Brigit woke to the trilling song of a wren. She slipped her hand along the empty place beside her in her box-bed, the place where Geileis usually slept and felt nothing but the cold hard straw and then remembered. Geileis had moved out.
The fractured light frosted the icy gloom inside the round conical house, adding to the unease of her recent vision of the drowning girl. She felt the scars on her forearms, slid her fingers along the puffed pink skin of closed over wounds, familiar now upon wakening nearly every morning as if they too were greeting her like the wren. She sat up, clutched a woolen blanket below her chin, and peered through the shadowy darkness.
"Geileis?" she whispered, surprised at the terror in her own voice. Perhaps she hadn't moved out yet or had left to make water. She rose further, half expecting Geileis to come tromping through the door with the dog trailing behind her, and admonish her for sleeping late. The door stayed closed though, the room filled with shadows but bits of light shone from the cap-hole in the roof.
There was an empty space against one wall where the loom usually stood and bunches of straw to the right of that, as if something large had been dragged across the floor. There were no baskets of raw wool, colored thread, or lengths of cloth. There were no spindles and Geileis' small three-legged stool was missing. The one Arguis had made her when he was twelve. Lifting her gaze, she saw that Geileis' purple mantle was absent from its peg too. Her shoulders slumped but then she cursed herself for feeling like a child that has been forsaken. She hasn't died, she told herself. She's simply moved out. Time to move on. There were other things
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