Autumn 1872 – A Debt is Only Ever Passed Forward


The temple was now empty of sand; the paint on the walls was bright and new. Afternoon light came through the windows. The pain in my hand was gone. 

“I have been told that you carry a gift for me,” said a voice from behind me. 

I turned to face Bast. She could be no one else. I stammered, “I don’t believe so, your Majesty. I’ve nothing but the clothes on my back.” 

Her lips turned up in a cattish smile. “The Black Man of the Masks gave it to you in the burning city. You’ve carried it in your dreams.”