From her body, tightened into a quiet ball, a trembling hand began to venture.
Meanwhile the languid voice practically sang, “Frauenzimmer, frauenzimmer…”
Her breath slowed, a deliberate in and out of musty air. Battered fingers made tentative sweeps across the dusty floor. Her heart slowed from a pitter patter of panic to a deliberate thudding cadence, a wild animal seeking escape from her small chest.
“Mein frauenzimmer,” wafted through the darkness, “kein feuer, keine kohle…”
Teeth ceased chattering as her jaw set firm. Fingers continued their blind search of the corner sanctuary.
Still the priest spilled verse, “…kann brennen so heiss als wie heimliche Liebe…”
Cold hands met an anomaly along the bare floor, a rod of iron, or perhaps brass. It felt solid. It felt reassuring. It felt like strength.
“…von der niemand nichts weiss.”
In a moment she broke and was made whole. Her hand tightened around her newfound friend.
Muscles tensed as she hissed, “I know.”