Featured Story
Recent Stories
Stories by Topic
News
Make the universe a better place! Join Daily Science Fiction for only $15 / year.
Membership
Take me to a...
Random story
top-rated stories only
Enter any portion of the author name or story title:
small-go-arrowsearch
Sign up for free daily sci-fi!
your email will be kept private
Breaking News
Get a copy of Not Just Rockets and Robots: Daily Science Fiction Year One. 260 adventures into new worlds, fantastical and science fictional. Rocket Dragons Ignite: the anthology for year two, is also available!
Kindle Edition
Kindle Edition
DSF stories are available in monthly digests for Kindle!
DSF for Kindle
Publish your stories or art on Daily Science Fiction:
Submit your story
Check story status
Not just rockets & robots...
What is Science Fiction?
"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.
close






Liberty

Em Liu lives with her husband and goldendoodle in the greater Washington, D.C. metro area, where she researches financial systems by day and devises magic systems by night. Find her on Twitter @EmLiuWriting.
After her father died, Beauty raged against the Beast.
His fortress, which she had loved so much for its chests of magic and its cabinets of knowledge, had suddenly morphed, become a prison of the mind from which there was no egress to be found, as she had tried to find, on more than one occasion--had walked out and followed her feet, only to find herself back where she started.
She threw a book at the Beast's ugly face, and thought how she hated him, sitting upright in a tatty armchair as though it were a throne, his black hair unkempt and his mouth properly gobsmacked, holding the fallen book open in his fingers.
"Why," she wailed at him, conscious--even through her rage--of the tremor of madness in her voice, "why do you keep me here?"
Deferential as ever, he shut the book quietly and spoke to her in a whisper that shuttled across the desk like sheaves of paper: "Miss? This is a library."
So it was: she examined the books that bound her in their straight stacks and remembered that it was their bindings that revoked her liberty, their whispers that kept her numb to a reality less real than the one inspired by the words in her head.
"But I do not want to leave," she wondered, and when the dizzy sway of words subsided, she found no Beast at all, but only the librarian in his spectacles.
He held the book out to her from across the desk, and a smile softened his handsome jawline.
"Then--stay."
The End
This story was first published on Monday, April 22nd, 2019
BECOME A MEMBER!
We hope you're enjoying Liberty by Em Liu.

Please support Daily Science Fiction by becoming a member.

Daily Science Fiction does not have a paywall, but we do have expenses—more than 95% of which are direct payments to authors for their stories. With your $15 membership, less than 6 cents per story, we can continue to provide genre fiction every weekday by email and on the website to thousands of readers for many years to come. Tell me more!

Support Daily Science Fiction

RATE THIS STORY
Please click to rate this story from 1 (ho-hum) to 7 (excellent!):

Please don't read too much into these ratings. For many reasons, a superior story may not get a superior score.

3.9 Rocket Dragons Average

SHARE THIS STORY

JOIN MAILING LIST
Please join our mailing list and receive free daily sci-fi (your email address will be kept 100% private):
 
Copyright Info
Tell a Friend
Send Feedback
About Us