A short story from the Mumbai Duckbill Workshop. Our thanks to Kareena for allowing us to use this.
Avanti threw the ball to Maya. Maya missed it, and it flew over the wall.
They looked at each other.
Avanti smiled at Maya, and reached out to yank her hairclip away. She tied her own hair in a bun. ‘Your turn to climb to wall and get the ball,’ she said, her voice soft and low.
Maya glanced over her shoulder and looked at the sloping roof of the house on the other side of the wall. Intact clusters of hair hung from it – straight limp hair, bushy brown hair, even deep red, oiled ringlets which, Maya, was sure, once belonged to her two-year-old cousin.
It was half past midnight and kids didn’t usually play ball at that hour, at least not in the Town of the Scalp Slicer.