John sat atop a small mound, sitting on grass so thick that it had taken on a silk texture. At one point there was a car beneath where he was sitting. Perhaps there still was, he thought as he looked into the early morning sky. Nearby the windmill stood lazily, its outstretched arms groaning under the weight of clingy leafy vines. Off in the distance the old church stood, robed in ivy. At something pretty close to seven o’clock the church bell intoned deeply, and then the belfry seemed to shudder for an instant before hundreds of disturbed doves exploded out the bell chamber. The birds flew in a spiral of feathers and communal confusion, then settled down just in time for the second ring to redisturb them.
At the sound of the bell John’s son, Mark, approached the windmill from their homestead. John nodded at him, and Mark began his daily chore. Mark tucked the machete he was carrying into his belt and jumped up and grabbed hold of the lowest windmill blade. He pulled himself up by the vines and climbed up, ripping out handfuls of leafs as he went. The windmill creaked uneasily, but did not move its stationary blades. After a while Mark reached the top blade and spent some time looking around. He then went to work with the machete, cutting roots and vines off the vertical blades as he descended. The plant growth came off in big patches, peeling off onto the ground like a second skin. Finally, after Mark had climbed down, did the windmill start to turn lazily in the wind. Now they could have flour. By the next morning, Mark would have to do it all again.