As they came around the wide hips of the steel burner, Patricia was reminded of the house she’d grown up in, with the bones of the spice warehouse around her. And then she came around the other side, and saw what was different about the furnace. It had a great iron face looking into the cinder-block darkness, and it was weeping ashes.
“Don’t touch it,” Carmen said, walking deeper into the cellar without sparing the agonized metal face a second glance.
“Why not?” Patricia rushed to catch up.
“Because it’s hot,” Carmen said. “It’s a furnace.”
-- All The Birds In The Sky, Charlie Jane Anders.