The Peregrine Review


Julianne Long


There was no honor in Hypaepa.

A poor town, with poorer people. My father, with no wife to feed the mouths of my brothers, married me off as soon as I was able. Fortunately for myself, my husband was only a handful of years older than I; I know of many girls my age nursing children born from the seed of a man older than their fathers. Unfortunately for all of us, my husband was poorer than even my father. And with a ring and a vow, so was I. Famine, plague, storm, every ailment the gods could hurl upon us—they came without mercy. We prayed, we sacrificed, we confessed every offense we could think of. Even when death claimed my husband—and my future—there came no deliverance from the gods.