Our story begins with Guy Montag who just finished up his daily dose of burning books. He walked through the empty dark streets with the scent of kerosene lingering in his clothing. He needed to get home. Montag wanted to go home, talk to Mildred about his successful day at work and fall into a deep sleep. Just as the man walked through the quiet streets, he noticed a shadow coming toward him. Montag couldn't see who it was because of the darkness in the streets so he started to walk quicker. However, once he walked, the shadow backed away at the same pace.
"Oh for Chrissakes! Show yourself!" Montag yelled to the shadow. The shadow stopped. He walked toward the shadow and saw a young girl with bright eyes.
"Excuse me, I didn't mean to scare you. I was just simply...walking around." The young girl told Montag as she looked up to see his face. "My, a fireman? He looks too old to be one..." She thought before Montag let out a laugh.
"Ha! Me? No, no. I wasn't scared. You got it all wrong." Montag laughed as looked around the not-so-empty street. It was just them but he felt as if there were more people watching on the two. "What are you doing here during the night? I bet your parents are worried."
"My...parents?" She snickered before letting out a roaring laugh. "No, no, no. They don't care, sir. For all I know, they are probably in front of the parlor with my uncle. Or...knowing how my uncle is, they might be playing cards together. Besides, they allow me to go out during the night. I like looking up at the sky and seeing the stars." The girl replied before looking up at the night sky to stare at the stars.
Montag looked up at the sky as well. He couldn't see much stars. All he saw was...smoke. Smoke from the books that he and his friends burnt. "I...don't see much of anything. A few stars here and there. What are you, crazy?"
Clarisse giggled and replied, "Ah, you're correct, sir! I am seventeen and crazy. Well, that's what my father wants me to think. Oh, me? I believe that too. Well, not crazy per say. Hm...how can I explain me?...Ah. I guess you can say I'm 'different', but no one tends to ask how. They instantly know!"
"Hmph. I can see why no one asks...you're insane! Who are you, girl?" Montag asked.
"Me? Like I said, I'm seventeen and crazy! As for my name, Clarisse McClellen."
"Guy Montag. Pleased to meet you, seventeen and crazy."
Another roaring laugh. It wasn't so funny, was it? The girl finally responded, "
"It's pleasant to meet you too, Mister Montag!" Soon, Clarisse turned around and told him, "I should be heading back. If I stay out for TOO long, someone will get suspicious. So I suppose I will see you soon, Mister Montag." Clarisse then walked off in the cold without turning back around to see her new friend.
Without a second thought, Montag caught up to her and said, "Hey. Let me walk you home...Clarisse."
"That's so kind of you, Mister Montag. Thank you."
"Oh, just call me Montag if you want. No need to be formal. And the pleasure is mine." He said with a small grin.
They walked in silence until they both ended up in front of a house. The house next door from Montag.
"Ah, here's my house! Oh, look! Mother and father are playing cards with my uncle! They probably drank a lot tonight. Maybe father won some money!" Clarisse ran to her porch and quickly turned around. She waved goodbye to Montag and yelled, "Good night, sir! Thank you!"
Montag simply waved back. After he watched Clarisse walk into her house and closed the door, Montag turned around. "What a weird kid. What's worse is that she's my neighbor..." He thought as he started heading to his house to see his wife.
Clarisse looked around the room and headed toward the living room where her mom was secretly staring out the window while her uncle and father were playing Blackjack with each other. Clarisse's mother gave a concerning glare at her and snarled, "What did I tell you about talking to strangers, Clarisse? If he ever found out…found out our secret…my god. Don't make me imagine this monstrosity!"
"I—I'm sorry, mother. He doesn't look that mean. Honest." Clarisse whimpered softly before walking over to her mother in order to give her a hug.
Her mother hugged Clarisse for at least ten awkward seconds before looking her in the eyes and commanding, "You are to never talk to him again. Please do mind your own business, Clarisse. I love you. The last thing I want to see is you burning in flames."
"…You're right mother. It won't happen again." Clarisse reassured her mother before heading straight to her room.
Clarisse's mother sighed after the girl walked out and laid her hand on a thick book. "That girl worries me sometimes…"