[Wren was tucked into the back of a gape-maw closet when the sirens rang overhead.
Evie was somewhere, and Wren had no words, and the silence was deafening. Except it wasn't silent, because nothing here was. The walls of the closet grew wires, and rust developed on the floor of her sanctuary, and Wren didn't move from her spot in the corner. Knees bent up and watching, she wasn't alone.
She hadn't been alone since they'd passed that school on the way here, and Evie was so brave, and Evie was so good, and Evie was in the apartment doing something that Wren was positive was useful and necessary. But Wren couldn't. She stayed there, in the mockery of the safe corridor of her childhood, her journal beside her and the cursor a thing that blinked to life whenever her fingers glided thoughtlessly over the slumbering screen to wake it into brilliance.
She wasn't alone, but the children
that came and went were quiet now, no cries of being abandoned, no attempt to gnaw screams from the sides of their tortured faces as they burned, embers in their bellies and glowing from the inside. She watched them - one - the one that was there, and she wasn't even sure if he was. She motioned him forward, knowing who he was. She didn't tell Evie. Quiet, she'd said nothing since it began.
In the distance, something slammed