) to take me to the head. I was lead down the hall, to a jolly, but firm man. â€œCan I ask you a question, and be given a fair hearing and answer?â€ â€œNo problem.â€ He said with a confused look on his face. â€œWhy did you ban books?â€ I demanded. â€œBad ideas were spreading. People were getting false hope from false things. Eventually all of the anxiety peaked and I had to ban the books. Every government official in the county agreed with me, so it happened.â€ he answered. â€œAll of thatâ€™s not true!â€ I yelled. â€œSECUR-â€ He stopped. â€œI promised, didnâ€™t I.â€ I nodded and continued. â€œBad ideas spreading? False hope? You donâ€™t have to believe what you read. False things? Fiction books are great! You can put yourself in a place youâ€™ve never been or will be. You can experience things and sensations while sitting, reading!â€ I exclaimed.
The man sat there, thinking. After a few minutes of nothing but that, he replied, â€œI see your point. Iâ€™ll bring this up at the next meeting. Perhaps books will be unbanned after all.â€ â€œThanks!â€ I shouted, as I left. I walked back to where the library should be. The mist rolled in, then cleared again. I found myself back in the time I belonged, where books actually existed.