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Solstice came too quickly. Strange to think the last one had only been a months before. That was what the First Amendment dictated: "six solstices will be held per year, three in the spring and three in the fall." The words of Domo Yusef II, the man some call the Prophet of the New Faith.
The knot that had taken up residence in my stomach year-round grew tighter and heavier on the morning of each solstice. It groaned and pinched my gut as I made the short walk to the market, as I took my seat of honor on the dais. It was a place reserved for our oldest and least fortunate. I had taken it from my grandfather when he died.
The crowd settled and Dame Maya walked to the front of the crowd, followed by my daughter with her ceremonial drum. I barely heard the words as she rattled on about the obligation and inevitability of what was to occur. So much had changed since the last solstice.
Dame Maya reached her hand into the basket and I squeezed my eyes shut tight. What followed was a moment of pure stillness. Even the wind died down as the world held its breath alonside us. Maya's voice broke the silence... and my heart.
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