The scene that the child, then the girl, then the young woman tried so hard to remember was clear enough in its beginnings. She had been hustled – sometimes carried, sometimes pulled along by the hand – through a dark night, nothing to be seen but stars, and then she was pushed into a room and told, Keep quiet, and the people who had brought her disappeared. She had not taken notice of their faces, what they were, she was too frightened, but they were her people, the People, she knew that. The room was nothing she had known. It was a square, built of large blocks of rock. She was inside one of the rock houses. She had seen them all her life. The rock houses were where they lived, the Rock People, not her people, who despised them. She had often see the Rock People walking along the roads, getting quickly out of the way when they saw the People; but a dislike of them that she had been taught made it hard to look much at them. She was afraid of them, and thought them ugly.
‘Mara and Dann’ by Doris Lessing
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