Scythe Curie records a poem written by one of the first scythes. It reminds her that despite the goals of the Scythedom, she has to be careful—the power of scythes means that they're susceptible to the worst parts of human nature.
While Curie thus far seems to be a good scythe, it's telling that she acknowledges the pitfalls of human nature. This suggests that being good and moral is something that someone must choose to do; it's not a natural state of being.
A young girl named Esme is eating pizza in a food court after an exhausting day in the fourth grade. She's tired of her mother's attempts to get her to eat healthily to control her weight. As she bites into her pizza, four scythes, including Scythe Goddard, appear at the food court. They begin to kill everyone in the food court. Esme crawls in a panic and manages to squeeze in between a trashcan and the wall. After a few minutes, Goddard approaches Esme, pulls her up, and says the gleaning is over. He says that he's given Esme's mother immunity. Esme accepts her pizza and follows the scythes away. Goddard tells her that her life will be everything she ever dreamed of.
Esme's willingness to follow Goddard without question speaks to the power that scythes have in this society, as it's clearly unthinkable to Esme to ask why or object to being kidnapped—it's probable that nobody else in the mall would be willing to help her. There is a wild imbalance of power here, and not least because Esme is a young girl. This continues to build up Goddard as an unethical and corrupt scythe, as he gives little thought to uprooting a ten-year-old from her life.