Hopscotch Best Served Cold
My palms are wet. I can’t stop the leg twitch. A silver trail glistens on my sleeve. I sniff and step up. My stone I polished smooth, under darkness when all stood still, and only the stars watched. Between fingertips and thumb, I roll three times, kiss and release. A clink as my stone stops dead. I suck my breath and hop clean over. Both soles thump together, out and in, all eight slapped with plimsolls. A cheer lights my eyes and pinks my cheeks. A wobble threatens to bury me in a puff of chalk dust.
Me and Jed head to head. I’ll have him. He won my best Alley yesterday and won’t give me a rematch. I challenged him to the grid. “It’s a kid’s game,” he said. A smile like the common lizard’s twitch escapes me. “Fourteen and still playing?” He nodded at me as he wiped the drool from his chin. “Yeah, I’m just a dumb girl.”
His marbles come from his brother’s stash, he was a champ, before he left school to muck out stables. Too grown up now, thinks he’s special. A flick in my mind and we are back behind those bike sheds, fumbled hands and warm lips. I thought I wet my knickers; I know different now. No lad will get the better of me again.
A crowd gathers as I drop on eight: one, two, it’s over. Quick as a blink. A twist of my head and there’s Jed. He kicks the trim off his pumps, a glob of spit hits the ground. I grin, and nod; I got him good. They lift me and I float above the lot. My fingers grip at heads; greasy hair and dandruff will never feel so good again. Not bad for just a dumb girl.
This was published as a just missed the long-list, But I am proud to have got this far. please press this link to go to the article. https://www.reflexfiction.com/hopscotch-best-served-cold-flash-fiction-by-ellen-best/