The Genie Inside

She’s been inside the tower for so long that she’s forgotten what the sun or moon looks like. And perhaps even all the stars have faded, but still, she wishes she were anywhere outside her prison, even if there was nothing left for her. It’s been so long that she knows every stone and crack in the walls and floor, each one with a name and face. (The only difference between them and real people is she never knows what they’re trying to tell her, except that she has to wait.)

All she can do is eat and sleep, and she feels the years falling away until she’s just a baby.

She even forgets the name of the baby, but in spite of this, she can’t forget the feeling of having empty arms, as if loss were a burden that can be carried like a cradle.

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