It was a pleasure to burn. Now it's a burden. I cannot burn anymore.
Posted on August 15, 2049 by Guy Montag
Frantic to make sure the mechanical hound couldn’t follow my scent, I dove into the river and scrubbed my body clean. I then lay on my back and let the flow of the river carry me downstream. After moving barely a few hundred feet I heard a shuffle back at the shore and saw the mechanical hound, its nose scavenging the surroundings for my scent. Blinding lights from the police helicopters immediately illuminated the shore and I felt a surge of fear and adrenaline rush into me. Thankfully though, I was hidden in the darkness, and after searching for a moment the hound turned and went back into the city.
Staring up at the stars and thinking about the miserable situation I had landed myself in, I drifted through the night into the calm countryside. When I decided to step out of the river, I was overwhelmed with this new feeling of nature. The sights, smells, and sounds of the deep countryside woods felt completely different from what I was used to my entire life. I found an old railroad and decided to follow it, recalling Faber telling me that many other outcasted citizens traveled along it. I had a strong sense that Clarisse had once walked where I now walked, and that idea calmed me. As I walked along the railroad I noticed five men sitting around a campfire off to the side. The leader, named Granger, invited me to sit with them. I was apprehensive at first on whether or not to trust them. But they revealed that they were ex-firemen, too, which shocked me, and that there were thousands of them along the railroad. Everyone brought with them knowledge from a book and the plan was for the firemen to rise when the time was right to restore books into the world. The men explained that the government had to make my TV chase end for the sake of a dramatic conclusion for the viewers. Sure enough, a portable TV they had been watching showed the mechanical hound pounding on a man that was supposedly me. This made me feel eased because of the chance that the government was giving up on my chase and I was now a free man in the woods.
Just before dawn, a massive explosion and shockwave rocked the temporary peace I had been feeling. A bomb had been dropped on the city, turning it into a massive graveyard of obliterated structures. Despite knowing Millie was in the city when the bomb fell, I didn’t feel very much shock or sadness. I realized our marriage had been rather unhappy and I couldn't even remember until now where we had first met. After pondering on it, my new friends and I cooked a quick meal of bacon, and then we were off. We will return to the city, scavenge any resources in the ruins, and lend any help we can give. The plan is to rebuild a new, literate society. It won't be easy, and it will defeinitely take a lot of time and effort. But it will be worth it. We are going to change the world. I'll keep this blog updated with our progress.
Posted on August 14, 2049 by Guy Montag
I had no choice but to burn it down. Mildred came out of the house and ran off in a beetle, muttering about her poor parlor walls being destroyed. Beatty watched as I pointed my flamethrower around, sending dragon-like flames through the house. I felt conflicted about doing this. My life and all my possessions were being obliterated at my hand, yet I was leaving behind my troubled past and unhappy marriage. And that old feeling of pleasure while burning returned to me. But when Beatty announced I was being arrested, I knew I had to escape. Faber, still connected to the Green Bullet, told me to get out of there, and so I did. But Beatty noticed something and struck a blow on my head, sending the earpiece to the floor. He picked it up, suspected that someone was helping me, and promised to track down whoever it was.
I had to protect Faber, so in a few wild moments, I turned my flamethrower on him and burnt him to crisps just as I had with the books. I instantly regretted it. I had become a murderer. But then I wondered whether Beatty had wanted to die, given that he didn’t move when he knew I was about to set him ablaze. Knowing that the authorities would soon be on my tail, I ran for my life across the city, scared out of my wits with no clear idea of where exactly I was running to. I wanted revenge against the firemen system, so I snuck a book into my coworker’s house and sounded an alarm, also hoping that this would distract the authorities from their chase. Faber’s earpiece had been destroyed in the blaze, so I went to his house to talk about what to do next. I gave him some money for our plan of reprinting books and he suggested that I travel along the river, out of the city towards St. Louis. I followed his advice.
On my way to the river, I saw through the windows of people’s houses that my chase was being broadcast all across the city. A mechanical hound, capable of smelling ten-thousand scents from ten-thousand people, had been released and was closing in on me. Through my Seashell Radio, I heard the news broadcaster tell everyone listening to step outside their doors and look for me. Panicking, I sprinted the rest of the way towards the river and had just reached the safety of its darkness when every door in the city opened. Things are on the line now. I'm on the brink of being captured and killed by the police. I will try my best to escape and remain hidden, but I'm not sure if I can last. I will keep this blog updated, given that I'm still alive.
