Using the extract below from Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five (1969) as inspiration, write a story based on the theme of modern consumerism.
"Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.”
I set fire to everything I owned.
I set fire to all the paper. It made sense to get started with the paper. I burned the old chequebooks, the crispy receipts, the furled and puckered bills, the red rabid final demands. I burned my driving licence and birth certificate; I cackled witchily as the Decree Absolute was licked by flames. I set fire to birthday cards from dead relatives and birthday cards from lost friends. I set fire to her hospital paperwork and his lifetime service award.
The smoke wound upwards into the night sky.
I hauled the furniture out. Cushions, throws, blankets, towels, cloths, sponges: up they went. The fire made surprisingly short work of the sofa but took ages to eat the armchair. I twisted my ankle wrestling the rug out through the patio doors and when it finally burned I said, Yes, that’s right, burn as though it had affronted me and it was receiving its comeuppance.
I emptied sack after sack of clothes. Jewellery, too — even her heirlooms. They spat and fizzed in the flames. I watched the toe of a slipper curl like a Chelsea smile. His ugly jumper. A beermat from The King’s Head.
Flowers from vases. Pictures from walls. Lamps from alcoves. Everything must go. Her old toys — I swear I heard Barbie shriek, like a dumb peroxide Joan of Arc — and his golf clubs.
Make up. A loofah. A toilet brush I’m frankly glad to see the back of.
The books were the final things. I didn't rush them to the flames like I did with everything else. I have burned up all the evidence of a life so far without hesitation. But the books lay scattershot on the lawn. God. This is like euthanising a pet. I looked at the mound of earth half-occluded by the flames. He’d understand.
I fed each book in, even those I hated. Each book committed to the flames one at a time. Goodbye. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
All the books now burned. Their pages crackled farewell. Behind me I knew the house’s stripped skeleton stood. It could do nothing to me now.
Sirens. The warp and weft of blue. Of course they came. I stood in front of the wall of flame and, finally — finally —