Harai

Still only half awake, Harai sat up and looked at the story-tapestry she had woven of her life, hanging on the wooden wall at the foot of her bed. She wondered what it would be like when she burned it in a week's time. She flopped her head back down –

– and winced at the impact. She still hadn't gotten used to sleeping on stone. Her rites of passage, a time of contemplation lasting from a new moon to a full moon, required the ceremonial stone litter. As a dull ache spread from the place where she had hit it to the rest of her head, Harai began to think that she wouldn't adjust at all.

Luckily, after the ritual, which in her opinion could not come soon enough, she could make a normal pallet again. During the ritual, the soft leaves and rabbit fur of her child-bed, so painstakingly gathered by herself and her mother over many seasons, would be given to her younger sisters. She would sleep on the bare ground until she could make her own bed again, out of whatever she found or borrowed.

But that would wait, at the least, until the next day. Mindful of her aching head, she turned over on the cold stone and fell back into fitful sleep.