I grew up in the shadow of a crumpled mountain. Pale rock like bleached bone. The mountain had no name. Nothing had a name.

In our era names were unnecessary, even foolish. They would have made sense once, before the world shrank. Now, why would the mountain need a name, if it was the only mountain? Why would I need a name, if I was the only child?

Besides, we had lost the names long ago. The language was gone. The books were rotting, the symbols incomprehensible.

When I was older I went through the rite. My tail had grown thick and long. I cut it off and buried it. Later, much later, my child was born.

I wanted to give her a name, but couldn’t think of one.