I live in the land of the dead and the land of the living. For six months, my skin grows pale and thin, like the underbelly of a fish. My eyes must become accustomed again to darkness, my nostrils to the acrid scent of decay. And then I am flung into light once more, blinking at the harshness of the sun, marveling at how green, how alive the world above is. For six months I will live among the living again.

Before I can get used to the feeling of sun on my skin and relish the sensory spectacle that is life, I am thrown back into darkness and decay. The vicious cycle continues.

My mother’s grief at my leaving is such that she disrupts the harvest, allows the fields to run to rack and ruin. For six months all life comes to a halt on Earth and all that is green quickly turns brown and withers. The coldness of the ensuing snow mirrors the ice in our hearts, this mother and daughter who are cruelly separated.

All because of his lust, his paltry desire. I do not write his name because the dead need no names.

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