sat in the chair, eyes closed, gripping the ridged edge of its head.
Its? “I can’t be an it. But . . . male? Female? Hermaphrodite?” Well,
no, not when the bottom looks like the top. If not . . . then what? “I
can’t take this anymore!”
Tuppence pushed its rotund body
out of the chair and clunked across the pinewood floor, careful not to
fall between the planks. Not that those fat shoes couldn’t span the
Mississippi. The front door was shut, of course. They kept her—“That’s
right, I’m a she,” she said. Not in those shoes, babycakes,
a quiet voice cackled—inside until ready to put on display. How many
e-mails had she walked? How many Websites? He—no, it—had seen the
world, had pasted on a smile while marching to the beat of an unheard
Easing through a gap in the
weather stripping, Tuppence made its way outside, the bright sun
instantly warming her copper coating. At the edge of the sidewalk, he
gathered up his long arms and legs, and jumped. A risk—she could have
landed flat on her back and they would have found her. But she rolled.
Rolled fast, gathering momentum. A freedom it had never known filled
it. She was soaring!
She continued down the street,
rounding corners, bumping over cracks in the sidewalk—oops, sorry to
break your back, Mom!—cruising toward the park. When she reached the
fountain, he jerked sharply to the right, and like a top, spun in place
until she came to rest on the warm concrete. Relief!