The Slave Girl and the Storyteller episode 4 - Akiowa Finds Pleasure

Glitch

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Akiowa gave a sigh, part relief, part longing.

The spear had kept her in the mountains since leaving the miners, and she’d yearned to see – and walk on – something more pleasurable than deep snow and bare rock. Now at last she was overlooking a lush valley full of chokecherry, black plum and mulberry trees, much like the lands of her own tribe.

There, also, a village like her own: a scattering of earth lodges and rows of squash and beans. Some women worked – tending cooking pots, grinding grain – but most villagers sat in groups, talking. Laughter reached her.

Wistfulness enveloped Akiowa. How contented they looked. How happy. But then, the miners had seemed happy.

“Have they found happiness?” she whispered.

The spear gave no answer, but guided her down towards the village. Her heart lifted as she walked through woods glowing with autumn tints, though dismay grew at the lack of fruit on the trees – even the bitter chokecherries were stripped bare. Fruits were valuable food, but were far more valuable to the birds and beasts who shared the land. Only at a time of great need would her mother have allowed all to be picked.

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The Judge

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Author's Note

It was only when I sent the draft of this month's story to my beta readers that I discovered I knew something about the making of alcohol that wasn't common knowledge -- I'd thought everyone knew the old way of making applejack! So if anyone is confused by what is going on here, google freeze distillation and enlightenment will follow. (Just be careful if you try this at home -- concentrating alcohol in this way can be dangerous.)
 

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