Introduced by the author, explaining her particular fondness for the story, one of the first shorter pieces she wrote, and her first foray into Aztec culture, and its themes of duty and sacrifice and paying the cost for actions taken.

I felt the first cut like a violation. Pain burst in my chest, would not cease. I screamed and screamed until my voice was raw. No. No. I never asked for this! I saw a priest lift out a bloody, pulsating thing dizzyingly high above me, and a sensation of emptiness spread from the hole in my chest and swallowed me.

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Read “Blighted Heart” by Aliette de Bodard, in Issue #22

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