'Rules of the High Wire' by Stephanie Hutton

Don’t look down. Focus only on your feet. Yes, it is more challenging in high heels and the restrictions of a silk dress. Exhale.

You catch sight of movement beneath you. Free runners; barefoot and shameless. They act as if a straight line doesn’t give direction, backing up on themselves to chatter. Feel nothing towards them, they make their own mistakes.

Face forward. Try not to notice how the clouds around you form themselves into fearsome faces. They are merely raindrops clutching together before a storm. Up ahead, the birds gather. They swoop and circle as one. Do not take the shapes they draw in the sky as a message to you.

Carry that burden on your back as if it’s weightless. Straighten up, don’t show weakness. Counter the weight with a light smile, nothing too showy.

As the skies darken for another long night, keep onwards. Walk the wire that you know is beneath your feet. Do not become mesmerised by distractions of starlight and the calls of night creatures. They have no purpose, no journey, no glory to come.

Do not think about what happens when you reach the end of the line.

*

First published online with Flash Frontier

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