Written by: Susanne Beck and Okasha
The sun stands halfway to noon when Koda emerges from the showers. Her body feels clean and polished, despite the cold water. The errant children of Israel might have yearned for the fleshpots of Egypt in their wanderings—she was a sophomore in high school before one of the nuns explained that that meant stew pots, to Koda’s great disappointment—but Dakota Rivers would be happy with a hot shower. Not that cool water is a terrible hardship on the last day of July. She turns her face up to the warmth, swinging her still-wet braid over her shoulder to settle against her back. Kirsten, up and bathed earlier, is most likely to be wherever there is a late breakfast to be found, and Asi with her.
She sets off up the road to the stone circle, which seems to be both dining hall and meeting place. The cabins she passes stand empty, neatly made-up cots visible through the screen mesh, clothes poles hung meagerly with jeans and shirts and jackets. Several bear the crudely drawn images of large black birds, apparently intended to be ravens. Ravens on some, she corrects herself as she passes one with a saucer-faced raptor with eyes almost as big, owls on others. Both are sacred to warrior-goddesses, ravens to the Morrigan of Celtic legend, owls to Athena. There are no doves, which does not surprise her.
It doesn’t disappoint her, either. She and Kirsten and Morgan had sat up until well past midnight attempting to riddle out the puzzle of the murders. Item: droids kidnap women. Item: droids breed women, presumably with the purpose of producing babies. So far, understandable to a point. Dakota has lived in ranch country almost all her life. Most livestock eventually find their way into one of those fleshpots, even the breeders when their reproductive value is exhausted. Even horses, on many operations, ultimately wind up in an ALPO can. No puzzle there. It’s what comes next that is the problem.
Item: the droids kill and discard infants and toddlers. They are not, clearly, consuming long pig. Just as clearly they are not supplying anyone else’s depraved taste for the same.
Which leaves the burning question why.
A medical expert, a cyber expert, a legal expert should have been able to put together some hypothesis, but nothing they could postulate held water. The only thing that made sense was sheer terror. More than one human conqueror had pursued a strategy of killing enemy men, raping enemy women, slaughtering enemy children. But that doesn’t work, either. They’ve made no effort to set up a government. In fact, they seem content to let the rest of us be, at least for the time being.
Most of the rest of us, she amends. They still want Kirsten.
Koda shakes her head to clear it. Cold shower or not, she still craves caffeine. Onward. Strategizing can wait another half hour.
On her left, she passes the deserted stables and the picket line. Only half the horses range along it this morning, including the two left on the hillside with the patrol a day and a half ago. Some of the Amazai, then must be out beating the bounds, guarding their borders, replacing sisters who have returned. But patrols would not account for the near-emptiness of the camp.
As she tops the rise that leads to the circle, which, goddess willing, will lead to coffee, a wolf-whistle rings out, clear and loud. "Yo, babe!"
Ripe as the back bayous of Louisiana, the voice and the whistle belong to the unseen Amazai from the mountain patrol. She crouches now beside the firepit, carefully setting a spit onto a pair of freshly-cut greenwood uprights. Even in that position, it is clear that woman is taller than Koda by an inch or so, and wider, as Themunga would say, by half an axe-handle. Her tank top shows off biceps and deltoids bulging like melons under her deeply tanned skin, a fair proportion of which sports tattoos in blue and green and red. Peacock feathers, beautifully drawn, cover her upper arms, and her pale hair, worn in a straggling braid, does nothing to conceal their counterparts that sweep up the sides of her neck. Kirsten, seated on the stone Morgan had occupied the night of their arrival, quietly sips coffee, hiding a three-cornered smile behind her mug. At her feet, Asimov grins up at Koda. No help there.
"Good morning," Koda says equably. "I don’t think we’ve been properly introduced."
The woman gives a bark of laughter and straightens from her work. She extends a hand easily as big as Tacoma’s. "Dale. Dale fia d’LouAnn. Pleased t’meetcha."
"Dakota Rivers. Likewise. Is there any breakfast left?"
"There’s coffee and some fruit and bread back at the old main office. Nobody cooked this morning. Too much to do to get ready for tonight."
"Lugnasa," Dale repeats. "Lammas. Harvest."
"Oh," says Koda, and to Kirsten, "Can I have some of your coffee? Please?"
