We watch the instructor ignite dead grass with a magnifying glass. The girl stands just behind us and talks to the air, grows her eyes when I respond. Can I show you my tunnels? She takes my hand, finally I let her lead me past the only house on the farm. I ask, Are they far? I’m looking for large holes snaking through the Earth. I’m looking for caves with no foreseeable end. In the backyard we stop—Look! She points to the foot-high grass, the flattened paths winding through it. Me and my brudder made these. I watch her crawl, giggle, press her belly to the tunnel floor so the untouched grass towers over her. She tells me I should move in with her family. I thank her and explain why I can’t. She tells me I don’t need school; I can learn here. We let the sunlight melt away before we return to the group, now braiding New Zealand flax leaves into cord. She drops my hand and talks, and talks and keeps talking. I mutter that I’m hungry, and three voices tell me the pizza’s almost ready. She asks why the moon shines like that, and nobody says a word.
Corinne Guichard is a writer, yoga teacher, and aerial dancer. She earned a bachelor’s degree in literature from UC Santa Barbara’s College of Creative Studies, before spending a year traveling and teaching throughout Asia. Her work has appeared in Spectrum and F(r)iction Online.