Kit Reed is a prominent and prolific American writer. She has written over 20 novels and several award-winning collections of short stories that span a number of genres. Reed received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1964. A retrospective collection of her short stories, entitled The Story Until Now, was released in 2013.
When they came to the field, Miriam first thought the women were still busy at a late harvest, but she saw that the maidens, scores of them, were just sitting on little boxes at intervals in the seemingly endless field. There were people in the bushes at the field’s edge– Miriam saw them. Every once in a while one of the men would start off, following one of the brilliantly colored strings toward the woman who sat at the end of it, in a white dress, waiting. Frightened, Miriam turned to Mrs. Clark. “Why am I here? Why? Mrs. Clark, explain!