"Not exactly, no."

“No one knows. No one can ever know.”

I watched the fire. The kindling smoldered and smoked, ash and cinder floated about our heads into the night sky. He was saying something, impatiently glancing to and fro. He kicked the earth as he talked about our dirty business. I watched the fire.

It snaked and coiled through the grass, wrapping itself around my life, suffocating its victim before devouring it whole. I winced when it took my mother. I lit her myself, no one else could do that. Everything afterward was easier. They all had to go, everything turned to ash before the hungry flame. Together, we put it all to rest, my friend and I. But he knew, he was the last piece of the puzzle. It wasn’t finished until he met the fire.

“So that’s it, then? That’s the end of it?”

“Not exactly, no.”

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