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Friday, December 9, 2011

From "The Crown of Anavrea" by Rachel Rossano

Eve returns to her master for supplies to nurse the injured stranger...

            “He must have food, warm blankets, and medicine or he will die.” 
            She said the words once aloud, but their essence pushed her forward through her fear. Each step still took great effort. Finally she stood before the aging edifice of her master’s house. The sagging roof, broken shutters, and overgrown doorstep offered little assurance of a welcome.
            Kurios, give me strength, she prayed before unlatching the back door and entering.
            The kitchen glowed with weak light from the banked cooking fire as she slipped through the opening. Her master, Mridle, waited for her with his strap and fist. 
            “Where were you?” he demanded. “I had to eat supper out.”
            Eve closed her lips tightly and straightened.  She dropped the pail and knife among the boots and then turned to face her punishment.
            “Not going to tell me, brat?” Mridle wrapped the whipping strap around his fist. “We shall see about that.” 
            When Mridle purchased her, Eve resolved to never cry in his presence. This time she couldn’t hold back the tears. Before he left her, eye swelling shut and blood dripping from her face, Mridle paused.
            “You are now the property of Horben.”

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