And Bartholomew burned.
Everything burned before any alarm could be given, and how the fire had started... no one could say. It was almost as if... no, it was exactly as if every tree was lit on fire at exactly the same time, along with nearly every house, mailbox, bush, and quite a few blades of grass. When the blaze died down enough for county fire marshals to close in and put out the embers, the city was a dead zone. Not even a war zone--a dead zone; there was nothing left to save. Arson experts were brought in and left empty handed and none the wiser. Bomb experts were brought in and left scratching their heads.
The city of Bartholomew was gone, and all that remained was ash.
Jorge carried pamphlets in his car. Most of them, he disagreed with, views too strong for his own taste, even when he leaned in the same direction. A few were so moderate, they could be called extremist-moderate without metioning self-contradiction or oxymorons.
He didn't read them, or pass them out to strangers whether they wanted them or just took them to get him to go away. Instead, he saved them for those who approached him, with their own views and pamphets and preachings.
Jorge, or as he introduced himself, Yorg, didn't smile much and kept to himself. He didn't keep a lover or entertain guests, didn't socialize at work when he could be found there, didn't keep or betray trusts, rumors, or lies.
His home was a small building, set apart from the road and blocked from sight by a small forest, though when he played music, a muffled echo could be heard by those passing by.
Jorge moved out of Bartholomew and into this house exactly one year before the city burned.