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Short Stories - Fahrenheit 51: In Honor of Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 51: In Honor of Ray Bradbury
by William Doonan


“Damn totalitarian government,” Gary Montag growled, inching his way into the frigid water.

“Stop your complaining,” Mildred scolded, shivering in the hot tub. “Once you get in, it’s not so bad.”

Montag glared at his wife. “What would be the crime in heating the water?” He finally took the plunge, collapsing into the icy froth. “I’m growing weary of this dystopia.”

“You’ve heard the stories,” Mildred reminded him. “Back in the day, people got so relaxed in their hot tubs that productivity suffered. The economy all but collapsed. No, I think the new law makes sense.”

“Well, I’m not going to take it anymore,” Montag announced, reaching for the thermostat.

“That’s forbidden,” Mildred shrieked.

“It’s time somebody stood up for the people,” Montag said, flipping the switch. The heater roared to life.

Mildred dialed 911. “You’re in hot water now, baby,” she said as the SWAT team moved into position.

first published on June 10 at Novel Spaces

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