I can recall something about this boy—a memory that dances at the outer edge of my thoughts. This is a sign that it is time to redose. Above all else, I must not allow myself to remember. I pat myself down until I find a hard leather canteen in the inside pocket of my jacket. I pull the canteen out and sniff it. Yes, this is the broth. I take a small sip and wash it down with water.
The augur taught the girl to read letters and numbers but not the signs of the flesh. One day, when she was as tall as a fencepost, he came back from the tea fields to see her with his augury book. The anatomical sketches spread out upon the splintered table, the pages yellow and thin as butterfly’s wings. The augur lashed out with such haste it was as though his body had forgotten its age. “This is not for you,” he said, snatching the heavy book. “There is no happiness in some knowledges.”
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