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There was a large untended meadow on the east side.  A multitude of flowers gave their fragrance to the air as a light breeze carried it to the top of the hill.  He cleared his sinuses and inhaled deeply.

Twice now, he and Alise had gone into the meadow.  She went barefoot.  He was not so brave.  Twice they came back with his arms full of blossoms, for her to decorate the house, including his room.

One Sunday morning he woke much earlier than was his usual to an empty house.  Looking for Alise, he walked into the yard and around to the east side.

There she was.  Thirty yards into the meadow, she stood facing but did not see him.  Her eyes were closed.  Hip deep in wild grass and flowers, her palms outstretched to her sides, lightly brushing the blossoms and grass heads.  Her head was tilted back, face lifted to the sky.  Her flawless, angelic face radiated peace, love and happiness.  He imagined he could see it coming from her in waves.  It seemed her lips moved in silent song.For a moment Tom stood in awe and something that felt nearly like love.  He shook his head to clear it.  He was an invader here!  This was a deeply private moment for Alise.  Hurriedly and quietly he retreated into the house.  When she returned, nothing was said of where she had been or that he had any clue that she was anywhere but inside.

“Alise,” he whispered and leaned his head back against the chair.  “Who are you Alise?  Are you a woman or a child or both?  Whose child are you?  You call me ‘Papa’ but surely you are not mine, are you?  Who claims you for their own?”

(from Alise: chapter 1)

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