The Missionary’s Position


We called it the Last Homely House.

A final bastion, standing firm against the starving hordes of cities now lost to us, stolen away from the civilised. Abandoned by the peaceful, overrun by the vicious.

There were times when we had to chance our hand against the rot, to sally forth with steel and with fire to defend knowledge. Now, they have forgotten us, standing high upon the tablelands, high above the cloud-seas.

I had almost forgotten them – if only I could – but my burden is too great a responsibility.

I hold the last books.

They demand to be read.

Written for this weekend’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt (seen at the top of the story. ) Comments and criticisms welcome! Also, I think this is exactly 100 words – can’t figure out how to ask the iPad that question…

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11 thoughts on “The Missionary’s Position

  1. rochellewisoff says:

    This is actually one of the most chilling stories I’ve read from this prompt. A lot said in so few words if you read between the lines. Good job on the writing as well. Thank you.
    Here’s mine:

  2. billgncs says:

    Tolkien reference to Rivendale ? I think wherever the books are would be warm and inviting — even in so stark a milieu. Even the title plays well as eventually he can bring forth knowledge. Nicely done.

  3. […] The Missionary’s Position by ChrisWhiteWrites ~ @chriswhitewrite ~ Science Fiction […]

  4. Kwadwo says:

    In a post-apocalyptic world, the one thing that preserves humanity is knowledge.

    “… to sally forth with steel and with fire to defend knowledge.”

  5. Brian Benoit says:

    “High above the tablelands, high above the cloud-seas” — great descriptions and voice for your narrator, all in service to an interesting premise. I want more! Nice job

    Brian (

  6. The fate of the educated for education’s sake. Knowledge has to be passed on. A terrible thing to imagine, a life with out books. If illiteracy is something the future hold let me check out now. Great story it paints your world cleanly and in lots of detail too. I’m here:

  7. TheOthers1 says:

    “Chance our hand against the rot.” I really love that line. The feel of this story was cool. I can’t imagine there not being books. It’s odd to me. Very Fahrenheit 451. Nicely done.

  8. Jeanelaine says:

    Oh my, I didn’t want this to stop. I wanted to “turn the page,” and let the story unfold. Chilling indeed.

  9. I love the idea of a book-preserving hero hiding out here. He/she sounds pretty desperate, so I do want to know more about this situation.

  10. I liked the mood this little piece set. I’m not sure yet which side is the true bad guy, either. This one could make a good seed for something larger.

Comments and criticism always welcome!

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