Alessa couldn’t remember how long it had been since she last bathed. Fully bathed, not just wiped herself down with a wet cloth. The grimy, grubby feeling she had hated when she’d started wandering had become a part of her, just like her nearly-shaven head. She’d finally found water, though, and she intended to use it.
“Here, my little love,” she said softly, her gentle tone at odds with her ragged, rough appearance. The baby, only a few months old, was swaddled in canvas and a dirty cotton blanket. Alessa unwrapped him with the utmost care and cradled him in her arms for a moment before lowering him into the grayish water in the basin she’d found.
The water was cold, and the baby started at the feeling but only for a moment. It was as if he, like his mother, knew that it was all they had and all…
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