Zafirah in the Wild

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Chapter 16

Quarantine, 319 E.V., Cent. 15 - Five years earlier

I wake in the dead of night, chilled to the bone because I have no blanket to cover me. My head is bare but for a few stray patches. I am clothed in nothing more than bleached muslin. A quick self-inventory reveals a tender spot at the back of my head from Skah’s strike. From the shape of the welt, it appears as if he hit me with the blunt handle of the shears. Had he chosen the other side of the shears, the blade would have driven into the base of my skull. Dead, for nothing.

Someone replaced my clothing and carried me here, into this tiny, white cell, but it matters not who. Caring gives him the power.

However long he keeps me here, I must not succumb to a punishment of his choice. I must not break. When I die, it will not be at his hand.

Day one in the white fortress—night, rather. I am alone. Alone I shall remain, unless companions find their way into my dreams. I left captivity in Arcis for a smaller cage, but at least Skah returned to the city. That is the comfort I choose to warm me. He cannot touch me. Never again will he dictate my life, if it means I have to seek out every green-eyed person in the world. Skah will fall one day, when the green storm rises.

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