Flumes Volume 1 Issue 1 - Page 29

sister was afraid of heights. She knew Harper wouldn’t crawl out onto the wavy metal roof just for kicks. And she knew that there’s never been a reason for Harper to lie to her. On her walk to Dorothy’s, Fitzie kept thinking of her sister. She wasn’t the same person Fitzie shared secrets with anymore. And Fitzie wasn’t sure she could trust her; maybe Harper really had liked Shane and said all that so Fitzie would stay away from him. Then Fitzie thought about Shane, about how much she wanted to kiss him, about how much she liked that he was looking at her, like she was more than a little girl.

She was so preoccupied with thoughts of Harper that when Shane met her in a different place to walk her home, she didn’t notice. Usually, they met in the barn, near the stall where it smelled like burnt hair. But on this day, Fitzie’s seventh day as egg inspector, he met her outsidethe small building that she worked in, a dirty lean-to nailed to the west side of the old Victorian farmhouse where Dorothy and Shane lived.

Their walk away from the farm started out quiet. They held hands and swung them in a wide arc between their bodies. The sun was behind them and their shadows were thin and stretched out in front of them. Shane looked lost in thought. Fitzie kept thinking about Harper. She wondered what to make of the things her sister said. She wanted Harper to remember that it was some strange notion, some off-beat inclination that had convinced her to go on the roof, and that it was simple, Harper slipped and Harper fell.

Fitzie stared at the length of the road in front of them as the sunlight faded. She noticed the warm blueness of the sky had sunk into a deep, cooler shade of violet and that their shadows had disappeared.

Shane broke their silence, “I was thinking about you and Harper this morning. I think maybe you girls are playing a game with me, that maybe you and your sister can’t decide who likes me more.”

They’d made it to the edge of the woods and were about to pass through the meadow.

“I’m not sure what you mean,” Fitzie said and pulled her hand away. She crossed her arms over her small breasts. “My sister and I don’t talk about you. Harper doesn’t really talk about anything anymore.”

“Oh. Good. I mean, then, you can keep my secret. You won’t tell her. I haven’t even told my mom,” then Shane hesitated. “I’m leaving for basic training tonight. I joined the Army last month. My mom won’t let me go if she found out, so I’m sneaking out at midnight and taking a bus into the city,” Shane wore a smile bigger than his face and tugged hard on the back hem of Fitzie’s dress.

“Hey, don’t do that,” Fitzie said and crossed the road. He startled her with the force of the pull; it was hard enough to make her knees bend so she