Orison – Praying, Remembering. Chapter 1: Remembering Girl

Hear my prayer, Lady, and remember me. I was six years old, no one, nothing, but you found me. Girl was my name …

“Girl! GIRL!”

Girl doesn’t respond, only crawls further into the gap beneath the house, deeper into the shadows. She’s done nothing wrong, but Naala screaming for her like that means a beating.

“This is how I’m repaid for my compassion and benevolence,” cries Naala as villagers gather. “But it certainly shows I lacked wisdom, taking in the orphaned babe, caring for her for five long years. In truth, she’s as wicked as her feckless parents. But I’ll have judgement-giving and justice before the god. As Temple Elder, I demand it.”

Girl doesn’t understand all the words, but some make her tingle inside. Then Aprakash stumbles from the house, half-drunk on rice wine and raksi.

“Why all the shrieking, Mother?” he demands. “What’s the brat done now?”

“Theft! Theft from my own house!”

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