Kirsten hands the cup to her, and she subsides onto the rock beside the smaller woman. The coffee is still hot, and she swallows gratefully. "Gods," she says. "It’ll be a terrible day when we finally run out of this stuff."
Dale only shrugs. "There’s still coffee trees in South America—droids’d have no reason to destroy ‘em. Whoever manages to go after it and bring some back’ll make a fortune in trade, eventually."
"Is that an Amazai project?" Kirsten asks quietly.
The big woman narrows her eyes. "Maybe. Eventually."
Which means that this band has allies, is territorially ambitious, or both. Koda lets the thought wash about in her brain for a moment, along with the caffeine. It also means that survivors are beginning to live with the idea that "normal" is irreparably different than the "normal" of nine months ago. She hands the mug back to Kirsten. "So where is everybody?"
"Some’s out hunting. Some’s down at the farm. Some’s over at the Lake."
"We’re invited," Kirsten says, draining the coffee.
They need to move on. They also need to make the beginning of an alliance with these women, just in case they survive. Koda nods. " Okay. Anything we can do to help?"
Dale grins at them sardonically. "Just about everything’s covered. If you want to do something, though, you can go pick some flowers."
"Unless you want a harder job?"
"That’s okay," Kirsten says, standing up abruptly. "Flowers it is."
Koda gives her an outraged glance. But the pleading look in the green eyes forestalls speech. "Flowers it is," she repeats. "But coffee first."
Two hours later, Koda wades through Indian paintbrush grown knee-high, carefully cutting the blossoms and setting them into a bucket partly filled with water. Kirsten, invisible over a fold of the mountainside, is working a high meadow carpeted in purple gentians and deep-blue iris. Koda’s own pail is near full now, overflowing with blossoms in autumn colors: red, vermilion, orange-and-yellow, gold. In among them she has placed tall spikes of blue and pink lupine, the wolf-flower. The Lammas feast marks the changing of the year. With the harvest, the year turns from summer to autumn, even though the days remain hot and long. It is a time of partings, looking toward the fallow season of winter before rebirth in spring. So: wolf flower, in honor of Wa Uspewikakiyape; in honor of the goddess in her form of hunter and defender. In the clear blue above, a hawk circles, rust glinting off her tail where the sun strikes it. Wiyo has kept her distance from the human camp, but has not strayed far. As Koda watches, she seems to pause in mid-flight, her wings backing air. Then she folds them and plunges like a meteor, her feathers gleaming copper as she streaks toward earth and her prey.
Koda watches for a moment, then hefts the bucket, testing its weight. That ought to be enough for one bucketful. They need enough for altar, "the quarters," whatever those are, and the feast table. Four pails should do it. Time to take this one back to where the horses are tethered and get the second.
Koda finds their mounts ground-tied under a stand of balsam pine, happily browsing the undergrowth. Kirsten’s full pail sits on a stone not far away, overflowing with rich purples and blues. She sets her own beside it and runs her gaze over the high meadow that occupies a shelf of the mountainside here. Nothing. Nothing but the flowers, a pair of swallowtails sipping at the deep cups of the gentians, bees gathering pollen against the winter. No Kirsten.
"Kirsten?" she calls. "Kirsten!"
"Kirsten!" All right. No need to panic, Koda lectures herself. She’s probably just off in the woods for a moment. "Kirsten! Asi! Asi! Answer me!"
From twenty yards away, deep among the flowers, comes a high-pitched yelp of greeting, and Asi’s face appears, eyes bright, tongue lolling in a canine grin. Beside him, just barely visible, Koda can make out a paler head, turned away. Koda can feel her heart skip a bit as it brakes, draws a deep, deliberately calming breath. "Kirsten?"
Still no response. Asi, though, comes bounding toward her, leaping among the tall blossoms like a fox hunting in high grass. Kirsten turns then and sees her, a smile lighting her face. Koda checks the impulse to run and instead approaches slowly, keeping that smile in the center of her vision. There is no danger. Kirsten is not hurt. Asi passes her, offering his head for a scratch, then taking himself off under the trees with the horses.
Tactful of him.
"Kirsten?" Koda says again. But she does not answer, only smiles and beckons. Old legends run through Dakota’s memory, mortals taken by the elves, who must bear their sojourn under the hill in silence or remain forever apart from the human world. And among her own people, there are old tales of warriors seduced by silent women in the hills who vanish with the morning, leaving behind only the imprints of a deer’s hooves.
