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There is a widowed woman, alone on a farm too big for her to manage by herself. There are fires being set all over the county during a drought, and there is a man, Carl, who is surely the culprit. However, because Carl marries the widow, Marcie, and she needs the affection and attention that he gives her, Marcie takes on this role of protector. Carl is most certainly responsible for setting the fires and yet Marcie lies to the sheriff about his whereabouts because without Carl, she would have nothing. Her land, her farm, is out of harm’s way as long as she has Carl. The acreage being burned was minimal, there was no real “harm” being done, however others were beginning to get suspicious of Carl and his black pickup. Marcie prays for rain because it is rain that will offer cover for Carl and therefore to her as well. Until the rain hits, she knows there will be more fires set and she knows that the likelihood of him being caught is increased. Throughout the story, Rash uses place to piece together this relationship between fire and Marcie and Carl. There’s the honeymoon lighter, the sound of the gas can in the truck when he pulls into the house, and the sight of the light cupped in Carl’s hands on the porch at night. Rash leaves us with this idea that Marcie will forever have a connection with fires as long as she is with Carl. And, because when she is with Carl she is happy, her obsession with him becomes like his obsession with fire.

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