TITLE: The Lost Festival
Slipping around the corner, Sal glanced up Shandwick Place. If the road were clear, she could dart across, scamper all the way down to Queensferry Place, and cross over the road to the abandoned gardens. Then she could reach her front door before the bullies caught her.
A bus was approaching, its insides glowing with light. Sal held her breath, edging one foot off the curb – yes, it was slowing in front of the Co-op, preparing to stop.
Just as Sal stepped forward, a bicycle without any lights shot out of the January gloom. It darted around the bus, heading straight towards her.
Sal stumbled back. Her left heel pulled out of her shoe.
The cyclist shouted as he swerved past.
“Hey!” she yelled after him, hopping on her right foot. "You need lights!"
On the pavement, a toddler stuffed into a huge blue coat jerked to a stop and gaped at her. His mother looked sympathetically at Sal. "The cyclists are horrible, aren't they. I'm sure they're worse here than in America!"
Sal nodded politely, trying not to lose her balance, but as soon as the woman pulled the toddler along, she rolled her eyes. “ Everything's worse here than in America.” Including the fact that people in Edinburgh kept making comments like, “Oh, that's not a Scottish accent!” whenever she said more than two words. It wasn't as though she could suddenly change the way she spoke after living in Scotland for four months, even if she wanted to.