“Repeat it,” Brian, the seventh-grade DM, says, holding a cigarette lighter directly under my fist.
“I can’t play until I’m 14.”
“So stop asking.” His grip releases and I shake the pinpricks from my fingertips. “Now hand it over.”
I pull a folder crammed with notebook paper from my backpack. Brian yanks out a character sheet—Xenon the Sorceror—and lights it. The ashes fall lightly on me. I try not to think of them as the remains of a friend.