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Beasts and Maidens

By M.E. Timmons

Copyright 2012 M.E. Timmons

Smashwords Edition, Licence Notes

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Beasts and Maidens


Prologue


The air was hot and humid, and a faint smell of alcohol lingered. It was night, and only two candles burned in the room, casting a pale glow that flickered over the wood-paneled walls. There were four people in the room, three of whom were gathered around the woman lying in the roughly-hewn wooden bed. The off-white sheets appeared brown in the dim light.

Sweat beaded on the woman’s forehead, and her young daughter mopped it away with a dry white cloth. The little girl cringed back when the woman moaned, moving to sit in the chair at the bedside. She hated seeing her mother like that, and it scared her.

“Just one more push,” the midwife encouraged her. “You’re almost there. Just one more.”

The woman gripped her husband’s hand hard enough to turn his fingers purple, but he knew better than to complain. His wife was in far more pain than he was.

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