The Forgiving Tree

He came back to the tree, gazed up at the trinkets and cards and articles of clothing the locals left there to expiate their sins. Ribbons, so many ribbons. Yellow, pink, purple, green, and blue, red, and rainbows. Even one for his son, tied to a cross to mark the location of his death. He wondered again at this corner of the dirt road. What brought people out here, and why, on that foggy day, had his son been here? Too foggy to drive that fast, too fast for the corner.

The smell of gasoline clung to his gloves after pouring out the contents of the can. Standing a few feet back, he struck a match, flicked it toward the tree, stepped further back at the sudden whoosh as the fuel ignited, setting the tree ablaze, lighting up all the symbolic sins hanging there, a pyre to send those reminder off to the heavens.

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