The heat wasn’t that bad. He thought that people were exaggerating, the way they gasped, shrieked, and ran, sweat running down their faces, eyes bulging and mouth gaping like they were imitating fish out of the water, as their clothes ignited.

A Volvo, BMW, and Jeep exploded as they passed him. Street lights drooped like limp noodles. Flames sprang from nothing to consume trees as the grass turned into black ash and a yellow fire hydrant lost its shape, issuing arcing geysers of water that turned into steam and blew away. Buildings began melting and crumbling.

Smiling, he shook his head and looked at the black-smoke inferno spreading behind him. If they thought this was bad, they should experience what he’d just been there.

Now that had been hot.

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