A narrow denim jacket with bronzed snaps, enclosing a long column of reptilian conflagration: the jacket was warmed. Sheaves of sparks stiffened the sleeves. Each spearhead scale matte as ash, and the uncanny body was crowned with no face. The fingerless hand clasped a milk carton, with no where to drink the milk: the carton warped and charred, newspaper in the grate, but not a white drop was shed.
The broad, mottled carpet of rust pounded and rolled to a level finish, the walls festooned with silent chains, giant links to hold the weak and the strong alike, bolts and cuffs and yokes, all roughened with the same texture and hue of decay.
The faceless flame sought to pass through the bars, thick as bottles, but it could not without leaving behind its threadbare jacket and crumpled brown milk carton. A dog, vague in the floor shadows beyond, hated the faceless thing’s fierce light, and bit the bars, seeing no ankles. The biting broke the bars, and the flame passed out with its treasures, and a thank you to the savage dog, which snarled and sneered, but dared not worry the squid’s head tail of the departing fire.