Dougie practices his tightrope act on the apex of the roofbeam, a hazelwood wand in his hand. “Control seems to be the issue,” he offers, careful not to be distracted by the earlier-than-usual mockingbird he envies.
“Limitations bring on fear in many instances,” says Ernestine.
“But look,” continues Dougie, “how many folks have leaped off precipices, believing they could fly.” He steadies himself in the wake of an overflying plane. People wave at him out the windows.
“Don’t wave back,” warns Ernestine, scooting on her rear to where moss entertains the ridges of two shingles. “It’s that we’re engineered for arrows and dancing,” she flops on her back and lets her gaze stretch into the sky.
“Fear kills off brain cells,” Dougie eases himself down to lie beside her.
“I think it kills off heart cells, too,” Ernestine murmurs, “think of the ones who, terrorized, want to jump off the earth, taking with them as many of the rest of us as possible.”