For answer, Kirsten raises one hand to her temple, and suddenly Koda understands. She has seen Kirsten retreat into silence before, knows by now that it is a kind of refuge for one long solitary. More than most, Koda understands. A shaman knows the silence and its power. And last night, gods know, was enough to send anyone bolting for sanctuary.
For a moment she simply stands looking down at Kirsten, at her hair pale gold in the afternoon sun, her skin golden, too, with the long days and weeks of their quest. "Nun lila hopa," she says without sound, letting her mouth form the words, smiling when she sees the glint of understanding in Kirsten’s eyes. She kneels before her, then, forming Kirsten’s name in silence, and again, Nun lila hopa.
For answer, Kirsten draws Koda’s mouth down to her own. The kiss lengthens, deepens, the taste of summer sweet on her lips and tongue. Breathless, Koda draws away slightly and raises her head, threading her fingers through the pale strands of Kirsten’s hair where it lies along her shoulder, smoothing it back. She slips her hand inside the collar of Kirsten’s shirt, running her thumb across the base of her throat, feeling the pulse jump under her fingers. The other woman’s shoulders are hard as old wood, the muscles knotted.
There is a cure for that, one she knows. Koda bends to lay her lips to the pulse-point. Winan mitawa. She forms the words without sound.
My woman. My wife. My love.
Strange, not to say it.
Her eyes smouldering under long lashes, green as the grass, Kirsten leans back onto the crushed stems and leaves about her. It is invitation and promise at once, familiar by now yet new each time they come together. Rising, Koda sheds her clothing, spreading her shirt and jeans on the ground. Kirsten’s hands go to her own shirt, but Dakota stops her and, kneeling beside her lover, slowly looses the buttons, letting her hands linger with each motion as she spreads the cloth, brushing Kirsten’s breasts, their nipples already hard, tracing their curves from shoulder to breastbone and back again. Koda slides her hands lower, below the belt of Kirsten’s jeans, brushing the high arches of her hipbones and the hollow of her thighs. Hooking her thumbs into the band, then, she slides the garment free.
She turns and bends to kiss her lover once more. Fire runs through her blood, but the time is not yet. There is another need that must be satisfied. She leans back and with a gentle touch to her shoulders turns Kirsten to lie on her belly. Koda kneels astride her hips, and beginning at her neck, works her hands in tight circles down the column of her spine. She has no oils for this. Instead she crushes an iris blossom between her palms and rubs its subtle fragrance into Kirsten’s skin with each stroke. Systematically she works the stress from the lithe body, feeling the knotted muscles give way under her hands, the massage taking on a rhythm of its own in time with her heart and breath. The change comes gradually, the tightness of stress and exhaustion becoming tension of another kind. Kirsten’s skin warms under her touch, her blood humming as it runs warm just below the surface. She stretches luxuriantly, almost cat-like, rising onto her elbows and letting her head fall loosely back. She does not speak, letting her body communicate her satisfaction for her.
With a final sweep from hip to shoulder, Koda leans forward and lays a kiss on the back of her neck, then blows softly at the short hairs, still not grown out, at her nape. She feels the shiver as it goes through her lover’s body, feels it deepens to pulse within her own flesh. The fire sings through her, spreading from her belly up her spine to quicken her heartbeat, drawing the skin tight over her breasts, tautening her nipples. She slips from where she kneels across Kirsten’s body, sliding down to lie beside her. The desire for words has left her. She raises Kirsten’s hand to her lips, kissing the palm and wrist. The hand settles between her breasts, then, pressing gently. With a questioning look at her love, Koda settles onto her back. Kirsten kisses her once more, then rises to kneel above her, slipping one knee between Koda’s thighs.
Another kiss, then Kirsten’s fingers brush over Dakota’s face, tracing her forehead, her eyes, her mouth. Her lips follow, pressing against her eyelids, returning to close them again when Koda glances upward. She shuts her eyes, then, giving herself up to touch and sound as Kirsten has given herself to sight and touch. Yet she is not in darkness. The sun beats down directly overhead, and its brilliance shows her red-tinged shadows still, a hint of movement as Kirsten bends over her, letting her hair, fine as cornsilk, trail over Koda’s face and throat.
I would know you in the silence between the stars. The thought is her own, and not. And with it comes another. I see you in the darkness, like a flash of lightning. And the darkness cannot hide you.
