They were burning books again.
This time though, it wasn’t the people. No, they deemed it too worthless a task to take up their time. They didn’t want to bother with it. But my guess is they were afraid of touching the books.
They were afraid of touching the books, of getting sucked back into knowledge, of having their hopes and ambitions raised again by a few soft and delicate lines.
They were afraid of their power. So they preferred to keep their distance and delegate the job to other beings.
Now robots were burning the books. Intelligent cans of metal were running around the city spreading havoc, chasing librarians out of their libraries and robbing children of their bedtime stories.
Yes, now robots were burning the books. Highly intelligent beings programmed to execute orders perfectly by their masters. Their masters who had given up on one of life’s most prominent sources of knowledge.
We warn and we write and we read and we compose music but we get no answer. There is no one at the other end sticking their ears up close to the wall, holding onto a matchstick to light our little flame. Instead, the people are running, the people are contagious, the people are spreading their stupidity.
The people watch empires burning to cinders without understanding why. They watch the flames rise and forget they were the ones who lit them. They watch the verses break and shatter and applaud to the sound of their cracks.
My cat stares at me from its green cage. I stare back at its face and it speaks to me: it asks me why humans repeatedly make the same mistakes and insist on covering them up. It asks me about the void in their eyes, the pit in their hearts, the graveyard in their souls.
I can only nod but can’t answer. I am unable to answer my own cat.
Far away, the thick smoke rises and touches the skies. They’re at it again, I think to myself.
They were burning books again. The people, the robots and every other life-form that has traded the light for darkness.