Umi folded the summer curtains while Shiori sat watching. The winter drapes were long overdue; the windowpanes were gray with fog in the morning and had been every morning since Umi had arrived.
The yard behind the atrium was empty of the harem children and their carers. Only half of the parakeet cages swung outside, empty of birds. The only noise between the evening gusts was their metal hooks, clicking and creaking on their lines. A single white-robed woman stood in the yard’s center, standing on a block to pull the cages down.