"There will come a day," she wheezed, "when the shepherds graze their flocks on the great mound next to the dry riverbed, whose name they don't remember."
Blood pooled beneath her, running down the gutter in a stream. One hand scrambled at a wall; one arm hung limp at her side, shredded meat poking through her sleeve.
"Even the accents will change. All the streets and towers will be long torn down and buried and gone."
She pulled himself to a standing position. Her only audience lay on his back like a broken spider on the cracked asphalt, mouth working silently, legs a dead weight as he tried to pull himself along the ground.
Walking past him, she knelt down and picked up a half-brick from the rubbish strewn alley. Still on her knees she made a three-legged crab-walk toward the broken man, the brick in her hand chiming against the road in easy rhythm. Her breath came in ragged gasps.
"Yet for now, for today, and for tomorrow," she knelt over him, his weak hands pawing at her clothes, as she raised the brick above her head.
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