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.
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.