To Save the World
Again, more fire. This time hotter, more painful, scarring and dancing across Kim’s skin as she rushes through it. Just a few seconds, and then she’s out the door into the dry night air. The little girl is unharmed, the Princess having shielded her from the pain of the fire. She flees to the arms of her mother waiting in front of the house, the woman promptly scooping her up and weeping in joy. The others gathered around either stare at Kim or offer their heartfelt thanks, some moving to hug her despite how strangely she’s attired.
And she can see, back in the street, the man with the shotgun. He’s bent and bleeding, but standing. The other thing is now. It’s no longer human, but it retains the same sort of shape. Half of its head is missing, and part of it is on fire. Wherever flames touch flesh is peeling away, revealing emaciated, black skin underneath.
Kim can see him turn, and even from several yards distance it’s clear that he’s looking at HER. He stays like that for just a second more, and then he tosses the lighter down on to the dead husk and turns to move away. In seconds he’s vanished into the flames.