One night I woke up and there was an eerie orange glow outside my window. It moved in waves, and cast flickering shadows on my walls. I got up to see what it was and it looked like a fire of some kind. I thought maybe there was a forest fire. I went out th’ back door and climbed up onto th’ fence to see what was going on.
There was a bonfire roaring in th’ field between the bayou and th’ forest. I couldn’t see what was burning. There were great big sheets of ash floating up into the air, disappearing into darkness as they burned up and drifted back down.
I saw figures dancing around th’ fire. Five, maybe six of ‘em, but I couldn’t tell for sure. It gave me th’ creeps a little bit, but I stood there on th’ fence, my head peeking over, unable to break away from th’ scene. Then I saw lights flashing, and a firetruck appeared, then another. Then a police car. Several police cars. Th’ figures dancing around th’ fire ran off into th’ woods and disappeared. Some of th’ cops ran after them, but they were too late. Th’ two firetrucks and th’ police cars all parked with their headlights facing th’ fire. Th’ firemen poured water on it with their hoses. Soon there was no fire, just a lot of steam and smoke I could see th’ great black smouldering heap, and all th’ police and firemen walking around it, shining their flashlights.
I watched for a while. Some of th’ cops walked around th’ field, th’ forest, th’ bayou. One of them walked right past me, right along th’ fence I was standing on, but he didn’t see me. All he could see was what his flashlight beam fell on.
Th’ firemen were poking and prodding th’ mound, spraying deep down into it, spraying till all th’ smoke was gone. My eyes were getting heavy. Two of the cop cars left and one stayed. One of th’ firetrucks left and one stayed. I left and wanted to stay.
I went back inside. Little Randy was still asleep. Mom and Pat were still asleep. I went back to bed and went to sleep.
I woke up early. Mom was up so I told here I had to check on something real quick and ran out th’ back door. This time I jumped th’ fence. I ran across th’ bayou. I ran across th’ field and straight to th’ burnt mound that was still there. As I got closer to it I could see what it was. I stopped running and walked real slow towards it. I bent down and picked up one of th’ charred pages. R is for Rocket, it read, Short Stories of Ray Bradbury. Something moved inside of me. I folded th’ page and put it in my pocket, walked closer to th’ pile.
I picked up page after page, book after book, and read all th’ words I could find, all th’ words that had not been burned to ash. All th’ words that still spoke. I gathered many, everyone that spoke to me, I folded them up and put them in my pocket. I looked at that pile of burnt books and that something that stirred deep within me welled up this time, and boiled over, and I wept. I didn’t want to cry, but I couldn’t help it. I cried and cried and cried.
I heard a voice behind me. A cough. Excuse me. I turned around and there was a man standing there, a police officer. Are you alright, he asked me. Yeah, I said. Know anything about what happened here? No, I told him. Well, he said, you’d better go on home now, I need to check th’ place out. Look for evidence. Ok, I said, and I left.
As I was walking away I saw another page, almost completely burned, but it still had a few words on it. I picked it up and read it. Every work will be brought to the light. The Day shall declare it. The fire shall reveal it…