Maggie Bloom sat at the table peeling the potatoes for the evening stew. She watched the peels curl into a bowl, turning reddish brown almost instantly in the heat. There was something in the air that bothered her. It was more than just the oppressive heat, made worse by the pot of water boiling on the coal stove.

She felt an unexpected breeze at the back of her neck. “Maggie May,” a soft voice whispered. It was a voice she hadn’t heard in several months – a voice her parents insisted she’d imagined after her brother was killed by the rioters.

“No…No…No!” Maggie screamed silently.

“Don’t let the girls out. There is something wrong.”

“Stop it. I don’t want to hear it!”

“You must, and you will. I will watch over our sisters. You must find your man.”


The house became cold and silent.

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