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When holiest Shen walks, the moon gloams red. With each stride, her right foot steps into the future; her left, into the past. Like mourners, we cling to her hem, drawn in her wake from remotest village to black-stoned shore, to ailing tower long shucked of purpose. Our footprints fill her own, and in the filling are made deeper.

But holiest Shen does not ponder her passage. Nor does she sleep.

And once alone has she blessed us with speech. Two words, slipping unguarded past her lips while cold mud oozed fresh between her rightward toes.

“So soon?” she croaked in her corn husk voice. Or perhaps it was, “The moon?”

So many possibilities, all since worried to the bone.

That was a half-year past, on a night when the sky sung star-bright and spring’s horns ran soft with fuzz. Now the leaves hang gray and the trees are over-bent; the stags cry out in the wood.

But holiest Shen walks on, urgency etched ever deeper into the maze of her brow. And we watch–not the moon jagged overhead nor the cusp of earth trembling beneath us–but her every step, our holiest Shen.

Her right and her left and the immeasurable gulf that stretches between.