She finished her sandwich in silence. The man had stood back up, staring at the ashes of the house behind her, still eating. She frowned, wondering what he could be thinking about.
– Hey. Are you security ?
The question was innocuous, a normal thing to ask to the only person who showed up after a house fire. He shook his head. Claire gritted her teeth, unable to tell if he was telling the truth or not, torn between the joy of not having to know anything she didn't want to know, and the fear that he might secretly be like everyone else she'd ever met.
– Are you going to kill me ?
This time, he choked on his sandwich. All right, maybe he was just kind and had just wanted to help a random child he did not know. Once he was done coughing out the bits of sandwich he'd choked on, he said, scandalized :
– What the f- no ! That's. Why would I do that.
She shrugged, then pointed to the house.
– The neighbors did.
He stared at her, unable to think of anything to say for a moment. The look of bewilderment on his face would have been enough to make Claire laugh in any other situation, but here, it just made her uncomfortable.
– I'm not one of them, he finally said. I... was actually called to come here by your parents. To figure out if you had some kind of power that was making life hard for you, and see if there was a way to help you with it. I was supposed to...
He made a vague gesture towards the pile of ashes.
– Get all of you out of here. Before something like this happened.
She turned silent again, her hands trembling.
Sandy couldn't help but sink to his knees, to her level. He could make sure this didn't happen to her again, but it did not make any of this better. He opened his mouth to say something, attempt to soothe this 8 year old who had just lost everything she ever had. Claire didn't give him the time.