Flare Gun

by Ben Marcus

This is a deleted passage from a very early draft of The Flame Alphabet.

In a holster rolled from a leather remnant, I stashed a miniature flare gun, which I would never use.  It was so small that Claire would need to fire it for us.  My hand was too big.  But I wanted the reverse of what this item could achieve.  What was the opposite of a flare gun?  Something that sent up a signal that made people never know where you were?  A coordinate-obliterating firearm.  That’s what we needed, a gun you could shoot so no one ever found you again.  If I had something like that, I would have fired it first at Claire, to hide her forever, and then I would have turned it on myself and greedily released the thing directly into my own face, squeezing the trigger repeatedly until no one ever saw me again.