We were losing.
I should not have peeked.
I should have held my eyes closed like the rest and kept chanting, loaning my tiny amount of magic to the Great Mother to wield.
But I had dared to look, and what my eyes had encountered had been both alluring and terrifying.
A great, last effort from the Great Mother had pushed him from the hall and given us a little respite, and debris from the splintered statues and wall decorations littered the floor of the great hall and dug into our naked feet.
Dust swirled through the air and danced in the sharp rays of light that fell almost horizontally through the wall-high, stained-glass windows that had somehow survived the onslaught undamaged.
When I had seen him, I had felt fear, for the first time since I had fled the devastated lands of the former United States and been given refuge in the safety of the Great Mother’s temple.
It was situated in the middle of nowhere, hidden away in the mountains of the Baja California and safe from the constant uprisings in the north.
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