The bell clanged long and loud and low outside her window. Day was done, and with it, her toil. She sat back and stretched, shaking the cramps from her fingers before kneading the knots from her neck and shoulders. The bell’s echo receded into the distance, replaced by the sound of jingling keys, of rusty hinges screeching in protest.
He wasn’t supposed to come till tomorrow. She was supposed to have more time. Maybe if she didn’t turn around, if she refused to acknowledge him, maybe he would leave her. Maybe he would come back tomorrow, like he’d promised.
She wasn’t ready to die. No matter what she’d said.
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