Spent a busy afternoon destroying Bend by fire. Strangely satisfying.

Didn't spare my own store.

"As he passed Minnesota Avenue, the canopy in front of the local comic bookstore burst into flames. Another ember dropped down into the middle of the street, sending sparks into the air. His instincts were to stop and put out the fire, but he heard sirens approaching and kept going."

Really... I like Bend and I like my store. I'm only nihilistic in my imagination.

This chapter was a result of my research, specifically, the book The Big Burn. For most of the story I've kept the fire somewhat at a distance. I mean, I bring it on home in the last five or six chapters, but I never managed to have a chapter where the people were surrounded by fire, with no way out, the way The Big Burn was. And through heroic efforts, most of the people are saved.

I decided I needed to mix some disaster amongst this.

Thus...I burn down Bend.

I've got a title which I like, but which I suspect no one else will. But so far, it's holding. Which is the test. Emotionally, it feels right. Some of the other titles had some intellectual heft, but didn't do it for me. In the end, I think I need to pick the title that "feels" right.

"The Scorching."