Child’s play. Tag. Hide and seek. Duck, duck, goose.

A group of people thrown together for an afternoon, or an hour, or a lifetime. Someone chasing. Someone running. Someone hiding or praying to be overlooked. No one has to tell us it’s preparation for life, we just learn. Like we learn the multiplication tables and how to spell.

Leila has climbed midway up the ladder leaned against the back wall of the shed. She sits there, legs spread for balance even though it means all of us can see her underwear. It has lavender kittens on it. She’s the youngest of us and hasn’t played before…

Short story in Strange Horizons, June 2013. Click to read.