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Pyre

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Ethan wants to see them burn. There'll be a crackle and then a roar as the dry old paper catches. Yellow flames like tame suns in the bedsit's darkness, illuminating every stain on the wallpaper and on the sheets. The leather bindings will smoke and stink; greasy soot will blacken the walls.

Maybe he'll let it all burn. Books and bed and all, and himself in the midst. All Rupert's leavings. Dead words, dead love, ready for cremation.

No. Even for love, Ethan won't burn a spellbook.

He settles on a pile of Rupert's old clothes and begins to read.