Let it Burn

The sounds of booted feet on the streets outside was all Oshar needed to spur him into movement. Swiftly he collected his few scant belongings and abandoning the foppish attire he had been using as a disguise he donned his desert robes. It was but the work of moments, but already there were raised voices and fists beating at the door below.

They would find the single occupant of the house dead. His throat cut while sleeping in an armchair, close to a fireplace that had long since grown cold. He listened to the front door splinter and the exclamations of horror from below, as he set about his final task.

He empties several oil skins onto the dry timber floor boards, piling his abandoned clothes near the door and soaking them with the same cloying yellow liquid. Guards were carrying out a room by room search and the first sound of footfall on the stairs could be heard as Oshar smashed his single lamp upon the floor to ignite the oil and timber.

The guards heard the sound and began to run, just as Oshar moved to the open window and began to climb out. Smoke the was filling the room as the door crashed open, but Oshar was already gone, leaving the blaze between himself and his pursuers.

There came a single cry from below and an arrow skittered across the slates of the room to his right, but then he was up and away, following a carefully practised root across the roof tops toward the outer perimeter of the settlement. The shouts of anger and alarm were soon far behind him, but even from a distance he could see the warm glow of the fire beginning to spread between the buildings in the closely packed street.

He had chosen the building, specifically for its location and proximity to those around it. The hurried construction of these less affluent areas of Ostiarium were already fit for demolition, he was doing them all a favour. Soon the entire street would be ablaze and the authorities would have bigger things to worry about than one escaped stranger.

Oshar regretted only that he could not stay to watch it all burn.

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