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Bulla

The mountain of putrefying refuse was filled with the tiny bones of discarded infants. Every layer of the garbage mount was proliferated with their decomposing remains. All the way down to the very base of the rotting pyramid which had degraded into a foul liquid. As the city that the dump serviced expanded, so the peak grew higher and higher. As wealth poured in and people prospered more children found their way into the mound.
Lilya lost her parents at the age of nine. She hadn't been unceremoniously dropped into the pile as a baby, but without a family, she had lost her only tether to the wider world and found herself going where all discarded things go.
She lived off what she could scavenge from the fetid mass. She competed with the insects and other animals roaming the edges of the city for any edible morsels that might be hidden in the pile as well as with the other people who had no place in the civilization whose trash they fed on.
The sun was rising over the city. The trumpets heralded the beginning of the new day, and slowly the great urban engine began to hum, and the city seethed like an ant colony. The maze of urban corridors flowed with currents of human traffic carrying on the processes of commerce the most vital function to the continued growth and maturation of the supraorganism.
Lilya may not have had a place in the city, but she was keen on its daily movements and cycles. A new day meant the mountain would inch up just a little bit, and somewhere in that debris would be the sustenance that would allow her to have at least one more day.
She watched a shimmering brass column of soldiers march past her. The appoint guardians of the state paid the emaciated little girl no mind. People didn't like to look at the dump and its tiny glimpse of earthly hell. Even if you ate and had a home today, the terrifying truth was the dump could still claim you tomorrow.
She was following a trail of ceramic jar pieces. When she looked closely, she could see a wide variety of tiny multi-legged creatures tracking for the same thing she was. Finally, she found a large fragment of the jar's round bottom. She could see drops of olive oil glistening in the sun. She quickly snatched it up and began greedily licking what she could off the jagged shard.
She felt something sting her foot. The pain shocked her and made her shriek and jump back. She looked down and saw a fat horned insect biting her tender flesh. She kicked shook her foot and kicked it away. A rose-colored circle appeared on her flesh, just another blemish among the other cuts and soars.
She found a shady spot and continued to extract what oil she could from the piece of broken pottery. She had just tossed it away when she heard the faint crying of a baby. She could see it's shrouded little body tucked away in a crevice of the waste.
She approached it slowly and pulled down the creased cloth covering its face. Unmuffled its shrill cries were suddenly twice as loud. She carefully picked up the child. Lilya arms were weak, but the baby seemed to weigh nothing at all. Its eyes didn't open enough for Lilya to see what color they were. Its face was red from crying, and a whisp of lite blonde hair sat on the very top of its head. Instinctively Lilya gently rocked the baby until it's crying began to subside.
After a while, the child was still. Its breathing was light, and its tiny mouth and slanted eyes didn't move. Lilya gently placed the infant back in the crevice. She saw a small golden pieced necklace hanging around the baby's neck. It had a name on it, Cassia. Careful not to wake her up she slipped the necklace over the baby's head. She rubbed her fingertips over the smooth surface of the small shiny amulet. After a moment she tightly clenched it in her hand and scurried away with her loot, leaving the infant girl for the predators that stalked the putrid mound.

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