Had they come from heaven? Had they come from Hell? None could rightly say. They resembled dogs, big, horse sized dogs which glowed hot like a furnace underneath pitch black, smoldering skin. Their necks ended without much of a head, only a mouth which breathed hot fire. No eyes, no jaw, just an open hole.
They ravaged cities; they left no bodies behind. They ate and consumed and spread.
Those who said Hell was unleashed pointed to the devastation wrought on sinners, but, when these speakers were shortly discovered of no greater immunity to the creatures, fingers began pointing upwards in blasphemy.
Whatever source of the dogs, the long known truth of a fire’s need for fuel proved useful for containing and eventually suffocating the flames. Just as they had appeared, growing fast from whispered and credulous tales into an unthinkable panic, so they were forgotten almost in a day. Evacuations in conjunction with natural and created boarders soon trapped the dogs in an ever tightening noose.
So man was burned a little, but survived. The story, though awful, held little meat to it in the end, and hardly a paragraph would appear in any future textbook. And whatever was written, the truth was sure to be forgotten. No one would write of, nor consider, the unburned girl.
A madman, however, who had worked to suppress the flames, he had seen her standing there, unafraid as the burning hounds circled and barked at her. She stood and looked up to heaven. She spoke nothing. She did not cry.
At times a beast of the pack would break from formation and furiously charge at her. She payed no heed, and as the creature drew closer, it would eventually come to a stomping halt. Then, as a small mutt might cower before a Great Dane, so this horse sized brut cowered before something greater than itself. Shivering, its back arched in fright, the terror scampered back towards the pack.
The madman had seen this, and some part of him could not keep the silence all mankind had kept about the sight. So it is that some madmen see truth, and so it is that of some truths can only madmen speak.
They circled her as mankind encircled them, and at their center the girl was unburned.