Fall by Allie Pangborn

February 3, 2014 Comments Off on Fall by Allie Pangborn

She wasn’t anyone.  Not until they found her in her little cardboard box.  She was just a face on the streets, her features bleeding into the next person’s.  Dull girl dull face dull life.

It was raining and they stood around her, above her.  Water dripping down her face, she took the outstretched hand and wound up on a train.

They trained her.  Gave her a leotard and a balancing pole.  Told her to walk on rope.  They painted her face and it made her someone.  Pretty girl, pretty face, pretty life.

Her performance, fifty feet off the ground.  From every direction, eyes watch, eyes wait, silent, anxious for her to fall.  She steps onto the rope.

One foot then the other.  A wobble, a catch.  Balance.  She’s above them.  Two more steps, halfway there.  A few more and she’s on the other side.  The crowd is loud and when their energy reaches her, it swells her chest.

She spins to take her second pass.  The crowd quiets again.  She steps as she was trained to do, balance as she was trained to do.  She jumps.  In the air, she’s flying.  So high above them.  The rope approaches her feet again and she lands.  Solid.  The crowd gasps and claps but quiets again when she starts to move.

Another step, she balances again.  Step, balance.

A child cries out from below and she’s startled.  Her eyes lose focus.  She’s falling.  The net below saves her, but not from humiliation.

She sits in front of her mirror and takes a wipe to her face.  The paint dissolves.  Dull girl dull face dull life.

© 2013 Allie Pangborn

Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Allie Pangborn now lives in Orange, California where she is a student at Chapman University and a waitress when she needs to pay bills.

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