by Sarah Bailyn
ran. I ran past all the houses in the neighbourhood, past the post office
and the hardware store, past the gas station at the edge of town. I picked
up speed on the open road. My arms and legs pumped in rhythm as the fields
and small towns flashed by one after the other. I ran and ran, overtaking
cars and trains. I waved to the occupants, who stared at me. Eventually
the towns and fields gave way to rocky, desolate scrub. I had to watch my
step so as not to trip.
I reached the border and crossed it without looking back. I kept running as
the country grew poorer. I ran through villages with dirt roads and houses
that were more like huts. Vegetable patches sprouted pale orange squash and
thin beanstalks tied to sticks. I avoided the big cities and soon came to
Slowing down on the uphill slopes I climbed to the thin cold air at the top.
I chased the goats on the way back down the other side to see them scatter.
On the plain that lay on the far side of the mountains I could run even
faster. The plain turned to forest, where I had to dodge huge and ancient
Suddenly the forest ended and I crossed a narrow strip of sand. I had
reached the sea. I wet my feet.
Sarah Bailyn is a transplanted Yank currently living in London. She's been
writing for a couple of years and this is her first publication.
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story copyright by author 2005 all rights reserved