He jogged down the trail to the temple, ignoring the windows of the apothecary shop. The grove was shaken clean to its bones from winter. When Lonan knocked on the door, all the birds inside—crows, seagulls, martins, finches, and swallows—exploded into a ruckus. Wind-catchers clacked wooden music on either side of his head.
Shackles in filigree cage man’s wings to his chest.
The fire bursts awake in the trees. It begins by eating the green from each leaf.
The bushes overflowed with every shade of color, but in particular crimson. It was Shiori’s favorite color, and arrogant red flowers spilled over the blues, purples, and pinks. The other woman servants grumbled about it to each other every now and again--that many in the same soil, they shouldn’t grow like that.