“What the hell are we even doing— ”

Sh-!! Just watch, okay? And keep quiet, you wanna get caught?”

“Fuck this. I’m going home.”

“He knows where you live, Timmy.”

“So?? You’re the dumbass who told on him.”

“Yeah, and I’ll also tell him everybody who wouldn’t help. He’s crazy, you know that. He’ll go after your whole family if you piss him off. So just watch that door, okay?”

“I’ve been watching for three hours. What am I looking for?”

“I dunno; what have you seen?”

“Nothing. Just people. Coming and going.”

“What kind of people? This is important, Timmy; it has to be.”

“Fuck off, all right? There’s no light at the back door. I couldn’t even tell. Just people. Men. Some kids. Whatever, I couldn’t see anything else.”

“…Oh. Shit.


“That’s it. That’s gotta be it.”

What, already?”

“We gotta find Pike. We gotta find him right now.

Then there was a hellish burst of flame from the rooftop. The boys could feel the intense heat, even from ground level ten yards away. Frozen in horror, they watched as people streamed from the exits, and as the structure became fully involved in flame. It burned downward, contrary to any building fire they’d seen, consuming everything in its path.

Then, from somewhere nearby, there was another burst. And in the distance, they heard still another.


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