When Sienna and Desiree reached their sixteenth
birthdays, some amount of months later, Sienna’s final manuscript had been
completed and she was trying to work up the courage to send it to the
publishing company. She’d photocopied it when her parent were gone out, so that
she’d still have a copy to keep, as though she didn’t like to be pessimistic,
she had a feeling of where her story would end up. The fireplace probably.
At least it would die in a dignified manner.
Preferably by burning it.
Desiree had read the story and given praise and
criticism, both sincere and constructive. As a reader of illegal novels, she
knew a thing or two about reading.
Religion rules had become stricter still, and a
school uniform consisting of an itchy grey long-sleeved wool jumper and
matching floor-length skirt had been enforced. A separate school for boys had
been opened and sunbathing in garden in skimpy clothing was illegal, as was
make-up and swearing (and using the bible pages as toilet paper, as Desiree
From the aforementioned bible-page incident,
you’ve probably guessed the fate of most of the bible. But as well as this,
Desiree revealed her plans for the rest of the pages and the spine and cover of
“Bible burning in the woods; midnight tonight.
Can you sneak out?”
Answered Sienna, who was becoming relaxed about
breaking the laws. What was the worst that could happen?
“Get your story in?”
Desiree enquired casually, pulling a packet of
chewing gum out of her schoolbag.
“Dropped it in a while ago. I doubt they’ll
publish it but you never know. Miracles happen. Wait, no they don’t!”
The two girls laughed, though it really wasn’t
that funny. Spotting one of the religious ‘clones’ walk by, Desiree yelled-
“Hey, you with the stupid, snooty face? Miracles
The girl was very snooty looking.
She turned to face Desiree.
“Of course miracles happened. Jesus performed
She said scornfully to Desiree.
“You just keep telling yourself that.”
Desiree laughed, she and Sienna erupting into another
fit of giggles.
Desiree’s bible burning that night was quite a
big event in Sienna’s life. She had never seen a bible being burnt.
Sneaking out was easy. Her parents were both in
bed, and she had her own door key. Sienna brought her small torch and stumbled
blindly through the woods until she heard Desiree shout to her.
“This way Sienna!”
Sienna ran to where Desiree stood. There was a
pile of twigs and some coal she’d brought from home. The remainders of the
bible were lying on top of it. Desiree had a larger torch with her but it was
turned off. She pulled a box of matches from her bag.
Both girls lit a match and placed them among the pages. The fire
“Look what I brought.”
Smirked Desiree, pulling a large packet of pink
‘n’ white marshmallows out of the bag she’d brought with her.
“Oh, very satanic!”
Joked Sienna sarcastically.
Their bible burning was more of a camp-out!
The fire smouldered out a while later. Sienna
and Desiree danced around in the ashes. At about one in the morning they went
home, still giggling.