For the past ten years you've lived as ordinary a life as possible. You came to Tirimo from elsewhere; the townsfolk don't really care where or why. Since you were obviously well educated, you became a teacher at the local creche for childeren age ten to thirteen. You're neither the best teacher nor the worst; the children forget you when they move on, but they learn. The butcher probably knows your name because she likes to flirt with you. The baker doesn't because you're quiet, and because like everyone else in town he just thinks of you as Jija's wife. You're the mother of two children, but now one of them is dead and the other is missing. Maybe she's dead, too. You discover all of this when you come home for work one day. House empty, too quiet, tiny little boy all bloody and bruised on the den floor. And You.. shutdown. You don't mean to. It's just a bit much, isn't it? Too much. You've been through a lot, you're very strong, but there are limits to what even you can bear.
Two days pass before anyopne comes for you. You've spent them in the house with your dead son. You've risen, used the toilet, eaten something from the coldvault, drunk the last trickle of water from the tap. These things you coul ddo without thinking, by rote. Afterward, you returned to Uche's side. (You fetched him a blanket during one of these trips. Covered him up to his ruined chin. Habit. The steampipes have stopped rattling; it's cold in the house. He could catch something.) Late the next day, someone knocks at the house's front door. You do not stir yourself to answer it. That would require you to wonder who is there and whether you should let them in. Thinking of these things would make you consider your son's corpse under the blanket, and why would you want to do that? You ignore the door knock.
Someone bangs at the window in the front room. Persistent. You ignore this, too. Finally, someone breaks the glass on the house's back door. You hears footsteps in the hallway between Uche's room and that of Nassun, your daughter. (Nassun, your daughter.) The footsteps reach the den and stop. "Essun?" You know this voice. Young, male. Familiar, and soothing in a familiar way. Lerna, Makenba's boy from down the road, who went away for a few years and came back a doctor. He's not a boy anymore, hasn't been for a while, so you remind yourself again to start thinking of him as a man. Oops, thinking. Carefully, you stop.
No lines are longer than 80 characters, TYVM. Other specified properties aren't being scored automatically at this time so this is not necessarily good news...