Clothesline Hide-And-Seek

The sheets smelled so fresh on the clothesline, blowing in the wind. My sister and I had to hurry to take them down before the rain drops started to fall. The air smelled like rain, and the dark clouds were moving swiftly across the desert sky. I was almost five years old, but tall. So if I stretched, I could reach the lower parts of the clothesline, where the laundry pulled it down.
“Nicole, we should play hide-and-seek in here!” The sheets strewn along five lines made for a fluid maze — one that was whimsical and forgiving. She giggled at me and slipped away through a flowery flat sheet. From within the billowing sheets that enveloped me, I couldn’t see her. Anyone outside the clothesline could have spotted us — our feet gave us away. But our only clues inside were any detection of movement that may not have been attributable to wind. And the sound of breathing that couldn’t be helped, especially as it became heavier during our game. We chased each other around, smiles on our faces that were hidden until we emerged, with raindrops pelting our heads, sliding from our hair. I lunged at Nicole, tackling her to the ground, and grass staining her pink shorts.

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