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Showing posts from July, 2022

At the Bottom of the Well

 Ai stood at the top of a hill overlooking the river along the imperial city's edge. She was just twelve years old and very slight, with silky ebony hair tied into braids that ran down to her waist. From the pastoral peaks, she could see columns of acrid smoke drifting over the descending sun blending into the pink and purple hues of the evening light. The sound of cannons reverberated through the hills like thunder throughout the valley. Occasionally, one burst closer to her and shook the hill under her feet. The barbarian soldiers were drawing closer. Ai, could see the hordes marching through her mind's eye. They were terrible hooven men with pale skin and horns bursting from their caps. "Ai!" Her father called to her There was a flash in the distance, followed a fraction later by an ear hammer burst. Another tendril of smoke began drifting into the clouds. "Ai!" Her father called again. Ai ran down the hill towards home. Her father, Lu, and mother, Min, w