I sit at the scrubbed wooden table, firelight flicking shadows across the room, nursing my drink in solitude as the moon climbs into the star-filled sky.
It was a good trade.
One youngest daughter in exchange for a lifetime of wealth. Generous dowries to ensure my eldest two marry well. My wife has the fur coat she’s always wanted. Dresses. Jewels. Servants to do the heavy work. No one will ever be hungry again.
I only wish the calculus of one life balanced against three hadn’t seemed so simple, because when I’m alone at night, the math is less clear.
Alison organizes community on a little island in the Salish Sea and enjoys deconstructing fairy tales in her spare time.