I saw her at the fair. I followed her there. There was a big barn and they had all these farm animals in little pens and different kids of chickens in cages. Chloe was staring at a miniature horse. I don't know how long she'd been there, but after I caught up to her I must have watched her for twenty minutes. I couldn't look away. She was staring at that little horse with such sorrow. Little girls crowded around to look at that stupid horse, but Chloe didn't move. And after a while, when she thought she was alone again, she just stood up and walked away. Like it was nothing. Her boots trudged through the mud and the cow shit in the aisle, but she didn't care. She just kept walking.
I know Chloe's secret.
She doesn't know I know. She doesn't even see me. She frightens me, but in a strange way. Like I don't mind being frightened. She walks tough and doesn't talk to anyone. She looks like she's going to cry and laughs instead. I could look at her all day. She's just one of those people that you never get tired of looking at. Not like me. I'm invisible, and I like to stay that way. That's why Chloe didn't notice me when I saw her. When I saw what she could do for the second time. It was behind the bleachers on the football field.
At first I didn't know it was fire. It was all over her, like the flames wanted to touch every part of her. Not normal flames, though; blue flames. Like when you light a propane stove. They shot out from her body like Chloe was kerosene. Her clothes burned off and then it was just her in a writhing ball of indigo flame. Just like that night. She started to scream, but I watched her put her fist in her mouth in a smooth, practiced movement. Like she'd done it a thousand times before. After a few minutes the flames died away, and Chloe staggered to the side, like she was drunk. Like that time she got me to drink peppermint schnapps. Now I could see Chloe crying. I didn't know she could still cry. I thought her tears were all gone by now. Dried up. Burned up.
Chloe walked over to the bleachers where she'd thrown her bag and I could hear the zipper. She took out some clothes and put them on. She looked around to see if anyone saw her. She didn't see me. She never does. I am invisible. And I like to stay that way.