Sunlight made the metalman more frightening, not less. She could see how it had been assembled; could trace the human form inside. It was naked—no human clothing could ever fit such a jagged silhouette. She saw the iron rods added over time to stretch bone and muscle, giving it longer arms and an extended spine. What she had initially thought was fur was actually chestnut hair, cascading down from its head and knotted into every dark place where metal met flesh.
I help Little Anya into her coffin. I tell her to lie on her back so she does not have to look at the body beneath her. The littlest ones ask why we could not empty the coffins first. Pirro tells them, They will guide us out. These shrunken forms of our ancestors, our mothers and fathers, uncles and aunties. Their spirits will keep us safe once we make it out to sea.