Visitation: a guest

A woman with weathered skin and grey in her hair opened the door. Her name was Nami. She looked out and saw a dusty, worn woman, younger than herself. She asked the stranger inside before she had time to make her appeals.

“Sit down, my friend. Let me fetch you some water.”

Ina smiled at her surroundings as Nami stooped down to go out through the single doorway. It was a meagre enough house, but strips of dark dried meat hung from the rafters, and eggs and new radishes sat in bowls on the table in the centre of the room. By this time of night, the fire was little more than embers; Ina let her gaze fall on the hearth for a moment, and it rekindled to her satisfaction.

Nami returned, put a pot on the stove to boil food for her guest, and served old wine she had little occasion to use. As etiquette dictated, she waited for the stranger to eat and rest before she started a conversation. Nami did not notice the newly warm fire, but she did see that no matter how much wine she poured, its urn did not empty.

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