It is October, and the chill is returning to the air, as the leaves begin to paint themselves brighter colors again. A middle-aged woman in a black dress approaches a silvered gray shed and circles it, pouring kerosene on it from an old watering can. Her dress looks like it came from the early 1800s, has all sorts of things attached to it, pieces of old books, spines and pages, bells, pocket watches, so many pockets she doesn’t remember anymore, skeleton keys, pieces of ribbon and string, pieces of colored fabrics, wispy. She is whispering something to herself, and her movements are childlike. When the can is empty she giggles and begins to whisper louder and skip like a girl, reciting a nursery rhyme. Then she begins repeating:
“… Believe what you will, do no harm, and let Karma find the guilty …”
She stops at the door, strokes it with memory, then pulls out a box of matches. The woman thoughtfully strikes a match and goes around the shed again in a reverse circle, lighting it with matches as she goes. The shed begins to catch on fire and she begins to cry and laugh alternately. It makes an inferno and she steps back.
A hand comes to her shoulder and she is with a band of scarecrows, only they are alive. The fire burns to the ground as they dance around it. When the fire is dying, the scarecrows leave her and she reaches for a hand that reaches for her from the nearby woods across the road. It is the hand of a living tree, which takes her into its embrace as night begins to fall …
The next morning, a man’s worn boot kicks at the cold coals of the fire. His hand is now reaching into the ashes for pieces of metal, pieces of woodworking tools …