Wrath Becomes Her by Aden Polydoros EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Status: Available for Free Download
- Author:Aden Polydoros
- Language: English
- Genre:Historical Fiction
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Size: 2 MB
- Price: Free
I was born on scraps of paper. Loose pages, torn parchment, holy scrolls
severed from their dowels. Before Ezra gave me a tongue, he taught me
how to read.
Aleph. Mem. Taw.
“There is a mark on your forehead, and it means truth.”
Aleph. Mem. Taw. Emet. Truth.
I felt the word thrum in the empty space where Ezra would sculpt my
mouth. With my fingertip, I traced the three letters he’d jotted across the
floorboards, copying them into the dust.
The corners of Ezra’s lips twitched upward in a smile. It meant he was
pleased or amused. The expression seemed ill at ease on his face, in conflict
with his severe cheekbones and hard gray eyes.
“Yes, Vera. Very good.” Ezra wiped away the first letter, making תמא into
תמ, met, dead, before blotting out the rest into a ghostly smear nearly as pale
as the breath that left his lips.
Even with the walls insulated by old horse blankets, the winter chill still
managed to intrude into the hayloft. From how he shivered, I could almost
believe the cold had found its way into his bones as well, like the way I felt
ice crystals form and crackle within me on the most frigid winter mornings,
veining my insides as sharp and fine as splinters.
Clay and chalk sullied Ezra’s hands. On his right hand, he was missing
his pinkie finger and the last two knuckles of his ring finger, his leather
gloves snipped and sewn to fit. Not unfinished like me, he had explained,
but torn from him by the same shrapnel that had turned his right leg to
wood and leather from the knee down. He fumbled with the stick of chalk
as it dwindled into a nub. Even so, my handwriting was a spidery scrawl
compared to his.
Truth. True. Trust me. Trust that this is for the best.
When the sun set, our lessons came to an end. Ezra curled up on the
pallet in the corner, just a shadow in the darkness. Candles were precious
things, reserved for Friday evenings or when he woke deep in the night,
biting his own arm to stanch his wrenching sobs.
To soothe himself from those haunting dreams, he would explain to me
what he had seen. A tide of smoke rolling across a pockmarked field, or
soldier boys without limbs or innards, or his daughter before he had buried
her. It helped him to give his fears a name and face, as though only by
talking about them was he able to convince himself they weren’t crawling
through the stalls below.
Ezra slept with his back to me, buried beneath layers of blankets to keep
out the cold. He had taken off the leather leg and rested it on the floor
beside him. From my nook across the room, I couldn’t stop staring at it—
Prosthesis, Vera, it is called a prosthesis—thinking of how my own legs
must have looked before he had attached them to my body. Had he shaped
them in pieces, first the feet and then the calves? And if it had taken him
several months to do that, how long would it take for him to sculpt my
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