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from Aradia's Diaspora by Susan Woerner

Copyright © 2018–2020 Susan Woerner

Scene 25

I have never had much trouble eating even when things were upsetting and chaotic. This meal was no different and I finished quickly and waited for Isobeau and Nana, who both picked at the food on their plates. Perhaps it was because I still felt like an outsider, or just hungry, or just a hungry outsider. I am just getting to know these women and some, like Madeline a little more intimately than others, but I don’t know any of them so well as to feel the deep sorrow, anger, or fear they seemed to display.

Let me take that back. I do feel fear. Hmm. Maybe trepidation.

Back in Michigan, I was no scholar of medieval times nor much of a historian of any period, but I still knew enough about a certain period of terror by the authoritarian religion of Europe during that time, that when I put two and two together, it looked a lot like what was happening in this world. This was not Europe, I’d been to Europe. This was not exactly medieval times although no electricity, motorized vehicles, or pumped water, was probably closer to that time period than my own.

“This is what I think might be going on,” I said to Isobeau and Nana, “like I said before, I know a little about what all this could mean back where I’m from. That does not mean it is exactly the same as what’s going on here but it’s a place to start I think.”

Speaking broke the trance the two women were in. They set their plates aside and we leaned in toward each other.

“What was recorded, what Shala was able to tell us, and what I can piece together, is this,” I said, “we...

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