She grinds her dog-eared Chucks into the loose gravel, seeking purchase.
“You ain’t nothing if you don’t cross the Spinster’s Smile,” the schoolyard kids jeer.
Beneath the dilapidated, bowstring truss bridge, the Whipple Creek waters froth and the mackinaw thrash. The indifferent breeze cools her clammy palms. The condemned bridge once teemed with exuberance. Lifelong betrothals and clandestine kisses, quarry-bound trucks and junior high sprinters were its lifeblood. Now its rotting boards pose a neighborhood challenge. Tossed coins swallowed by its oaken, gap-toothed grin. A boy once fell through. They put his name on a scholarship.
Then, she flies.