She traipsed along the muddy path, speckles of slush all along the tiny ankles, stinging and slapping the red shoes. Singing in a high voice all her own, hands flapping in staccato rhythm. You could see her head bobbing, keeping time with the baby voice.
The evening drawing to a silent end, solitary lamps popping up in kid-dream splendour. Down the path, to the right and up the slope.
And the voice sloped down to an anti-crescendo and wrapped itself up into a sulky mouth. Voices drowning the silence. Voice. Loud and angry. And loud.
They saw her at the door and lowered the anger. It just stood there, suspended with the moths that the rains brought in. The muddy shoes came off on the rubber mat with the blunt spokes. The smile lay suspended on the path behind, waiting to be claimed by another kid, running from loud voices.
And she walked in. On a straight line. Like a drunkard in a calm frenzy. The eyes glassed and the words came.
And they all walked their paths.Characters in a demonstration, "How to Walk and Not Bump Into People".
Eyes up, eyes down, feet down, hands down.1,2,3,check. Sleep.
And she slept with teddy. She didn't like being touched. The wall was as good for the hands as for the voices.
But teddy was alright. He didn't scream.