Not now. Not ever.
Koda raises her hands to lay them on Kirsten’s shoulders, letting her fingers trail down over her breasts. Faint among the hum of bees, she can hear her lover’s breathing, coming faster now. The fall of Kirsten’s hair sweeps again over her throat, her own breasts, its touch delicate as a summer breeze. Warm lips follow it, then, suckling gently. At the same time, Kirsten’s knee moves between her legs, parting them, and Koda opens to her. Kirsten draws away, sliding back, and Koda feels the brush of her fingers in the hair above her sex, sliding downward to the entrance to her body. The fingers trail upward, lingering on the delicate nub at the apex, and Koda’s belly tightens, her thighs growing taut. Kirsten parts the lips, then, shifting to lie above Koda, center to center. Her hips circle slowly, building pressure. Flame licks down her legs, up her spine. Point counterpoint to her own, Kirsten’s breath come in short gasps that punctuate the silence. The fire runs along her nerves, through her veins, until it seems she must be consumed, the rhythm of her lover’s movements driving it through her body in waves. Her heart hammers against her breastbone, and there is no air any more, nothing now but the flame that owns her flesh. Sound builds within her, seeking release, but she stifles it in her throat until finally it breaks free and she comes, the pulse of Kirsten’s release matching her own. Spent, her lover sinks down into her arms, her skin slicked with sweat beneath the ripening sun.
Now and forever.
They come down out of the hills at sunset. The sky over the mountains burns gold and crimson, its fire sheeting over the surface of the water that lies still in the calm evening. Koda pauses, taking in the sweep of the lake from north to south, its whole surface struck to bronze in the fading light. The cries of birds going to roost along its rocks, gulls and terns like pale ghosts as they skim above the shore, come to them where they stand on the last slope of the foothills. A chill runs over Koda’s skin that has little to do with the coming of the night. Something old and unnamed stirs within her—a memory, a fear, something that has been or will be, she cannot tell. Glancing at Kirsten beside her, she sees unspoken recognition in her face, something that calls to her out of time, out of the confines of common space.
Unbidden, there comes again the image of a pale head and bronzed, flashing arms above the waves of the Aegean, wine-dark as the combers roll over it to shore. A breeze ghosts by, and it seems to lift a strand of hair from Kirsten’s shoulder, only that shoulder is level with her own, and the hair is black as a raven’s wing. Time runs oddly in this place, sacred to the Mother of All Life under all the names by which she has been known.
"Ina," Koda murmurs. "Wakan."
Beside her, acting as their guide, Dale nods. "Mother Earth. This is Her place."
Far from shore, an island looms dark against the mountains behind it. Huge white shapes circle it, riding the darkening air on outstretched wings, necks tucked against their keelbones, bills deep copper in the lingering light. Kirsten tilts her head back to watch as they circle, sixty of them, perhaps seventy, in a trailing V formation. "Pelicans?" she says tentatively. "They look like something from a different time, like sailing ships."
"They breed here," Dale answers her unspoken question. "We’ll be going around to the other side where we won’t disturb them."
As she speaks, the sun dips behind mountains. In the thickening shadows, a light breaks out at the top of the huge rock formation that gives the Lake its name, a pyramid rising from the near shore some four hundred feet above the surface. It flickers a moment, steadies, then flares into a flame that leaps toward the sky. A dark figure, silhouetted against it, cries out, "Who comes? Name yourselves!"
Koda steps forward. "Dakota chunkshi Themunga," she answers.
There is a moment’s silence, and Kirsten glances up at Koda. Then she says, "Anne, daughter of Marilyn."
"Who speaks for you?
"I do, Dale fia d’LouAnn. And so does the Riga."
"Pass on, then, if you come in friendship."
The sentry shifts slightly, a dark shape against the light of the fire. She wears a bird mask with a large bill and a trail of streamers that fall down her back: a raven, Koda thinks, with a mantle of feathers. Beneath it she wears a short, fringed garment that leaves her arms and legs bare.
"We come in perfect love and perfect trust,’ Dale answers. Koda is not quite sure of that, but she does not question the response as Dale leads them down to the shore and a boat waiting. Once on the water, the big woman takes the oars, refusing help. "Nope, thanks. This is my job."
