Hide and seek

1 min
Image of Spring 2019
Image of Short Story
Sixty-seven, sixty-eight... she’d be under the bed, shoving shoe boxes and scraps of clothing out of the way. Trying to make space. Trying to be smaller.

Seventy-two, seventy-three. Or she’d be in the laundry room, burrowing into the linen closet, towels falling as fast as she tried to push them back.

Eighty, eighty-one... there was the garden too. Officially, it was within the limits of their game but she was terrified of crawling things. She wouldn’t go there unless she was desperate, or terrified.

Toby rolled fear on his tongue. He smiled. It tasted like stolen dregs of Dad’s Manhattans and the copper spring he stole from a hardware store.

Ninety-two, ninety-three, ninety-four. The air sagged beneath the humidity. She would be panting, letting the pink tip of her tongue loll like a hot dog poking from a bun.

Toby’s grin stretched cracked lips. He licked, a thin taste of iron and salt. Pushing down the front of his shorts, he swallowed a lungful of molasses air.

Ready or not...

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