Posted on August 14, 2049 by Guy Montag
It was time to take action against this messed-up society. I felt very guilty for burning books and no longer wanted to go to work. I tried to get Mildred to help me read the books I had been collecting, but she refused. She was way too obsessed with those parlor walls of hers. Those TV shows have absolutely no meaning, but she never listened to me. But then I remembered that time I was walking in the park and met this guy who turned out to be a former English professor. I thought he could help me, so I went to his house and we discussed ideas for how to rebel against the book-burning system. It turned out that he was on my side, and with his help, I was excited to finally be able to do something about this society's situation. After convincing him to be my mentor, we decided to try to start a revolution. We made a plan to print copies of the books I had stolen. Faber gave me an earpiece which he called the Green Bullet that allowed us to hear one another at all times. With him on my side, I felt emboldened to fulfill my new ambition of undermining the government.
With my new partner connected to my earpiece, I went home. Mildred had her horrible friends over and they were sitting in the living room laughing at the pointless clips flashing by on the parlor walls. I was sick of how short-minded and shallow they were. How gullible they were to the lies of the government. I decided to read them a poem from a book to show them something more meaningful than those parlor walls, but I only caused them to panic from the strangeness of the words and storm out of the house. That was fine with me. They were horrible people anyways.
I finally went back to work so that Faber could witness what went on at the fire station. We were having a conversation about books, Faber guiding my way through it, when the fire alarm went off. As we arrived at the house of our next victim, I wondered how I could burn another book again after that horrible incident with the lady. And when I looked up, I was shocked. It was my house. If I ran, the mechanical hound would catch me. If I carried on with burning, my house and everything I owned would be destroyed. I didn't know what to do, but I knew that what I did in those next few moments would seal my fate one way or another.
Posted on August 13, 2049 by Guy Montag
I thought I was happy with my job. Working amongst the firemen, setting fire to books, and watching blackness engulf them. But it all changed when I met that girl next door. Clarisse McClellan, her name was. It was late at night when I first bumped into her on my way home from work, and she asked me a ton of questions. As we walked, I felt attracted to the soft warmth of her presence, contrasting with the blazing fires I was accustomed to. She asked me whether firemen used to put out fires instead of starting them. I insisted to her that houses had always been fireproof, though I couldn’t help but wonder whether that was true. Just before our parting, she asked me whether or not I was happy. I had to think twice about it and realized that I wasn’t - and that set off something inside me that completely changed view of society.
Upon getting home that evening, I found my wife Mildred on the floor. She had overdosed on sleeping pills, and two men had to come in and completely swap out her blood. When she woke up, she didn’t remember anything and returned to her routine of watching TV shows on the huge parlor walls as if nothing had happened. Over the following days, Clarisse seemed to be everywhere, so we talked every day on my way to and from work. I noticed how she's unlike most people: asking why things happened instead of how, talking lively with her family instead of watching parlor walls, having lights on in the evening while the rest of the neighborhood was dark, and being a pedestrian despite it being illegal. One day she suddenly stopped showing up. I realized I missed her presence and worried about her absence. One night at work, we were about to set some books on fire when the woman who lived there refused to leave the house. But then came a horrific scene: the woman took out a kitchen match and ignited the kerosene, burning herself along with the books. I felt horrible, envied the courage she showed, and felt guilty for burning so many books over the 10 years of my career. It changed me. I didn’t want to continue burning books anymore.
I tried avoiding going to work by pretending I was sick, but Beatty, the captain of our fire station, came to visit me in my house. During our conversation, he told me that Clarisse had been killed by a speeding car. He revealed that she’d been under government watch for a long time for being abnormal. Over the years, I had been building a stash of books from the fires at work, so as he sat in my house, I desperately hoped that he didn't notice anything suspicious that might lead to their discovery. Upon his departure, I revealed to Mildred the illegal books I had been collecting. Hoping that they might contain answers to our unhappy lives, I began reading. I knew it wouldn't be easy. I knew it was dangerously illegal. But my desire to seek answers overpowered those risks. I'll keep this blog updated with anything I discover.