Chapter Three

    Calamity was the oldest word in the language of Niara’s people. It was the word for their old world which had fallen to pieces. They used that word for falling down and for failing grace. They used it for the loss of life and for the leaving of love. Two and a half days away from her foster mother’s deathbed, Boabab’s prodigal daughter woke up shaken–from a strange dream and so she; despite her disdain for those who would rely on them; listened to the bones. The bones telegraphed that one word repeatedly and relentlessly. Calamity–they sang. Calamity had befallen Niara and would soon again and again and again. She,…

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