born careful

“They caught up with you,” Drin says woodenly. The little girl tosses tangled hair out of her eyes, a gesture Drin does not recognize, a gesture that feels like it must be habit for her, the girl herself. Dance’s word rings in his ears: mudang. Emma, he thinks, might know …

badagris

The little girl shifts her stance–Drin still can’t see her feet, can’t look at her feet–and then she smiles at him, a tired, companionable, frighteningly adult smile. “Let’s take a look at your scrubs, son,” she says. “Inspection time.” There’s a strangled sound behind him, and Drin turns to see …

Croix de Guerre

“You bark those orders good, Lieutenant,” says the little voice, sounding amused. Drin feels a bodiless force push him backwards about three feet. Behind him, someone sucks in a breath. “Don’t,” he says softly. “Don’t.” The little girl smiles. She is missing teeth. Her eyes, chestnut brown, pan past him. …