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Frail EdenFrail Eden in Drama
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The storm broke, and thunder rolled across the rough landscape. It mottled the earth, the tree tops, the sheer sharp mountain faces that tore holes in the sky for the moon to glimpse through and illuminate, momentarily, each little scene of the night below. The birds that cowered in tunnelled cliffs. Frenzied fishes in rain-chopped pools. The skulking beasts in their leafy nests, and, away from these, ropes and canvas strained against the wind, preserving the warm lamplight inside.
Cloth and chloriphorm sat on the ground beside the girl, her head in the old man's lap, as he caressed her head and brushed away her tears.
"I can't marry him, daddy. Not without lying to him."
She remembered the first occasion on which he'd found her in that state. Crumpled and moaning upon the wooden floorboards, twisting her damp vest with her fingers and clutching her stomach. She remembered the way his face looked when he darted to her side, eyes so wide, his mouth pulled down with dismay and question.