Burn All, Burn Everything (AKA How It All Ends), part 2
Part 1 can be found at: https://write.as/doc-halo/burn-all-burn-everything-part-1
After the fiery beast had finally been tamed, a somber night had begun to slowly suffocate the tiny city of Long Branch, NJ. The pier, which had been the source of amusement for decades, was now an unrecognizable heap of charred wood and ash. Although it was way too early to talk aloud about recovery, the residents knew immediately that rebuilding the boardwalk back to it’s original glory would not be easy.
For hours, the devil had maintained his watch from high above like a great king surveying his kingdom from afar. A kingdom that had just been decimated by a rival army.
“Sir?” A familiar voice from behind broke his trance. He turned around. It was the first time today that he had taken his eyes off his burning home.
It was Tillie. Even though Tillie was dressed in his customary blue and white school boy uniform, he seemed different now. Tillie’s impossibly wide, warm smile was gone, replaced instead by a look of worry and sadness. It was a look the Jersey Devil had never seen on his friend’s face. Not in the 100 odd years he had known him.
Behind Tillie, three others appeared in the night sky. All who, at the Jersey Devil’s permission, had been allowed to haunt the boardwalk in recent years. The great djinn Mal stood stroking his equally great beard. Next to him, the ghost of 10 year-old Sirah Newt floated with her legs criss-crossed applesauce. And next to her was the ancient demon Lenape Mankiller, a former king and the Jersey Devil’s predecessor. They all hovered, peering anxiously at their king.
“What is it?” He spat at the group.
“We were just wondering,” Tillie said, stealing a nervous glanced back at his companions, “Where do we go now?”
The Jersey Devil’s stare pierced like daggers. And he knew how uncomfortable this made them all. This discomfort he invoked in others normally gave him much delight, but tonight was different. He sighed heavily and returned his gaze to the smoldering pier.
“For all I care,” he finally said, “You all can go back to Hell.”