The Secret Life of a Poe Toaster

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January 19, 2008. Edgar Allen Poe’s birthday. The day he was born, only years before. The day people celebrate the great Poe. His date of birth. The day he’s up in heaven, saying “Oh, yeah. It’s my birthday, it’s my birthday. We’re gonna party like it’s my birthday.” Yeah, you got it. I was aiming for the whole emphasize-it-by-repeating-over-and-over-to-the-point-where-it-starts-sounding-obnoxious thing. Oh, well.

My name is Lizl and I am one of the many, many Poe toasters. “What is a Poe toaster?” You may ask. It’s a person from a secret organization who goes to Poe’s grave on his birthday. It’s a tradition and only the cool people can do it. This year, it was my turn.

I started heading to his grave as instructed. But, when I got there, there were people hiding. They were waiting for me; the mysterious “man” in all black with a fedora. Well, I am most certainly not a man. I had to do what I was trained to do… kill them all. Nawh, I’m just messing with you. With the gifts I had for Poe, I settled down behind a tree to wait it out.







Waiting…









Waiting…








Two hours later, they still hadn’t gone. I thought, “Maybe I should resort to my other plan.” Just kidding again. The moon was bright so I couldn’t just sneak to his grave, put down my gifts, and run away. I was in a dilemma. I could either get my fellow toasters to come and help out, or I could give up our secret and all of the years of our tradition would go to waste.

“People at the grave. Come with fedora,” I texted to our group leader.

“Be right there,” was the quick reply.

I waited until I saw a flash of a hat. That was the signal that the toasters had arrived, and the people would be distracted so I could place the gifts on the grave. Why we didn’t just let them see us, I don’t know. It wouldn’t really ruin the tradition. I personally don’t see the big deal, but I have to admit; the adrenaline rush is great.

One of them ran up to the grave and got the attention of the people. He glanced at me briefly, and I nodded. The toaster ran away and the people followed, thinking they were being stealthy. I slipped over to the grave, and on the tombstone I laid a bottle of cognac, three red roses, and a note:

Upon the grave stands three red roses
With a bottle of his French cognac
Ages differ
Traditions pass
A secret unpermitted to be revealed
Keeping of the Poe
Edgar Allen forevermore.





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Amanda S. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 27, 2009 at 11:43 pm
I have loved Poe since we had to memorized "The Raven" in 7th grade. What you do sounds amazing. :)
 
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