It's late October, so the leaves have begun to orange and yellow. There's a tinge of smoke to the air, and also a strange smell that wafts into your face with the sharp wind. It's almost high noon, you glance up at sky. Four crows circling almost like vultures over a dead carcass.
You walk forward across the concrete, your footsteps bellowing the leaves about your feet. There's a patch of tall grass, and behind that, a forest or sorts. Something moves, out of the corner of your eye you catch it. A black shadow sinks back behind what seems to be a dumpster. You tense, wondering if curiosity could very well get you killed here. You decide against investigating and continue towards the grass. A bead of sweat trickles down your neck and a chill runs through your body as you suddenly realize it's too hot outside for it to be October. The wind is cold, yet the air is heavy and hott.
You stop walking, nearing the end of the concrete road. The Grass starts here. You hesitate, wondering what exactly are you doing here. Something falls from the sky, landing with a thud at your feet. One of the crows. You let out a squeal, jumping back. Your foot hits something. Another dead crow. You stare up at the sky. Only two of the birds are left, but have long since been silent.
You take a step forward, minding the dead bird, and onto the tall grass. The grass feels silken against your skin. A harsh wind blows now, a strange smell wafting once more into your face. You gag a bit, the smell becoming a sickening stench. You cover your face, the smell somehow stronger than before.
You know that smell from somewhere... it's a hard smell to forget. Burning... but burning what? You walk forward, wading deeper into the sea of tall grasses and leaving the safety of the concrete civilization. The forest looms ahead, you look up to the sky and for the first time you notice a plume of black smoke. Could that be the source of the sickening smell?
You race forward, determined to find the fire to the smoke. The trees become heavy, turning from thin saplings to large thick oaks. The smell becoming more potent in your nose. Your run faster, the sun begins to disappear. You reach a break in the treeline, a clearing in the forest.
A bonfire... hudge and burning heavy... A large man heaves some more fire wood onto the burning mass. He grunts a hello to you, as you emerge from the brush. The fire is hot, and the strange stench is almost over powering. You cover your face.
"Horrible isn't it? The smell I mean." The Man speaks, suddenly beside you. You nod in response, not wanting to open your mouth and taste the terrible smell. "Yeah... sometimes it's unbearable. But somebody has to do it!"
You are intrigued, turning your eyes back to the flames. A small glint catches your eye then disappears. "Do what?"
"Burn the bodies."