HISTORICAL FICTION By Michael G. Malaghan

Chapter 87

Sunny skies and the laughter of children lifted Haru as she and two other wives rinsed lettuce leaves at the water pump when Sachi came running toward her, out of breath. The front of her pale-green yukata was splattered with red splotches. “Setsu Kurume is puking blood!”

Haru stared at the blood spots and grimaced. She hoped it wasn’t what she thought it was: the Spanish flu. “Change into a fresh yukata after you go to the ofuro (bath house). Then boil the one you are wearing.” Haru looked at the two distressed wives. “I’m off to see Setsu.” On her second hurried step, she stopped abruptly. “Someone ask Sam to join me.”

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