“Ex-Tess, promise to tell me stories - several stories.”

“Raff. Stories, really?” Tess smiled and gave Raff a mock lecture. “Stories were banned because stories of cultural heritage and heroes of ancient memory had the potential (here she elongated the word) to stir hatred between cultures.”  Tess laughed.  “Or are you just testing me?”

“Okay, one story.”  Raff said this with such innocence, Tess found herself relenting.

“Grandma Rose taught this story to me when I was six, maybe seven.”  Tess inhaled deeply, quietly before she started.  “However, I will modify it to make it more … personal.”  At first Tess spoke slowly, rhythmically, almost hypnotically.

~Excerpt from “Ex-Tess”~

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