It hadn’t rained in months. The wind carried the soil from the fields faster than a thief with a purse. Life in the small crossroad village had dried up as fast as the wells.
Ellanora had stayed. Her husband would be back for the harvest, he’d said. She hadn’t wept when he left. She hadn’t wept when the first month of harvest slipped by. She hadn’t wept when her firstborn and only babe had succumbed to a wasting disease brought on by the drought.
The land burned flat and sear before her. Sunsets had once been a thing of beauty, but no longer for Ellanora. She stood in the field, staring eastward, staring over a small grave. Her gritty fingers ran through hair sheared short for the heat. Her grey eyes squinted in the last light of day.
She tightened her hand on the hoe she held, and she walked east, leaving her door open, her bed unmade, and her town empty.
Ellanora would not weep.