Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Escape Routes

Tucked in the high branches of an overgrown shrubbery, a little girl started to cry.  Youthful ambition had pushed her too high and determination kept her going.  She was in quite a pickle, but ten years old didn’t think of grown-up things like getting back down.
The lights flicked off and everyone got comfortable.  The girl’s sisters over there, her cousins farther forward, a family friend tucked in the chair behind—she climbed into his lap and enjoyed the movie as it started.  Unease set in soon enough because she was old enough to be uncomfortable, but young enough to not yet know his hand should not be there.
Sunlight.  Fast breezes, whipping hair.  The heat of a helmet, the heat of sore muscles.  Sluggish breaks.  An intersection.  A car.

She slams on her breaks and ditches the bike.

She gets off his lap and sits with her sisters.

She stops crying and stops fearing. With scrapes and bruises but the righteous thrum of courage her feet land firm on the ground.

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