I rush toward little Joseph and wrap my arms around him, cradling him close.  Poor thing, losing his sisters and parents.

But it's not like he's the only one.  I more than likely am never going to see my parents, and neither will Ryan.  We might as well be the last branch in our family trees.

I pick up Joseph, and he's surprisingly light.  I cradle him and he wraps his arms around my neck like a baby.

I go back out, holding his head against my shoulder, not letting him look at the damage.  If he saw anything, he might go under.  Faint.  Scream, Cry.

Sparky looks at us and purrs sadly. 

"It's alright, girl," I say, patting her neck briefly, "You did your best.  These things happen."

I look around.  Past the bodies and flesh.  I step over someone's spine, probably a Jack's by the size.   I can't see Ryan.

"Where is he?" I ask Sparky.

She nudges me to the side so she can fit back through the doors and into the shopping part of the building.  I follow her as she sits in the middle of pushed-over aisles, which is the only place she fits.  She gazes to her left and chirps.

I follow the direction, only stopping to give Joseph to Sparky.  She curls her wings around him.

A few rows down, I find him.  He's holding bags of coal and lighter fluid.  He shoves what he has in his arms at me and grabs more.  Mostly the fluid.  I don't ask what he's doing as I follow him back to the bloody back room.  He opens the backs of coal and throws it around, pouring fluid everywhere.  He motions for me to do the same and leaves.  I awkwardly pour the coal out and lather it with fluid.

Halfway through, my sense of smell decides to kick in.  I'm hit by the terrible stink of flesh and bloody and wastes and the somewhat sweet smell of fluid.

Ryan comes back with more flammable stuff, and we work together.  Eventually, he's satisfied with the back rooms and we work on a fuse, leading outside into the parking lot.  The fuse isn't much more than yarn soaked in fluid.

The fuse is ready and everyone is outside by nightfall, and Ryan lights it.  In just a few minutes, we hear the roar of fire rushing into a larger feeding ground, and smoke billows from the windows.

For the rest of that night, we watch it burn.



The End

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