Dressed in an over sized green mac with a giant hood that circles her head, she walks slowly down the uneven path strewn with small rocks, leaves and twigs. The longer it takes the better, there’s plenty to occupy her mind. She lets her feet drag through the pale, dry dust. She’s in no hurry, she won’t miss dinner if she takes her time. As she approaches the turnpike gate she can hear the stream. She stoops to pick up a leaf, pushes through and lets go of the gate behind her, it’s forgotten till it clangs shut abruptly behind her.
She hears voices and footsteps that get faster and heavier. She feels a sense of dread, because it can only mean one thing. There’s never a reason, except the simple pursuit of childish cruelty . One of them shares her hair colour, but there’s no unity of souls, just a perceived difference in strength, strength of mind, strength of body.
But the impression of weakness can be mistaken, her strength is hidden from view. She is something different, in her behaviour as well as her appearance, and she’s come to understand that different means weird, and weird means pain.
All she has to do is bide her time, she won’t be a child forever, and if she holds on long enough it'll be over, the sooner the better as far as she’s concerned. For now, she picks up her pace, starts running towards the second gate, if she gets there first, before they catch her, she has a fighting chance.