Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Warmth of a Good Book

Once James accepted that he had no choice but to burn the books, the question became which to burn first. There were a lot of choices and all of them would serve his purposes perfectly well, but there were factors to take into account. The textbooks would burn longer, but they were expensive and if he made it out of here he'd have to buy them again if he wanted to pass his classes this semester. Not burning them wouldn't keep him warm though. Just over a week he'd been trapped in the cabin after the avalanche. Luckily the snow hadn't rolled over the house and covered the chimney, but unfortunately it was just a wood stove and not a real fireplace that might have allowed him to make his way up and out of the building. At least he had been inside unlike Rachel and Jeremy who had been outside when it happened, and he could only hope they were okay. Food was running low as well, but with planning it could last quite a few more days. Help had to be coming soon, the landlord knew people were renting the cabin, he must be aware of the avalanche as well.

Yesterday he had finished off the last of the furniture and fuel for the fire was becoming scarce as was the food supply no matter how well he rationed it. There was a decent collection of books in the cabin as well as the ones he had brought. James was gung-ho on burning the set of encyclopedias until he pulled it out and saw it was just a cardboard box decorated to look like a series of books. He'd already burned a couple of magazines, but they didn't last long, but they were better than nothing. He'd brought a couple of novels with him for the nights, but unlike the text books he actually liked reading these and didn't want to burn them. His copy of Neuromancer had seen a lot of action as he reread it regularly and a new copy just wouldn't be the same. James came to a compromise and figured the way to go about it was to stack up the books and alternate between the text books and paperbacks.

Calculus was the first book in line and the fire kept going as it finished off the wood and started on the cardboard cover before reaching the paper interior. The light was the same, but it felt colder, but that could all be in James' mind. He pulled the blanket around himself tighter as he listened to the book burn and waited to hear digging nearby. He hoped they showed up before he had to burn a book he loved.

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