Karen Heslop

“No! Don’t go in there!” she cried while gripping the fireman’s arm.

The burly man pulled away from her easily and ran towards the burning house. She watched him disappear into the roiling sea of orange and yellow. Silently, she willed the bricks and beams of the old house to crumble and bury everything. God would forgive her; He would understand. Suddenly, the fireman exploded from the front door with his blanketed package in tow, a smile brightening his soot-smeared face. He released the sole occupant of the inferno as soon as it was clear he could walk on his own. The tall, lanky man who she now knew was not a man at all walked towards her on unsteady legs. She clenched and unclenched her fists in both fear and frustration. When he embraced her, two tentacles from his true form protruded from his chest to brush against her breast roughly and her body stiffened involuntarily.

“My dear…fire never works,” he whispered in her ear mockingly.

A single tear ran down her cheek.

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