Xue felt the child move and was comforted. A boy perhaps – and strong. She thought of their overworked field and crumbling cottage, of mother-in-law, always watching, blaming.
Beside her, Zhao, grim-faced, strode purposefully through the dark night, their tiny daughter in his arms. Lin-Lin whimpered. Soon she would have rest, and medicine.
They arrived in a cold, damp passageway between high stone walls. Xue resisted a feeling that she would forever be surrounded by these walls. Zhao opened a small door and gently placed Lin-Lin inside. She wailed at the strangeness of the place, but they were already gone, running.