When I wake up again, Mother is sitting in the
same corner and rocking chair, reading a thick
book. My bed is void of sleeping animals, but
there is a girl sitting on the edge with her
feet hanging over. I recognize her as the
strange girl in the woods.
She is staring at her feet, wiggling her toes.
She hasn't noticed that I am awake yet.
Wavy auburn hair falls down, nearly to her
waist, pushed back behind her shoulders. A stray
lock falls in front of her shoulder. She is
wearing a black shirt that goes down to her
elbows, and like my habit, is wearing tan pants.
A thick black belt is her most noticable
feature. A wide array of knives in sheathes are
packed closely together all along her belt. Thay
are of all sizes; One is as big as my hand while
another is the size of both of my thumbs pressed
The girl's deep brown eyes meet mine as she
whips around to face me.
HEr face breaks out into a smile. "Hey! I'm
Etara. I know you're names Jillo. Actually, I
know all about you! Your mom told me." She
gestures to my mother, engrossed in her book.
"Hi, Etara," I say. "Tell me about yourself."
Etara twists her mouth. She takes out a medium-
sized knife with that sort of movement and look
I know well, and I recognize that what she is
about to do is a habit.
She spins the knife between her fingers. It
moves along from her thumb to her little finger,
then back to her thumb, and then to her little
"I don't know," she admits.
The knife flashes in the light.
"What do you mean?" I ask.
"I... I'll just tell you everything I remember,"
She opens her mouth and begins.
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