As the dark water passes beneath them, the sound of drums comes across the surface of the lake, amplified in its passage. At first it is only a rhythmic pulse, wordless. But as the boat makes the curve of the island, the oars dipping and rising soundlessly, words become audible, dozens of voices chanting together.
Isis, Inana. Demeter, Kore. Over and over again the same words, names of the Goddess from the foundation of the world. The drums grow louder, the chanting more insistent. ISis, iNAna. DEmeter, KOre. ISis, iNAna. DEmeter Kore. The sound grows, echoed, it seems, from the rise of the mountains to east and west, thrumming over the water in ripples like the sounding of a great whale. Kirsten, sitting beside her by the gunwales, slips her hand into Koda’s, and Koda gives her a reassuring squeeze. Kirsten is out of her element here, about to enter a level of ritual and belief which she finds difficult to accept, even when guided by Dakota or Wanblee Wapka. Koda, though, doubts she will find much unfamiliar here, and nothing frightening or repugnant. The Mother is the Mother, whatever her children call her in different ages of the world, in lands far from each other.
Dale beaches the boat in a small cove, and leads Kirsten and Dakota over the narrow beach toward a wooded rise. As they walk, almost silent on the wet sand, Koda spies a hunched shape with a bushy tail, digging at the edge of the water, and touches Kirsten lightly on the arm, pointing. As she does, the raccoon brings a mussel up from its burrow, prying with clever hands at the shell. Perhaps tactfully, it has nothing to say to the passing humans.
Sometimes a raccoon is just a raccoon.
The drums have become land-bound thunder now, the red glow of fire visible as the trees thin. They emerge into a clearing where a torches mark the edges of a circle some twenty feet across, perhaps more. A dozen women, led by Morgan, dance around a flat stone at the center, their bodies moving to the beat of the drums. All wear some variation of the sentry’s costume: raven masks, fringed leather vests with loincloths or short skirts. Around the circle stand the rest of the Amazai, some similarly dressed except for the masks, more in their everyday jeans and workshirts. They chant the Goddess’ names over and over, their hands and feet beating out the rhythm along with the drums. Kirsten nudges Koda and gestures toward the dancers, and Koda leans down to whisper, "Priestesses. I think."
Dale guides them to a place among the Amazai. From where she stands, Koda can see that the flat stone holds a metal bowl, gold in the light of the fires, a platter piled high with small loaves with fruits and flowers ranged around it, and a smaller earthen bowl. Incense smoulders in a pierced burner, sending clouds of fragrant white smoke up over the altar. A long blade and a shorter lie crossed in the center, and at their junction stand two female figures shaped of corn stalks, one slightly bent at the shoulders, the other with long straight hair made of cornsilk. Mother and Maiden, Demeter and Kore, Goddess and Goddess.
The drumming builds to a crescendo, the dancers spinning, writhing, leaping in ever-closing circles around the altar. So suddenly the silence strikes Koda like a physical blow, the drumming ceases, and Morgan stands before the altar, arms raised, feet apart to form the five-pointed star, sign of the Goddess from Babylon to Egypt to the mounds of the Mississippi Valley. "Io!" she cries. "Evohe!"
"IO! EVOHE!" the Amazai answer.
Another silence falls, and Morgan says, "We have come here tonight to mark the turning of the year. The harvest is in, and it is good. Blessed be."
"Blessed be," the women echo, Koda and Kirsten with them.
"From Brigid to Lughnasa, the Maiden walks above ground. At the harvest, she retreats into the earth, and the time of fallow fields and barren wombs is upon us. We come to give her thanks and bless her path as she leaves us. We come to give her thanks, and promise her remembrance." She turns to another woman at her side, perhaps Sarai, and hands her the long blade, which is too long to be a knife, yet is not quite a sword. "Cast the circle, that no unseemly thing may enter."
Beginning at the north, where another stone stands, Sarai makes the cirucuit of the circle, passing three more stones at east and south and west, returning to drive the blade into the earth just to the right of the northern quarter. She returns to stand beside Morgan, who says, "Call the quarters."
A third priestess moves to the stone in the east. A pair of antlers lies on it, and a bowl of yellow paintbrush. The woman chants:
Stag in the East,
Lord of the Air,
Crowned with light.
Watcher at the gates of dawn,
Stand as our Guardian in the East
And grant us the gifts of clarity and illumination.
Another woman approaches the stone to the south of the circle. It bears an eagle’s wing and a spray of scarlet penstemon.
