Chapter Ten
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Fire. Why did it have to be fire? I’m terrified of fire! I struggle to use an oven, preferring the microwave or stovetop. But, as I said that, the all-too-familiar rush of adrenaline entered my veins. Here we go.

I wasn’t too far from the door so it wouldn’t be all that hard to just leave now, but I haven’t seen the person behind the counter get up yet. If he’s hurt, he might not be able to leave. This is kinda my fault after all… right? I didn’t hide my eyes.

I ran behind the counter to try to get to the guy. It looks like he hit his head on his way down, hard. There was a small amount of blood. He was breathing though, I think. Well if he’s dead we can take care of that after he’s out of the fire. 

I hoisted him on my back with the strength only adrenaline could give me and even then I was only able to hobble out the door. The fire had spread to the entire ceiling and was now creeping down the walls. I took the opportunity to be dramatic and tried to kick the door open. My own hubris and desire to look cool didn’t help things, however, as it just knocked a support beam in front of the door. It was impossible now. If this were Mountainside, we wouldn’t be having this problem. But nooooo they just had to use wood, didn’t they?

If this was like stores and shops in my world, there had to be either a fire exit or some employee only door. I hobbled over to the other side of the store. There was less fire over there. The smoke was stinging my eyes and my body was heating up. I’ve always preferred the cold and this just cemented that fact in my mind.

There was a ray of hope! A beer cave! Those things are usually like walk-in refrigerators to keep the beer cool, right? So they’d probably have some form of insulation. Maybe the fire wouldn’t be able to spread to there, at least not as quickly as the rest of this freaking tinderbox went up. I went in and was relieved to see that it wasn’t actively on fire. It was still hot and full of smoke, but oh well.

I’ve never been in a beer cave before, but logic follows that there might be an access door at the other end of it so that manufactures can load beer directly into this place so it doesn’t get too warm. At least, that’s my hope. I desperately needed to sit down for a second though.

I sat the cashier down next to me. It was getting harder to breathe. Whatever ventilation this place has might be dependent on magic or whatever, and whoever was fueling it has probably long evacuated. Gosh this whole world is so inconvenient.

I had to take my shirt off to cool down. Also it was singed and my paranoid self was worried it would catch fire. I ripped part of it off and wrapped it around my face to keep ash and smoke out of my lungs, at least a little bit. It was starting to smell anyways. 

I was basically dragging the poor cashier at this point. My body was burned, my eyes hated me and I was gasping for air. But finally, a ray of hope. A door. I ran over to it to open it, but it was locked. Of course. I started banging on it, screaming.

“Hey! We’re trapped inside! Let us out!” 

Nothing. No response. Were there even firemen? Hard to tell. There had to be some function like that, right? Even without magic, fires happen all the time back home.

I slumped down next to the door, feeling defeated. Wait, if beer comes in wooden crates, those crates have to be pried open with a crowbar. Those crates would also be stored in a refrigerated environment, preferably close to the beer cave or even in it.

I swiped everything off of one of the shelves to look behind it. A storage area full of crates. I moved the shelf out of the way and there it was. My saving grace. A crowbar.

I ran over to the door, crowbar in hand, and threw all my weight into prying the door open. It worked. We were home free.

I ran over to the still-unconscious guy and in one last burst of energy ran both of us out of there before collapsing on the ground. Another perfect day.