Lana closed the bedroom door firmly behind her, but it didn’t block out their noise. Even in the elusive moments when screams and screeches and sobbing stopped bouncing off of every solid surface, the reverberation remained. No stranger to self-sacrifice, Lana had done what she was expected to do, until, of course, she discovered the Bruja. Then she did what she was instructed to do. Waiting twenty-three days for the arrival of the quarter moon, then watering the tree with the fruit of forty-two days of her labor—tears, blood, sweat, urine, saliva, all collected from each of them. And for the last eight and a half days, she sat and waited, staring out of her second floor window, watching for something to blossom from the roots of the tree in the front yard. Waiting for the reprieve promised by the Bruja.
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