They bind her wrists in silk, her hair in satin. Her mouth they paint the colour of blood. The ochre is as heavy as a gag. She stays motionless as they dress her, bites down on her protests. This is her life, now.
Lotus blossoms perfume the air with a sweet, saccharine scent. The temple robes slide over her skin, pale as the moonlight that puddles at her feet. Not long, now, they whisper. The moon is rising and, with it, the god.
They lead her to the garden; pull her when she drags her feet. On the temple wall stands the painted dragon. If she runs – if she is fast, fast enough –
The ground shakes with a roar. Fear drowns all thoughts of escape.