Glyfarien’s Tongue

“None of the stories Mama tells us is real.”

Marra crossed her arms and rolled her eyes. “‘Are’ real, Jeppa. Learn how to speak like a civilized human being.”

Jeppa frowned at her older sister.

Wenda, the eldest, smiled at them both. “It’s more important to be a decent human being than a civilized one.” It was one of Mama’s sayings.

And if it wasn’t for Mama walking into the room at that moment, Jeppa knew that she and her sisters would have started throwing pillows at each other. She’d had a good grip on hers just in case, though she didn’t want to throw it. It was a warm pillow and a chill night. Cold air seeped in from any crack or seam it could find.

Mama had gone to get the matches so they could light the candles that were arrayed on the windowsill. It was story night. And it was Jeppa’s turn to choose. As Mama settled down on the ground in their makeshift camp, joining the girls in their storytelling circle, Jeppa prepared herself.

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