“Young lady,” Dixon calls out to a girl passing in the hallway. Who stops and bows. I think, I know her, funny how this one doesn’t cower. “Take this library messenger to her room. Third floor, room ten.”
“Yes, Ma’am.” The girl’s eyes find mine, yet she quickly looks away. I suppress a sigh of relief and spring to my feet. My bow firmly in my hand, I don’t let wondering why I’m being set free slow me down. There is still much to discuss. Instead, I stride from Dixon’s frown, with my head erect, past her guards. I think I could have taken them.
In the hallway, the girl whispers, “Hello Miss Kalapati.” She speaks so low and shyly I nearly miss it.
Ah, I realize. “Lucia!” It comes rushing back to me. That hot afternoon in central California. Drawing my bow again and again, until my fingers and arms ached. Loosing so many arrows, the people around me had to gather more from the dead and dying. The sweat, tears, and blood of that day facing Valmiki’s horde. “It’s been years.”
“Yes, years. Since you rescued us.” Awe shines in her face. I shrink at that look of hero worship.
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