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threat stirred in the pit of her stomach. “It’s just a thrashing,” she said with what she hoped was a nonchalant shrug. “I’ve had my share.” “More’n yer share. It’s like ya like ta get in trouble.” Doret shook his head. “Silly girl.” The sun warming her back soothed the tender skin that still smarted from the last thrashing. Silly girl. It irked her that he was right about that particular thing. No matter the number of beatings she suffered, Slevyn could not seem to stop herself from getting into trouble. But women’s work galled her, made her hands sore and her back ache. And when the sweet smell of the wild flowers would roll down from the meadow, through the trees, to swathe the village in a blanket of perfume, how could she ignore their call? She remembered the tears glistening on her mother’s cheeks when she had lurched through the front door from the wood shed, the back of her dress glistening with red stripes. Somehow, she had crossed the dirt floor and pulled herself up the ladder to her room in the loft. Her mother’s eyes had pleaded with her: Why? Slevyn had only been able to look back, her own tear-rimmed eyes answering, I don’t know. “No one likes to get caught, Doret.” “So why can‘cha listen? Is it so hard ta do what yer supposed ta?” “Why do you even care? All you do is tell on me.” Doret closed his mouth, cutting off whatever he had been preparing to say. He broke off his gaze and dug his toe into the ground. “I…I –” “You what?” “Nothin‘. Slevyn, I won’ say anything, this time. If ya promise ta get ta work, like yer supposed ta.” Slevyn considered answering with a cutting remark, but in the end, grateful he decided to spare her, she nodded. “Alright.” 19

He did not leave then as she had hoped he would. How could someone go from

The Woven Tale Press Issue #5  

An Eclectic Culling of the Best of the Creative Web

The Woven Tale Press Issue #5  

An Eclectic Culling of the Best of the Creative Web

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