Type M Blood: Part Twenty-Seven

Rain fell down harder and harder, washing away the ash that covered Blaze. The cool rain slowly woke him up. Blaze opened his eyes and looked around. The ground was covered in soggy pieces of ash and charred branches. Blaze rolled over and let the rain wash away the reminder of the previous day. He stretched his arms out, fingers digging underneath the soggy reminder of the fire. Something smooth and glass touched his skin. Blaze wrapped his fingers around it and brought it up to his eyes. It was a glass test tube. The label on it was faded from years in the woods, but enough of it was legible to see what it said.
"Kryptonite chloride," Blaze mumbled. "That's good for slowing brain function."
He smelled the tube and smiled faintly. It reminded him of mixing chemicals in his lab with his daughter and one of her friends, their neighbor. What was his name? Phil? Bill? No, it was…Will! Blaze sat up and stared at the tube in his hands. Parts of the glass were melted, but the writing was in Blaze's cursive scrawl, the writing Arissa called mad-scientist chicken scratch. Blaze smiled faintly and curled his fingers around the glass tube. He got to his feet and walked towards an old black oak tree. Even though the tree wasn’t far from where he’d been sitting, the pain from his still-healing bullet wound made him walk slower. When Blaze finally got to the tree, he leaned against it, inhaling the wet, burnt scent of the wood. He closed his eyes as the rain continued to fall. Absentmindedly, his fingers dipped inside a knot in the tree, and closed on something smooth and metal. Curious, Blaze brought the metal to his face and was shocked to see it was a brass key. The key looked familiar. There was something carved into it in very small letters, and age hadn’t been kind to the key. After a minute, he could finally make out the engraving. "Merlot" was engraved in fancy letters. Blaze wrapped his fingers around the key and walked further on. A few steps past the tree, Blaze'd foot hit something that didn't fit in with the ground. He leaned down and brushed away the ash and bits of leaves, revealing a sodden, faded, and slightly-misshapen teddy bear. There was a patchwork heart shaped patch that had once been red and white over the bear's heart. Blaze turned the bear over. Faded purple embroidery was on the bear's bottom. The name "Vanessa" was embroidered in fancy script. Blaze could remember the day Arissa embroidered the bear for their daughter. Vanessa was worried that if her teddy bear wandered off, he would forget who he belonged to, and so to appease the young child, Arissa sewed Vanessa's name on the bear's bottom during naptime. Blaze smiled as he remembered the excitement on his daughter's face when she saw it. Still holding the soggy bear and weathered key, he continued to walk forward. Soon, he reached a large clearing in the trees. In the middle of the clearing was a low building, blackened by fire on one side. Blaze dropped the key and bear, and despite his muscles screaming in protest, he ran past the fire-blackened wall until his feet met the charred remains of a large house. His house. Blaze was finally home.

The End

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