Adelaide stared at Fogell for a moment, as if his words weren't registering. Then a lot of stuff happened all at once.

"Whaaaaaaaat?! Why didn't you tell me?" Adelaide yelled as she ran toward the kitchen, where a small billow of smoke rose out into the reception area through the partially open door.

"I just did tell ... " Fogell began, as Adelaide ran full tilt into him, knocking him off his feet in the process. He fell flat on his back through the gap in the doorway, and she fell on top of him.

The door opened all the way when they fell through it, giving the small fire in the kitchen more oxygen. More smoke, and open flames appeared on the marble counter top.

Nancy screamed so loud it would burst the eardrums of the dead. Dim, who was standing near the exit door, ran toward the kitchen to help, or least to see what was going on. Wit, who was standing in front of the reception desk, ran toward the exit door to get out. Dim was a thrill seeker and firetruck chaser. Wit was a coward. They collided in the middle of the room.

Nancy stood in the middle of the room near them, and screamed - not because she was particularly afraid, but because she had heard that when there's a fire, people screamed.

Adelaide tried to roll off 0f Fogel just as he realized that the girl of his dreams was on top of him! He fainted. Adelaide's arms were in front of her as she ran forward. When he fell backward, her arms went around him, and when he landed on his back, they were under him. She tried to rolled sideways, but he was a solid weight. She couldn't budge him.

Wit ran past the two on the floor to get to the fire. She stood and watched it burn on the marble counter top, stupefied. Adelaide yelled at her.

"Wit, come and help me!"

"There's a fire on the counter." Wit remarked in a daze, without making any effort to go and help Adelaide.

"Wit!" Adelaide bellowed, to get the teen's attention.

Wit slowly turned toward Adelaide's voice. "But ... The counter is marble. Marble doesn't burn. There's nothing on the counter, like a wooden cutting board or anything. There's no cooking oil or something flammable to fuel the flames. It's just ... burning."

Nancy moved towards Adelaide and pushed her off of Fogell. She sat up and rubbed her sore arms where Fogell's weight had pressed them against the floorboards.

"Thanks, Nancy."

"That's okay. My throat was getting sore, anyway."

The girls looked over at Wit, who stared at the smoke rising from the small fire. The smoke was taking form. The thing that began to materialize had sharp teeth, massive claws, and horns. As it rose, it tilted toward Wit, and lunged.

Nancy screamed. Adelaide fainted.



The End

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