On The Night When Pine Smells Like Peppermint

From where she sat on the hill she could see the revelers roaming the streets. The sun would soon be up and the dense mob of only an hour ago had broken into small groups of threes and fives. It started at sundown on the same day every year. As soon as the sunlight disappeared from the sky the dense forest of pine trees that surrounded the town and lined its streets would burst forth with the smell of peppermint. The villagers would fill the streets and forest dancing, drinking and breaking off twigs and branches to release their momentarily unnatural smell. With the creeping light of morning, the smell of peppermint would slowly mix with pine until, by dawn, the smell of pine would be complete. The celebrants would collapse in their beds to sleep the day out.

However, year after year, sunrise found her on the same hillside. Although she never participated in the festivities she would follow the revelers as they ran through the forest. There she would be crouching in the dark unseen, waiting to pick out the strands of hair that had collected in the branches. In the bright sunlight, she'd continue through the day weaving the hair into the blanket she had started in her youth. Down below the townspeople slept unaware.