Lydia felt the weight of the stone in the earth, the dark strike of every letter about it. If she had any more real tears, they would have fallen that day. The bite of the first chill of winter was nothing compared to the ice that crept through her body. This was not how she pictured coming home. She’d ridden home like a dark messenger through half the wilderness. The feeling pressing on her of dread beat like a shaman’s drum in her heart. Yet even then she had never pictured this.
“Oh Mercy, how could this happen to you?”