They stared with abject horror at the opening in the wall.
"Papa... I don't think there’s supposed to be a hole there,” Suzie whimpered from behind the shelter of her father’s knees. Her hand trembled as she clutched at his shirt for comfort, her other hand held up to her face as she chewed her thumb nervously.
“I don’t think so either, sweetie. I also don’t think Mittens is supposed to breathe fire.”
The cat in question was currently curled up peacefully on the fireplace mantle, looking for all the world as if it were just another ordinary afternoon. It nonchalantly licked its paws in what would have been an innocent motion were it not for the incriminating ash clinging to white fur.
Suzie found herself abruptly shoved backwards by her father, startled by Mittens’ jumping down from the mantle. It—he refused to acknowledge the cat as anything other than an alien entity; it breathed fire for god’s sake—landed gracefully on the soot-covered floor and blinked at the two terrified humans with what could have been amusement, before turning toward the hole. It casually pawed at the edge until a doorknob, once shiny but now covered with ash, appeared.
Their feet remained glued to the floor as the door within the wall slowly began to open.