The wood at the bottom of the pile had turned grey from decades of winters and summers; it was a color not unlike some dead, desert reptile. Those logs had been there since his stepfather was a boy, he knew, a petrifying foundation for the annual cords. In the years he’d lived here, he’d not known the pile to be shorter than a man’s waist.
Glowering now toward the house, he tossed fresh-cut timber from the wheelbarrow: his ribs inflamed, his open cheek drizzling blood like a macabre sous-chef. He wondered with a smoldering resolution if the old logs would burn.