Books in the Oven

Posted: 24 April, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

In eighth grade, we read Bradbury. I took my copy of the book into the kitchen one evening while my mother was at work and put it in the oven. It was new. It had buttons on it instead of nobs, with arrows pointing up and down, so I set the temperature to 450 exactly (you could only go in increments of five).

I put the book on the top rack, closed the door and sat in front of the oven. I watched the thermometer rise waiting until the last possible moment, so I could save it in the nick of time and feel like a hero.

I came closer than I meant to though. I’d forgotten about the metal rack and conductivity of heat. The book took flame. I threw open the oven door and reached in. There is still a burn on the side of my thumb from this. I dropped the book on to tile of the kitchen floor, burning side down, and stopped on it a few times.

The flames went out easy enough, but the smell of fire hung in the air and my mother would be home soon. I turned the oven off, got bag of popcorn from the pantry, and microwaved it until the smoke alarm sounded. I didn’t much care for popcorn, especially burnt popcorn.

I carried the smouldering bag to the back yard. Opened it, pinching tenderly by its paper seem, and dumped the contents out behind the bushes (those prickly ones with the red berries) for the animals.

When the kids at school asked about the black sear marks on the back of my copy, I told them I’d burned it for dramatic effect. And so no one would steal my book. It worked way better that writing my name in it.

  1. The person on their way home from work says:

    So that is what happened to the oven!

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