Cerasus Mortem for the Children

It had been weeks since I had left My shadow lair, so I accepted Mama San's invitation.

As we ate our pork belly underneath the coolness and blush of My favorite Sakura, a domestic species of killing tree known among the botanic forensics community as Cerasus Mortem, I noticed a murky figure a few feet away.

Apparently, the local neighborhood children had erected a life-sized mud man, whom they incorporated into their afternoon rabble-rousing. After wiping the grease from My pencil mustache, I stood up and approached it to admire the peculiar resemblance it shared with My distant uncle Santos.

Nearing its presence, a funereal realization entombed itself in My throat. The unmistakeable stink of charred flesh was everywhere, and its ashen remains served as a cremated mud putty for the children.