Down in Flames, Part 2

Me
Artie will be back soon.
Barbara
Not a word since yesterday! And you’re saying he threw you out of the house?
Me
Well, he didn’t exactly throw me out.
Barbara
Oh Sam, what can be the problem? You should’ve told me sooner!
Me
All right, but I didn’t know what to think!
Barbara
Then what could possibly be wrong!
Me
A terrible fire! Feels like the world’s ending! I read online that the governor is sending the militia!
Barbara
Hurry Sam, go to his house!
Me
Sure! Bye, Barb, I’ll contact you from there.

[15 Minutes later]

Barbara
Oh Sam, is he OK?
Me
Your brother’s not home! There’s not a light in the house. Well, I’ll try anyway, huh?
Barbara
There’s no doorbell, remember.
Me
I know, you have to knock. Oh, wait, the door is slightly ajar. It’s me, Sam! We’re worried!
Barbara
You’ll frighten him.
Me
Buddy, you in there? Artie!
Barbara
Oh no, is he…! Why doesn’t he answer?
Me
Artie! It’s Sam! Are you home? It’s so dark! I don’t have a match. Where’s the light switch?
Barbara
To your left, by the door. Oh Sam, he must be sick!
Me
The place is a mess!
Barbara
He’s always so neat. Quick, the bedroom!
Me
All right, don’t get so excited! I think he might be dining, or out walking.
Barbara
Nonsense, I’ll bet he isn’t even there!
Me
Oh God, there’s been a fire in here!
Barbara
A fire, oh no, no — how bad?
Me
Oh, well, it was contained. Artie, Artie! Where are you; what happened to you? These walls are only a little scorched.
Barbara
Maybe you should call someone.
Me
Who?
Barbara
The police! The fire may have been set by the people who are setting fires all over town! They did something to him, or he fled! 
Me
Maybe you’re right. They started to set fire to the place, he tried to stop them, and… Artie! You’re there on the floor!  
Artie
Sam.
Barbara
Thanks goodness he’s alive!
Artie
I didn’t, I didn’t want you to see me.
Me
Who did this, buddy?
Barbara
What happened?
Me
Your face, your clothes! Here, sit up.
Artie
There’s no time! She’s following me!
Barbara
Sweetie! What is he talking about?
Me
What’s the matter? Who’s following you? What’d they do to you, Artie!
Barbara
A doctor, he needs a doctor!
Artie
No, no, I’m all right! But I raised up a demon, and I must stop it!
Me
Control yourself! Calm down.
Artie
You hear the news? I caused that! All those fires, the people who died! I didn’t aim to, but…
Me
What are you saying?
Artie
I did it with that spell!
Me
Ridiculous! This was too big for one person!
Artie
If not for me, she wouldn’t have had the power. It was released to her through my words!
Barbara
No, Artie, you didn’t do it!
Sam
No. Why would you?
Artie
Listen, she’ll be back here!
Me
Artie!
Artie
She’ll come back here!
Me
He’s leaving again!
Barbara
Why is he running?
Me
I don’t know. I’ll follow him. But Barb, where he was lying, the shape of him was burned right into the wood! It is smoking!

[Twenty minutes later]

Ohara
Oh father in heaven!
Me
I tell you Mr. Ohara, I’m telling the truth! Every word of it!
Ohara
Young man, your story’s preposterous!
Me
How can you be sure? Couldn’t he be responsible for orchestrating these fires?
Ohara
Absolutely not!
Me
But he’s confessed! Artie’s my friend! He wouldn’t lie to me. The may have set loose some horrible thing!
Ohara
What are you talking about?
Me
If I told you, you wouldn’t believe me, but believe this much: as sure’s we’re in this room, Artie had something to do with those fires.
Barbara
But you heard what the Commissioner was saying.
Me
I don’t care! Didn’t you hear Artie?
Me
Commissioner, are you just sitting here while more fires are started, more lives are endangered? In the name of humanity, please listen to me! Send out a general alarm to have the police pick Artie up. I’ll give you his description, I’ll tell you just what he was wearing. You’ve got to catch him!
Ohara
A General Alarm? All right!