Beneath a lurid ochre sky an old man tended his crop. In his weathered hands a scythe spun ceaselessly. The blackened blade swung down, severing the roots precisely at their base and arcing upward with each step, the cycle repeating along the length of the row. A servant shuffled along behind, piling his wagon high with the bounty.

He reached the end and turned to the next. He paused, frowning. The scythe quivered at its apex, then stilled. A heavy silence fell upon the field.

“You are not mine,” he said to the crop at his feet.

Leaning upon the scythe, he slowly bent to extend his hand. He pressed his crooked fingers down firmly. Tears of joy streamed down the woman’s cheeks, her face contorted with silent sobs as her head vanished under the churning, blood-stained soil. Another face thrust up through the earth to take her place.

The old man straightened with a grunt, satisfied with the replacement. The scythe flashed downward and the screams began anew.


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