Cehrazad expects cold horror, to be cast out, shamed by her wailing sisters: but she slips into the house without incident. There’s only First Mother, waiting in her room.
“You’ve lost face?” she says, not unkindly.
“It broke,” Cehrazad stammers. “The mask–I had to leave, I couldn’t… without…” She flaps one hand at her underface, barely veiled by a strip torn from her dress.
“They’re searching for you already. The girl who disappeared at midnight?”
“There is one great secret, in our city of masks,” says First Mother sadly. “The only face to hide behind is your own.”