Over 500-miles away, Florence Morgan-Thistle settled her easel 30-yards away from the 120-year-old well. A faded red-barn with a swayback gray-black roof was slightly to the left of the well as she positioned herself with the setting sun behind her. There was an hour-and-a half of sunlight left. The trees and the structures were taking on dark outlines and black silhouettes as the atmosphere turned slightly red-to-brown. The once stark, skeletonized trees with their outstretched dead-looking branches now had buds. The air smelled fresh and clean like newly washed and sun-dried bed linen. This was a rare find–both a classical New England early 1800’s barn and an old small pitched-roof water well could be framed in the same line of sight. It was perfect. Almost perfect. The old farmhouse had been uninhabited for the last 25-years. She was told by the combination postmaster and general store owner in Humpster that no one ever came here. But now the loud noise of the man with the chain saw was ruining her creative moment.
The chain saw roared to incise a wedge in a two-foot diameter tree. The tree-feller couldn’t hear the painter yelling to him. Florence moved to a safe position to the logger’s left and began waving her arms. The chain saw was immediately shut off.
“What’re you doin’ here, lady?” The man wiped his brow with the sleeve of his red-and-black-checkered flannel shirt.
“On the contrary. I was told t no one ever comes here.”
“I always come here to get firewood.” He made a motion to restart the chainsaw.
“How long are you going to take? I need the remaining sunlight to frame my painting.”
“Tell you what, lady. Let me get this tree down. It’ll take five more minutes. I’ll come back tomorrow to cut it up. What are you painting anyway? You can’t see the sun very good.” He looked at the treed skyline.
“The barn and the water well, of course, and thank you. Five-minutes is good.” Florence turned and went back to her easel.
The chain saw roared behind her. Florence mixed her black and red oils together to get the correct sunset-colored outline of the barn and the well. The chain saw noise was getting louder. She could smell the smoke from the small gasoline-powered engine. She turned around to look at the tree-feller’s progress.
The roar of the chain saw intensified and then changed pitch as if cutting into a melon. Bright crimson streaks splattered against the canvas as the saw separated Florence Morgan-Thistle’s head as cleanly as slicing a cheese log. Her head arced in the air from the momentum of the swing-stroke of the chainsaw and fell into the well without touching its walls.
“Hole-in-one.” The man uttered to the empty woodland. “Damn well is too narrow for the rest of her,” He continued, “but the solution to the problem is in my hands.” Cargo re-started the chainsaw and dismembered the rest of Thunderbird Thistle’s wife into segments fitting nicely into the deep waterless well. The easel, the paint pallet and the case of tubed oils went down the well last.
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