The path


Don’t worry about me,” the old woman wheezed, lowering herself with difficulty onto a fallen tree trunk by the path-side. “Go on on your own. Get away as far as you can.” It had been a long climb and even the young girl that accompanied her was out of breath. “I’m quite happy to rest a moment with you Granny,” was her reply, seating herself next to the old woman. “Why are those men after us?” she asked, taking the old woman’s up-turned hand in hers so as to study the lines of her palm. Her grandmother sighed. “It’s a long story, my love. If only I could spare you the consequences of it, I would. But it seems that the past has caught up with you too.” And she fell silent again leaving only the birds and the wood creatures to make the occasional noise. There was no sign of the men who must be following them. “If you won’t tell me why, how am I to look after us?” the girl insisted. The old woman turned to look at her, her hooded eyes scrutinising the girl at length. Anyone could see that she was on the verge of adulthood and would soon have to go her own way and fend for herself. “We come from a family where the women are not like most other women,” she began…

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