The Sound of Snapping Twigs
Sinners never prosper.
A beam of cold light in the forest. An owl. A glinting axe. I heard a rustle, then a wailing. I followed a trail of salt. I walked across still water on a bridge made from a fallen tree. The branches caressed my face. On the other side, I raised a ladder into the treetops. I found a whip hanging from a high branch like an empty skin. The whip curled. My hands became slippery. I stepped onto a platform suspended by thin cables and felt it sway like a cradle. I could see myself in its surface. I looked like a harvest scythe. I raised a lock of matted hair. The platform lowered to the ground and made a cage. I ate stale bread and mold. I drank from a tin cup. Yellow bugs on black moss. A tinker came out of the gloom. I gave him a coin I had found in a house made of mud. He cut a path between the bars. I went away. Toil never ceases.