Eagle in the South
Lord of Fire,
Eagle of midday,
Wreathed in flame,
Watcher at the gates of noon.
Stand as our Guardian in the South
And grant us the gifts of strength and purpose.
In the west, where the stone holds a raven’s wing and a bowl of Kirsten’s irises and gentians, another priestess raises her hands and makes the invocation.
Raven in the West,
Lady of the waters,
Raven of twilight,
Robed in shadow.
Watcher at the gates of evening,
Stand as our Guardian in the West
And grant us the gifts of healing and vision.
Finally, Morgan herself moves to stand at the northern stone, where a green branch lies before the skull of a wolf.
Wolf in the North,
Lady of Earth,
Wolf of midnight,
Soft-footed tracker of spirits
Hidden in starlight.
Stand as our Guardian in the North
And grant us the gifts of wisdom and truth.
Morgan moves forward then, and raises the Corn Mother high above the altar, facing the Amazai. "Blessed be the Lady, Mother of all that lives. Blessed be all life that is born of Her and returns to Her again."
"Blessed be," the Amazai answer in unison.
She sets it down, lifting the bowl and pouring a handful of water onto the earth. "We have planted. We have watered." Next she raises the platter of loaves. "We have harvested, we have winnowed. Lady, we give thanks for your gifts of life. We give thanks for the sweet Earth and its bounty." Finally, she breaks one of the loaves and holds it high, the light of the fires running golden over its surface. "The Goddess has gone into the grain!"
"We will not hunger!" the women answer as the loaves are passed among them.
"The Goddess is in the springs and waters!"
"We will not thirst!" The bowl passes, and as Koda drinks she tastes the salt of its blessing and its sweetness, both vivid on her tongue.
"The Goddess is in the corn!" Morgan cries.
"It will grow again in spring!"
"The Goddess goes down into the earth!"
"She will return with the Sun!"
"The Goddess is within us!
"Life comes forth from death!"
The drums begin their pulsing beat again, and the Amazai join in one long, snaking line with Morgan at the head. Koda takes Kirsten’s hand and Dale’s; with her other hand Kirsten takes Inga’s. The dance this time moves about the circle at its perimeter, then inward toward the altar, winding more and more tightly toward its center until the spiral can be no tighter, then unwinding until the women stand at the edges of the circle, each with her arms stretched out to her sisters on either side. "Life," Morgan repeats, "comes forth from death. We release to life those who have left us."
A murmur passes around the circle, each woman naming her dead and those she has left behind. Koda whispers the names Wa Uspewikakiyapi, the Hurley family, remembering all those fallen at the Cheyenne or at Ellsworth. Beside her, Kirsten stands with tears in her eyes, murmuring the names of her parents and her colleagues. Other women weep openly, some whispering some shouting, the names of children, husbands, wives, friends, all those lost in the uprising known and unknown.
Ina Maka, Koda prays as the women disperse to feast and celebrate. Give us strength and wisdom to do what we must do. Let the death end. Let the life come forth again.
Later, Morgan seeks them out at the edge of the fire. Her raven mask tilts back from her face, perched precariously on the back of her head. She carries her plate piled high with pit roasted beef, corn and potatoes roasted with it. Koda, replete, has set her empty dish aside; Kirsten, slowly but enthusiastically, is still working her way through seconds. Morgan folds crosslegged to the ground and says, "You’re still planning on leaving in the morning?"
Koda nods. "We need to get on."
Morgan takes a bite of the meat, washing it down with a mug of chamomile tea. "You’re welcome to stay if you want. Or to come back to us when you return."
It is not a small honor, and Koda says quietly. "Thank you. But we can’t stay."
The Amazai nods as though it is the answer she expects. "Goddess go with you, then."
"Goddess go with us," Koda echoes. The enormity of their task stands suddenly bleak before her. A hundred miles yet to go, all of it on foot, a fortress to storm. The likelihood that they will survive is close to nonexistent. She says again, softly, "Goddess go with us."
Kirsten reaches out to take her hand. "Cante mitawa," she says. "Now and always."
And here we come to the end of another episode of The Growing. Okasha and I passed somewhat of a milestone this past week. We started on the last chapter. <G> This journey is almost over. For those of you who’ve stuck with us for the past year and a half, you, as always, totally rock. email@example.com
Continued - Chapter 61
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