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March 9, 3019: Coil

Time dragged by. Šuraš felt listless, unsettled – both together. Ihna'a babbled almost breathlessly 'til Mother sternly silenced her: “Enough!” Ihna'a bowed her head, wiped at her eyes.

“'Disaster breeds where shame goes unanswered,' but this is my house,” Mother declared. “So help me!”

Rice with zereke they made then, and Mother burned their leaves 'til the house smelled of burnt barberry.

At table that eve, she spoke before her husband: “I claim a mother's right.”

Silence. Uncertainty from the guardsmen and her younger sons, consternation from her elder. Šuraš and Ihna'a bowed their heads.

Father sighed. “'He is obliged' – speak!”


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