Sally and her older brother, Jack, are haunted by a black, oily heron as they attempt to save their mother from their father’s plan to place her in a mental institution. Their father lurks ever closer as the children flee further into the forest, and Sally begins to understand that her brother is not the hero she imagines him to be. The world is made of wilderness – endless seas of leaves and mud. Immediately outside of the neat rows of plowed ground are the untamed wilds. It is in this world where their imaginations run wild, where they can find freedom from their small, isolated lives. The forest can hold their wildest fantasies and their darkest nightmares. Sally is in the middle of a crisis: She desperately wants to keep her mother at home, but she is unsure of her brother’s plan to do so – especially as he grows increasingly erratic. It’s like his skull is full of water, and he can’t quite think through the abyss. And now this Heron shows up to take over their dreams. It looks familiar, and it feels like something she’s seen before.
Krittin “Tae” Patkuldilok
Crawford M. Collins