Like a pinball, she bounces from one market stall to the next. Like a girl in love with the world, she drinks the sunshine through a paper straw. With each passing minute, the town stirs to life. There are children on their school holidays darting around their parent’s feet causing mischief, and dogs on leads standing on their hind legs at the sight of hungry pigeons pecking the ground for crumbs. She would too if she could, but she tells herself such a thing wouldn’t be very ladylike, so like a pinball she keeps zigzagging her way through the sea of faces that suck on warm air while dabbing their brows with handkerchiefs and grotty tissues. She has her sights set on coffee and a slice of pie, but as she exits the market the sugary scent of donuts hit her like a wave, and in one swift move she jumps in the air and grabs hold of a lamp post before swinging herself in the opposite direction. The reflections of her in the store windows can’t keep up. They try their best, but as she hops and skips from foot to foot, she leaves them trailing. At one point an over-excited dog wearing a healing cone around its neck takes a fancy to the way her dress billows about. It pulls on its owners lead and barks at her with its sharp and slimy teeth, but X drops down on all fours and barks right back. Growling at the salivating hound, she scuttles forwards until it freaks out and retreats to its owner with a whimper. Regaining her posture, a smile spreads across her face. The smile of a wicked kid who never grew up. Clapping her hands, she continues to follow the smell that causes the colours on her cheeks to swirl like those storms on Jupiter. Those that match the storm she keeps inside. Running through the streets and cutting through traffic not caring about the cars that beep and the peeping eyes that glide across the flesh of her legs, she stands on the corner of the block and sways like a stalk of wheat, and for a second she’s someplace else. If you were to look closely, you could see her flicker in and out again. A small child on a leash noticed. It pointed with an open mouth at the pretty girl who disappeared before its eyes, but grandad was too busy talking to a friend to pay any attention. The barking dog noticed too, but he’d learnt his lesson the hard way and stayed firmly between the safety of its owner’s legs. And so X sways for a moment, and when she figures where the smell’s coming from, she sticks out her tongue before launching herself towards the source she’s certain lies just ahead.