Cracks

Flash
Rachel Haynes


Wet pavement reminds me of being 5 years old and walking to school
Photo Credit: bitchcakesny

His bedroom is hardwood, so when he wakes up he puts his feet within the wide floorboards and walks like a skier, parallel-footed, to the bathroom. The bathroom is hard to navigate, because the tiles are only four inches by four, and the grout is thick and grainy. Here he walks only on his toes, the balls of his feet cold and his heels in the air, wavering as he bends to brush his teeth. He has well-defined calves.

The hallway is hardwood too, so he skier-walks until he reaches the kitchen. There he has the relief of big, generous tiles, and his feet slap the floor comfortably, diagonally across each square. Over his Corn Chex, he watches his mother make toast. She steps forward, her bare sole sagging into a crack; backward, and her heel sinks into a four-way intersection. He imagines a pink X forming on her skin.

The sidewalk on his block is the worst part on the walk to school. The cement slabs are awkwardly sized: he must take wide, conspicuous scissor stomps to step once in each square, or take frustratingly small paces and step twice. But he knows the next block will be better, because there, two steps fit perfectly into each rectangle. He hears his mother calling to please be careful, and hurry so he isn’t late.

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Rachel Haynes is a recent graduate in English literature. She is from Loomis, California, but currently lives in a small city in Brazil, where she teaches English as a second language. Rachel has never been published before, but she still likes people who have been. Email: rachel.bh.9[at]gmail.com

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