Sameen ran her hand over the cloth cover of her ledger. It was her life's work to record the property of the district and she's sworn allegiance to the people to make it fair and correct. One mark in the wrong place and property that should belong to one farmer would be listed under another. By day she sat at her desk in the legislature, listening to the thrill of the market outside. She heard the hubbub of the market, the baying of animals and the shrieks of children playing on the baked summer soil. By night she copied the entries into three other books and hid them in her home. One book was never enough, one book could be stolen, and then what? Chaos in the district? Each book was identical, but only The Book Keeper was ever to know of the duplicates and their locations.

She picked up her working copy and dropped it into her hessian bag for the morning along with a new bottle of ink and a quill. Now it was time for her, now the work of the day was done. She sat back on the couch and waited for the knock at the door that would tell her Ida had come. Ida who told her that her skin wasn't the colour of soil but the colour of the king's coffee beans, that her hair wasn't simply black but it flowed like the river at midnight over her bare shoulders. She could do her duty by day, she could be the boring clerk the district required, but night time belonged to her and Ida...

By Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, February 23, 2015.