She watches it erupt into hissing flames, tangerine and sanguine and cackling. For a graceful, choking instant, the scene halts, pauses.

And then it topples. Her windows crumple, the walls topple, the shingles of the roof are strewn in charred shards across the broiled grass. The hot, supple fire is everywhere, ubiquitous and ravenous, devouring her home.

She can't bring herself to care.

All it was was a box of regrets, really. Those who would have still wanted it erect aren't here.

And they won't be either. They're locked and dusty in their own boxes, mahogany and oak and maple, rich soil teeming around them.

They're gone, and she's left, withered and fragmented and detached. Her limbs are mechanical, her lips move artlessly, her thoughts are whirring into delusion.

It's ended so terribly. She can't even tell who's won.

She doesn't want to think about it. It would mean that someone, somewhere is triumphant.

She's not sure anyone deserve jubilation, when there are those like her, sheaths filled with arsenic murmurs, tangoing into angst.

His arms wind around her, his knukles rap against her spine, his wrists are fussing with her cold palms.

She always thought he was cold, so cold and lifeless and she was warm and beaming and radiance.

Now his pulse is quicker than hers.

How ironic.

She doesn't care. Irony dies into twilight and loss.

She lets him kiss her, and maybe, maybe the warmth will flare between them again. Maybe it'll ooze over her fingertips again.

He hopes so.

Her hope is smoldering, burning with the past.