The odor of old paper, that had gotten wet some time ago, was overwhelming. I could smell glue too, dust. A faint aroma of mold… Balancing over the backs and covers of books I tried to get an overview.
History books. Mostly.
Every class had to deliver the history books to the teachers. I gave my text book back too, after going through it again, specially through the chapter of Ancient Egypt.
Now they have ended here, waiting for the fire. A lot of Philosophy and Politics too. Art, Literature and Poetry were scattered. Some books had been already ripped apart, spilling their guts over the others. Destruction was evident. Nearly every book I picked up was vandalized. Pictures added with vulgar drawings. It made me recoil. Disgusting! I let the books slip back on their grave.
The men were shouting. Everyone should stand back.
People came to watch. Some brought beer and snacks. They prepared to roast some bacon, as if it was going to be just nice camp fire… There were even folks bringing their own books, waiting to throw them into the fire.
I stood there, with three books hidden under my cardigan.
I watched, as the men went, with brightly lit torches around the pile. Laughingly lighting the fire. Paper could not defend itself.
It caught easily fire, as the flames touched their surface. The destruction rushed fast to their core, burned the pages to grey crumbled petals, floating in the heat radiating in every direction.
White smoke filled the yard. Filled the noses and mouthes, crept into lungs and bellies. One last revengeful strike. Coughing. Everyone.
Suddenly the wind lifted the curse. One lungful history, philosophy, politics, literature, poetry… One lungful dying stories and wasted words.