The sound fire makes when it explodes from a fireplace is ear shattering.
It swallows up the scream made by a little black haired boy who's mind has just snapped. All other sounds have vanished.
It's louder than the roar of one of those make-believe lizards the boy's aunt very adamantly says aren't real. She looks so panicked when somebody mentions something that in no way can be real. She would start talking with a hysteric and high pitched voice that would hurt one's ears.
The little boy never did understood why his aunt was so...scared by things that either belonged in fantasy books or television.
The voice of the fire is louder than his aunt's has ever been.
But...it is by far more friendly sounding then she or anybody else the little black haired boy has ever met.
Fire has eyes all over it. It sees everything. And all it sees is food. It lives to devour all in its path. In this second it wants to devour the fat man who screams like a walrus and fights to stop it from eating his arm.
The little boy is pressed into a corner, staring at the flames with eyes that are horribly empty.
Time seems to have become oddly slow. He sees the fire move up the wall. Slowly and calmly, as if it was made of thick water. His burning uncle, now a meter away from him, moved equally slow.
A second ago everything had hurt.
His right ear had felt as if it had been torn in two, his throat had felt like it had been crumbled, his chin had felt as if it had been pulverized.
Now he felt numb. His mind felt as if it had been burned away by confusion and anger.
He didn't know what has set his uncle off. Maybe nothing. Maybe he had just gotten tired of his nephew and decided nobody in the world would notice if he just disappeared.
He hadn't known why they had left Surrey a week ago and taken a trip to a gigantic city in the United States.
His uncle had been talking about a deal his company had made with another company...
It didn't matter. He was numb and the world was far away. This numbness was by far better then the life his relatives had allowed him to have. If the fire didn't kill him, then his uncle absolute would. The boy slumps further back into the corner, not caring anymore.
Death was the only way to escape this hellish life.
He couldn't run away from it.
''Have you actually ever tried running away?'' whispers a voice in the back of his quiet mind.
The boy blinks.
Suddenly, sound and time returned. Now he heard the panicked screams of his uncle, aunt and surprisingly enough his cousin.
He couldn't see them. Didn't know where they were.
He doesn't even have time to guess.
His legs suddenly spring to life and secure a firm footing and forced the rest of him up from the corner. He bolts for the rented house's door.