By Bargain and By Blood

The blood empath came when my niece was eight.
I should have suspected something like that–but my sister Aname had told me little about the begetting of her daughter, little beyond her certainty that everything would turn out right in the end. Her death in childbirth had left my questions forever unanswered.
Nevertheless, when Aname told me about her child to come, she spoke of a bargain struck. And thus I should have known someone would come to honour it–that someone would walk through the rice paddies and the forests until he reached our jati, our small community isolated from the affairs of the world.
But, just as you know about death but do not think about it, so I did not think about him. A mistake. Perhaps I would have been better prepared, had I thought of his coming.

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