Wednesday 8 June 2016

The Prince of Exiles, 15

We walk behind the stately, unhurried priest, our feet making hard wet sounds on the stone causeway.

The rain eases off. The smell of ozone. It feels like a procession; I catch sight of a movement in the corner of my eye, turn, see a shock of hair withdrawing behind a marble lintel, a hand betraying a figure behind a pillar, the omnipresent feeling of eyes on the back of my net.

"Do we even know where we're being led?"  Svaathe speaks in an extravagant stage whisper, presumably for the priest's benefit, but Xipil doesn't give any sign that Svaathe's been heard.

"Somewhere warm and dry. Somewhere with clothes." I am shaking. I began to cry shortly after we started moving, allowed the rain to hide it. I feel a weariness, a feeling between hunger and fear welling up beneath my diaphragm.

Grief. I realise that I am crying. I do not know when I began.

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