There is an infant in our stead, her name is Makrouhi. She is Anna's infant and Astghik's niece. She is also our kin.
We are powerful in our elder form, full grown trees full of sacred sap. We are able to keep Makrouhi asleep, in a long peaceful dream where Anna is able to visit, as a spirit in-between and not-yet-fully-transitioned. Anna gives her infant sustenance and sings to her.
Anna's spirit keeps Makrouhi safe until another whisperer is able to retrieve her, and we keep her out of sight until there is no more stomping, until the people in uniform retreat.
We care for all whisperers,
long before they come into their power.
And they care for us, in return.
It is an exchange,
a sacred bond across time and space.
INT. ORPHANAGE - NIGHT
The clock strikes midnight in a dimly lit room full of wooden cribs and small beds. There are at least three infants in each crib, and each bed holds two children sleeping head to toe. The sound of a baby crying and a woman singing a lullaby spills into the room. TWO WOMEN enter, whispering to each other carefully. They walk over to one crib and look inside.
What’s her name?
The boy who brought her in called her Makrouhi.
What boy? Where did he come from?
A handsome Kurdish boy… he didn’t give us his name. It's a miracle that she survived, not many from her village made it out.
And when is she being picked up?
Next week, god willing. Her aunt is coming in from Constantinople. Her name is Astghik. She said this is her sister's child.
Hmm. Two survivors in one family, this family is truly blessed.
How can we be sure this so-called-aunt who is coming to get her is a blood relative?
She has all the paperwork, and she described the child's birthmark perfectly. That pretty little mole on her face...
Baby Makrouhi is sleeping soundly with her arm over her face. She stirs, stretching her hands back and revealing a small mole above the right side of her mouth. WOMAN ONE covers her with a blanket and smiles. BOTH WOMEN walk away quietly.
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