By Elizabeth Kane
[This story is the official winner of the Fall 2017 Flash Fiction contest, “200 in 2 Weeks”]
She would’ve gone anywhere. Her tap shoes scraped the pebbly sidewalk, the tulle on her skirt fluffing in the cool wind. The light from her dance studio blinked out down the street as her teacher locked the door. She could’ve asked for a ride, but she didn’t want the studio people to gossip about her, call her pitiful. She knew her father had brought his pan to the river and forgotten about her, eyes of gold dust. Her mother had always wanted a gold ring. Had always…
She leaned against the 7-11 sign, Big Gulp in hand. Her eyes followed the dancing tree leaves in a park across the street, shadows on a playground. She would go over, but she was tired of walking. The crunch of the taps on the asphalt sounded like dental drills grinding down teeth. But if anyone drove up, a pervert, said hey girl. Where’re you going? She’d say, where you are. Anywhere. She didn’t mind just nickel, iron. Maybe the pervert would ask, what’s up with the shoes? She’d say it was too cold for the sandals she’d worn before, even though asphalt was bad for the taps. They were just aluminum, anyway.
Elizabeth Kane is a junior BFA student at the University of Maine at Farmington. She’s been published in The Circus of Indie Artist, Show Me Doctrine, and The Larcenist, and was Alice James Books’ Director’s Chair Fellow for Spring 2017. She’s studying for the Fall 2017 semester in Alaska, following her dreams.