A Fine Walk

Jules Archer

Jules Archer

She’s still got it. Even today, she’s skilled. With each tiny step forward, her foot hits the precise spot she wants it to on the fine ledge of the building. Right foot in front of left. Legs strong as planks.

She was a Master diver and knows the exact placement that the ball of the foot, the tip of the toes, need to take. She keeps a graceful arch, balancing so that her lean body stays rigid. Still as stone.

Diving boards; perfect partners in crime.

Her favorite were the high boards. Into the sky, above the clouds, she often wished they’d go higher. When it was her time, she’d climb the ladder, taking rung after rung with swift fisted grip, callused feet climbing along with the rest of her body. She was admired by the crowd – not only for skill but for braving the height.

Reaching the top, she’d pull her hair into a tight bun, winding the blond strands into a tightly coiled cinnamon roll. She never wore a cap. Vain like that.

She’d walk the plank; the smooth white board rigid beneath her. Listening to hear the light shuffling of her steps, whispers in the dark. At the edge of the board, she always paused, taking in the emptiness and then the clear blue beneath that. She’d line up her trajectory; body linear and then, after waiting a beat, she’d bend her knees, take a light bounce, then spring up, the board clattering as she twisted into the perfect pike.

Weightless, her stomach kicking with a delicate lurch was her favorite part. For seconds, high in the air – no gravity.

She hopes it’ll be like that today. Placing a flat palm against the brick wall of the building behind her, she glances down at the people. They’re gawking, calling out, but she won’t let them displace her rhythm. Left foot, right foot, kiss the cement ledge. Despite harsh winds whipping her hair, she defines grace. Balance is important in this show. She reaches the lip of the building, toes poised for launching.

She could’ve been a ballerina.
Below, the crowd has doubled. She bends her knees, sinking into a mini-squat and takes a breath. It’s just a diving board, she tells herself. Just a plank.


Somewhere between being born and raised in the backwoods of Montana, Jules Archer developed a craving for the written word. All the little ramblings in her head need to be put down on paper. Today, she writes random stories of great genius and heartbreaking torpor while keeping her day job in marketing. She enjoys reading Playboy and sipping Blue Moon in her spare time. She has been published at Metazen, The Glass Coin and most recently Negative Suck.



0 replies on “A Fine Walk”