The student at Elyse’s feet was missing half his face. The blackened edges of what little skin remained curled at the tips like brittle autumn leaves. If she touched him, she suspected he might crumble, like tapping ash from the end of a cigarette. She considered picking up the blowtorch again, setting fire to the rest of him, not stopping until what remained amounted to little more than a silhouette on the pavement, to be easily vacuumed up and disposed of…




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