The sound of the wind was strong.  It was that, and what felt like sudden warmth that made Christina sit up, then shield her eyes from the sharp light.  She’d fallen asleep in the field.  How long had it been—an hour?  Minutes?  She yawned.  The inhalation rephrased the moment, reminded her why she’d come back to this place that was more than an hour’s walk from the town’s only inn where she’d left her watch and car.

Slowly she turned to look, first at the barn, then at the monstrous house whose current inhabitants had robbed her of her fortune, her future and whatever happiness she hoped to grab from life.  The family had not come back.  It was getting late, and she’d have to hurry.  It would not take long.  There’d be hay in the barn.  The animals.  She’d set them free—her troubles were not their fault—before setting it ablaze.

The mansion would be more work.  But the days had been dry, and the structure was old, and made of wood.  Hay from the barn could be used to kindle a flame.  The windows were low.  If she could not open them from outside, she’d have to break the glass.  Pulling a strand of hair from her face, her eyes continued her survey of the space between the barn and the house.  She decided the job would take a lot of hay.  The wind would help.

A smile crept across her face as she rose.  Her steps crunched the field grass with purpose now, mindful of the time, calculating the next steps.  Hurry.   She was almost running now, the sun’s warmth dampening her all over as she reached inside her pocket to finger the stash of matches.  Time to make them pay.