Penance and Offerings

36th Day of Ripening Season, 342 years after Mourning The larders are haunted. Spirits, they say, and wraiths! The children here do not need lessons on death; they are familiar with that journey. Nevertheless, I have reminded them of your promises, Sisters. We read the descriptions of paradise in the holy book. We recite theContinue reading “Penance and Offerings”

A Thousand Times Over

34th Day of Ripening Season, 342 years After Mourning I have killed a man. Today, I have served as judge and executioner. As I sit here, confessing yet again for my crime, I have discovered what darkness hides within the blood of humans. What evil lurks within our souls! My hands shake, the beat ofContinue reading “A Thousand Times Over”

The Future is a Lie

The 31st Day of Ripening Season, 342 years After Mourning The superstitions are wrong; the whispered rumors false. The future awaiting us is a lie. Sisters, with your grace leading me, I have once again discerned the truth. The rancid claws of demons embedded deep within our flesh are nothing more than petty thieves. Hope,Continue reading “The Future is a Lie”

More than Death

The 30th Day of Ripening Season, 342 years After Mourning The wind that blows through the plague-ridden streets of Aramas carries more than death—it carries defeat. I have walked under its yoke for far too long. It circles the city, caressing the stone walls like a jealous lover, refusing to leave. Yet as I steppedContinue reading “More than Death”

Starvation

The 27th Day of Ripening Season, 342 years After Mourning We are starving. The storerooms are empty, the grain all but vanished.  The larders are filled with dust, while the abandoned gardens wither under a sticky heat. It is not as if there is a shortage of food. Wheat stretches toward the sky, not yetContinue reading “Starvation”

Sofie’s Plea

The 21st day of Ripening Season, 342 years After Mourning When the snows melted and the days became longer, when we cast off our heavy winter cloaks and the heady smells of the first blossoms drifted in from the windows, we had twenty-four acolytes. In addition to the youngsters, we had ten priests, three priestessesContinue reading “Sofie’s Plea”

Games and Mercy

The 17th day of Ripening Season, 342 years After Mourning Hope dwindles further with each soul that passes. We lost fourteen today: seven men, three women and four children. Their names have been recorded in the ledger. I have given young Barly the unwelcome task of carting them away before the heat sours them. A hardContinue reading “Games and Mercy”