The stain wouldn’t come out.
She’d been working on this for days. Anyone else would’ve just thrown the old, rough black cloth away, but she wouldn’t, she couldn’t. It was her obsession, her duty. The filth was her sin made manifest, the need to clean, to cleanse, to purify, was her punishment. The Mother told her that.
She hadn’t wanted to do it, but the Mother had said it was her duty. She called for justice, justice in the name of God. She had followed His rules, did what He had commanded of her.
The stain just wouldn’t come out.