It had been a season of sun and sweat: clearing trees, hauling brush, piling it high to let it all dry. Then waiting for the right time. Months passed. A prolonged autumn arrived and departed. Days grew shorter. Finally, a December afternoon, moist and calm. It took only a bit of newspaper and a single match. For a few minutes then, a furious glory. Followed by a long night of slow smoldering. Dawn broke. And all was ash.