Anji was blessed never to know darkness—I thought.
“Did it hurt?” I look behind me, at the bare spot on the white stone of the road. In the palace, my shadow might even now be slipping under a door, stealing a life. “No,” I tell my daughter. It will hurt later, when my shadow comes home. Featured image by TheAndrasBarta from Pixabay
I am beautiful, I know.
We had come so close. We rationed proteins, we doled out water in scant mouthfuls. If we were careful, there would be just enough. Then we ran out of fuel. Outside, a blue-green world rotates tantalizingly out of reach. I lick my dry lips and send another mayday.
It is nearly light and I have not slept. Pine boughs scrape the windowpanes. “Stay,” she murmurs when I stir, but the name she whispers is not mine. She drifts in and out, clutching the covers to her chest. Frost limns the window, and yet I lie here and burn.