Alex found the Guy sitting on a towel on the edge of the woods. The Guy had no face, or anyway only the suggestion of one, big angry eyes and a line for a mouth. He started hanging things on it, pendants, feathers, bits of string, pieces of paper, pulling more and more from his pockets, until the Guy was properly, majestically tatterdemalian. He put all of his anger, all of his hope, all of his woe on the Guy, then stood back and gauged the effect.

The Guy watched him silently, angry eyes snapping at him. Alex laughed at it.

He built a bonfire, dragging twigs and boughs and branches and leaves into a huge pile around the Guy. He wasn’t sure about the structure of a bonfire, so he built a lincoln log beehive and jammed leaves and smaller twigs into it, until he couldn’t see the Guy at all. That wasn’t right. He made an opening in the giant apiary, just large enough for the Guy to glare out of, and ringed it with flowering branches, heavy magnolia, bright crabapple, lilac.

The Guy stared daggers at him through the hole. Alex danced joyously, and struck sparks here and here against the bonfire. It caught at last and he ran back from it, watching through the opening as the fire licked at the Guy. The Guy burned with little hisses and pops, and the heavy black smoke smudged the sky, heavy with spring, heavy with sin. Alex danced light as a feather.