He woke gasping for air, his mind reeling with panic, as if tossed and winnowed by a strong wind. Drops of sweat from his forehead fell into his eyes, stinging, and his vision blurred. A quick glance toward his wife and child, huddled next to him for warmth, reassured him they were safe, but a feeling of unease clung to his heart, like rough bark to a tree. His wife was restless: her head rolled irritably from side to side, and her lips were moving, but he heard no words.

He listened for sounds in the dark — thieves, soldiers…


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