prologue.

[THE RENEWAL HOUSE]

There is a building in the center of the community. It stands at the back of a stage in a park. It is a pyramid-shaped metal building that was just large enough for one person. The sides are lined with solar panels. Each day, the building harnesses energy from the sun, collects it into a receptacle attached to the back of the building, and pushes that energy into the community.

Inside the building is a chair. It is made of recycled wood, smoothly carved, and it has a red cushion. There are no imperfections on the chair. There are no imperfections on the building.

For now, the chair is empty. The grasses that fill the park are still. There is a pulsing of cricket chirps but even the crickets do not change location. They rub their wings and before too long, the rain comes down. Its drops hit the solar panels on the building at the back of the stage and make little plinking noises as it streams down even harder, fertilizing the grasses, providing energy, providing life, the song of renewal and the shedding of pain, oh. Oh, take the dirt and push it away, molt past lives of imperfection and dance around the firelight, make crossroads deals in exchange for life, the rain softens and the smell of the ground—

But the smell goes un-smelled and the crickets go unheard. The chair is empty and the rain is gone by morning, and in the daylight everything is perfect again.