Minutes later a raging fire lit up the sky like the fourth of July. I stood with Renee a few yards back from the building, holding her as she wept, I was still numb our situation felt do raw to me, I couldn't even process any emotion. Survival itself was beginning to sound like a foreign idea.
“ Now what?” I asked as Sawyer approached.
“Police, firetrucks and ambulances are going to arrive on scene soon, just stay back and let me do the talking.”
I nodded. I took note of fresh burn marks covering his body. He took out his lighter. Renee was leaning into me facing the other direction. Sawyer came closer to us with the lighter, and I understood what he had to do. I held Renee tighter, she was still oblivious.
“Quickly.” I mouthed to my brother.
In a quick motion Sawyer knelt down with his lighter. He held the flame against her leg. Renee screamed in surprised protest. I held her even tighter, stroking her hair as I let my brother burn her arms and singe her hair.
I chocked at the smell of burning hair and my eyes began to water, next it was my turn. Sawyer gave me the lighter letting me do it myself. I started with the ends of my own hair, then my arms and my legs. The pain was nothing in comparison to losing my parents to beasts I never knew existed. The burns would only by minor, they would ooze and turn into gross scabs, but if we managed to survive long enough they would heal.
I lead Renee back to the van, offering her a bottle of water that had been in the backseat. She took a greedy sip and fell back into my arms.
“Ruby?” She cried. I felt her gaze upon my face, but I didn't dare looking in those eyes. Sad, hopeless, full of questions I couldn't answer. In appearance Ruby was a younger version of myself. We both had our mother's chestnut hair. Ruby's short and choppy in lure of adolescent experiment and mine long an falling down my back. We had the same bone structure, the same plump mouth, the same slender frame even the same facial expressions. The only difference lay in her eyes. Renee's eyes were an intense brown. Like rich European chocolate. My eyes were a more shallow color of green,sometimes teetering to a soft shade of brown. Sawyer was a different kind of specimen altogether. He had pale blonde hair and chilly blue eyes that helped him command authority. Ever since I could remember Sawyer was the tough one, made of a different kind of material. He didn't show his emotions like Renee or I did, but he showed us he cared by his actions. He was always protecting us, never seeking our company unless it were necessary, but even so I knew he'd go to hell and back if it meant keeping us safe.