by Valley Fey/Pinprick
originally published at 07:02PM on Monday, May 05, 2008

I left the shop with a plain leather bag over my shoulder, and a cloth parcel in my arms. My face and head were covered with a new cloth, cheap and common. I breathed in the sweet smell of the outside world through a muslin filter, happy to be free. I searched the market street for Lilac, and grinned in spite of myself when I saw her leave another shop, dressed similarly new clothes.

I waved and walked over, tucking the parcel under my arm. We need only buy food now, and maybe donkeys to ride on our journey, wherever we were going. Lilac threw her arms around me, and laughed like a young girl. I suppose we were young girls, only sixteen. I took her hand in mine and led her to another shop, where we bought dried meats and cheeses, two waterskins, and figs and dates. My mind wandered as I picked up a hefty bag of oats. We would need something to ride if we left the city, this much I knew.

As we walked to the edge of town where draft animals were sold, we decided to change our names.

I was reborn that day.