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Cehrazad

“I’m going now, tonight,” Dunyazad says. Her voice is quiet and careful; Cehrazad–twelve to her eleven–is the one crying. “Cehrie, Cehrazad, shhh.”

“I can’t, I can’t live here alone–”

“There are nine children in our wing,” Dunyazad says drily. “And the mothers, and the slaves, and even Father.”

“You know what I mean!”

“You won’t be alone. I’ll be here in your mirror, in your mind, when you need me. Are you ready?”

Cehrazad scrubs her eyes closed. Dunyazad kisses her, and whispers a word in no language, and presses her face to Cehrazad’s fingers; and then she’s gone.

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