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Muddied

August 5, 2011

Here’s a strange little snippet of a story I started writing ages ago. Not sure if I want to revisit and try to finish it. I dug it up because it suits my mood today, when I feel like I’ve been messing things up in spite of my best intentions.

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“Dirt sticks to me,” she thought, her 8 year-old brain summing things up more simply than she ever would again. Looking at her feet, she saw patterns made by the ground-in mud, and didn’t think the dirt was so bad if she could make clear the pictures she was carrying in her feet. She had her grandmothers’ feet – Both her Nans, different in every other way, walked around their worlds on feet that rolled in, leaving every pair of shoes looking like they’d been worn by a drunk. Laura knew she didn’t stand a chance agains the rolling foot gene, but she thought her arches were pretty and high, like a ballerina’s. Her arches always stayed clean. Laura twisted around in the bathtub, and picked up her leg, much heavier out of the water than in, and looked at the story pictures the mud had made. In her heel, she saw an elephant rearing up on its hind legs, apparently made frightened by the exploding sunburst on her big toe. She sat in the tub and giggled, not wanting to wash them away. Years later, staring at a clean arch not her own, she would wonder how many other stories, how many beasts and angels she had conjured from what had only been a mess.

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