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By Karen L. McKee

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He’s a good man, your father. ” “He is a man of Islam. ” His face was so still, yet conveyed so much. Want. Need. Loss. A hint of kindness. She could not look away. In another world she might have touched him, offered comfort. ” He shook his head. ” Then he was gone, striding down the street with a long fluid movement, her breath stolen by that last hungry gaze. Chapter 3 Michael had been a fool to come here. He brought too much danger with him and the memories of family the house evoked were almost too difficult to bear.

Michael is different. He seeks learning. I teach him. ” The words hung like a bright flame in the room. He had to calm her, but when he reached for her hand, it eluded him. “Remember the lessons, Pishogay. ” He said it softly. ” He heard her scramble as she stood. Her voice seemed to come from very far away, carried on a wind of anger. “I already lost my brother. ” Chapter 5 The morning dawned cool. Khadija woke under a blanket on the hard floor and resented once more the comforts of London that had made sleep in Kaabul more difficult.

Khadija? ” The slight tremor was a new addition to Papa’s voice that worried her. She realized she’d heard another voice as well. Male. All the relief drained out of her. Even here there was no stable ground for her feet. A shadow filled the space beside the window—that was the place Papa would not allow anyone to sit. He said it had been Yaqub’s favorite spot in the evenings. It was the place Papa still faced when he took his tea. Home would never be wholly safe again, either. She’d come running when her father sent her word of Yaqub’s death.

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Ashes and Light by Karen L. McKee

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