My heart is untouched

My eyes may cry hot salt but my heart is untouched. My head may ache from competing strategies, my arms may ache from comforting strangers, but my heart is untouched. My heart is untouched and my heart is mine. I can feel it untouched and I can share it with others. My heart is mine, my heart is untouched. My heart is for everyone; my heart is for you.

Hungry work

The strongest man in the known world crouched, listening to the soothsayer’s soft words of warning. Thin acrid smoke drifted through the room. Now it was from the old feathers on the fire but, if the soothsayer was right, by the coming of morning it would be from the flesh of the citizens. Ten months they had been besieged, ten months waiting in fear and hunger. The mighty warrior stood up and, with a single movement, unsheathed his sword and cut down the soothsayer where he sat. If there was to be fighting, he needed his stomach to be full.

The butterfly flew in

Hina had been in the city for a while now but still felt conspicuous and out of place. Then one morning the butterfly flew in and settled on the ceiling. It slowly opened its wings. Only a few of the women in the carriage were looking up and noticed. They stood still, heads tilted back, smiling. The butterfly closed its wings again and the silence in their minds was broken. But with Hina the silence stayed all day, and in the weeks to come the thought of the butterfly straightened her shoulders and cleared her eyes of doubt.