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By Karin Lowachee
Warner AspectCopyright © 2005 Karin Lowachee
All right reserved.
Chapter OneWhen I was fourteen I got the scarlet fever, at least that's what I called it and that's how I think of it still. It's not really the scarlet fever, not the one you read about in history files. Mine is just this feeling, and scarlet is its color. Red. You get so hot you have to release it, but it's the heat of a cold sweat. The fever eats you up inside and you shake like you're winter, like your blood is made of ice water and you need to see it run. You need to touch it and feel its warmth-because it has to be warm. Nobody is this dead inside.
When it comes out along your skin there isn't any pain. Just relief. Just the tiny red rivers of life. And you can breathe again, seeing that. You can look up. You can spread your arms and touch the edges of your emotions and maybe they touch back, like something new and curious. Or something old and almost forgotten.
And you think, This is who you are, Yurochka. This is what you're made of.
Excerpted from Cagebird by Karin Lowachee Copyright © 2005 by Karin Lowachee. Excerpted by permission.
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