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Asha shivered despite the intense heat. Why had she never considered the brutal fact that she, too, might get caught? Stolen. Sold. Bartered over like one of the pieces of blood-dripping meat in this filthy market.
Someone was following her.
Back home she would not have noticed, but weeks in India had taught her to be wary. All the noise and clamor along the busy Kolkata street could not distract from the shadow that appeared, then retreated whenever she turned to find its source.
The person following her was not very good at the game of stealth.
That fact, however, did not make the predator any less dangerous.
Who was it? And why was she the target?
Slipping around the nearest corner, a whisper of wind teasing her shawl out behind her, Asha skirted a wandering goat, then turned quickly down an alley to the left, hoping to lose whoever was on her trail.
She was already late. But better to make Rani wait than to put her in even more danger.
If that were possible.
Could there be any danger worse than what her friend had already experienced? Sixteen-year-old Rani had traveled to the city following the promise of a well-paying job, only to find herself deceived, stripped of all freedom, stolen from all that gave her dignity or hope.
Stolen and sold. Asha could not stop her body from trembling.
She flattened a shaking hand against the wall. Edging forward inch by inch, she angled her head to glimpse around the corner without revealing her face.
Was he gone?
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REVEAL : Last week's contributor was author Linda Rondeau. You can learn more about Linda at her blog This Daily Grind or on FB. Linda is the founder of Pentalk a FB writing community.