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Grey Sparrow Journal and Press, as of January 31, 2018 will move to

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Passion's Path

by Vickie Clasby




Fatoumata awoke before daybreak. Thoughts peppered her mind like harsh desert winds. Her older sister’s screams on her thirteenth birthday, the metallic smell of blood from the cutting, haunted her. She would not miss this life.

She rose slowly. Her baby sister slept peacefully, mouth open, on the worn bed. Her brothers were gone, martyred in the holy war. Hatred for the Great Satan consumed her father.

She covered her frail body with the heavy burkha. Cold voices exchanged whispered instructions from the next room. A rough slap silenced her mother’s muffled cries. Her father opened the door and handed her the bundle, wrapped in a soft blanket like an infant. Fatoumata placed the detonator in her pocket and left for the marketplace.