The Prophet’s Tears


Mira watched the kids playing in the muddy street.

They grew up so fast these days. Here in the highland borders of Kazakhstan they were left mostly to themselves, running around all day. But at night, no mother would risk leaving her children out of doors in case the men came down from those snow-tipped peaks that towered above them like angry guardians.

The men came to steal healthy children, spiriting them away on horseback in the middle of the night. The people in the village said the men all looked the same, swathed in dark turbans like Iskander or Saladin, moving silently as darkness fell, catching the children whose mothers let them stay out after the fires were lit and the wooden shutters were drawn in the mud-walled houses.

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Read the first 2,000 words of  The Prophet’s Tears, sequel to “Stealing Fire” here