Extract from "Montana Sky" by Nora Roberts
Choose the right word:
The cat was gone, but there was still blood pooled over the wood. Willa went back for a bucket of soapy water, a scrub brush. Bess would have done it, she knew, but it wasn't something she would ask of another. On her hands and knees, in the glow of the porch light she washed away the signs of (1) _______. Death happened. She had believed she accepted and understood that. Cattle were raised for their meat, and a chicken who stopped laying ended up in the pot. Deer and elk were hunted and set on the table. That was the way of things. People lived, and died. Even (2) _______ wasn't a stranger to her. She had sent a bullet into living flesh and dressed game with her own hands. Her father had insisted on that, had ordered her to learn to hunt, to watch a buck go down bleeding. That she could live with. But this (3) _______, this waste, this viciousness that had been laid at her door wasn't part of the cycle. She erased it, every drop. And with the bloody bucket beside her, she sat back on her heels and stared up into the sky. A star died, even as she watched, blazing its white trail across the night and falling into oblivion. From somewhere near an owl hooted, and she knew prey would be scrambling for cover. For tonight there was a hunter's moon, full and bright. Tonight there would be death in the forest, in the hills, in the grass. There was no denying it.
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