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Story by Chanel Earl (Read author interview) March 15, 2008

We burned a book. It was The Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening, and my husband found it next to a dumpster. The four of us, Annie, Jesse, Martin and I tore out the pages. Jesse tore them out angrily after reading the pages aloud to us, as if he were reading something profane. We laughed. We threw the pages onto the fire a few at a time, taking no turns. Martin stood; I sat, and all of us watched the center of each page turn brown before it would burst into flames. Pictures of trees, flowers and garden vegetables would orange, then blacken, then whiten. Annie and I both saw thin lines sketching out a bouquet of daisies. “Beautiful,” we said, and we laughed again.

About the Author

Chanel Earl lives in Salt Lake City with her husband. She loves naps, Indian food and gardening.

This story appeared in Issue Twenty of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Twenty

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