The Maker of Crèches

Pray you don’t have to look.

“Open your eyes.”

The voice crawls in from the dark. It is little more than a whisper. I am still dazed; I can barely distinguish the words.

“Open your eyes.”

I am on my knees, bent forward, hands behind my back; they seem to be tied, and I can’t move them. Something is tight around my ankles too. My mouth hurts—my tongue retreats from the acrid taste of the taut fabric. A hand clamps the back of my neck and prevents me from falling to the side. The voice whispers again; I feel the breath against my left ear.

“Open your eyes.”

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