All eyes were turned on a young lady as she crossed the street, for she walked in a manner so unlike anyone else on the crossing. Her ankles flexed like springs as the balls of her feet bounced from one parallel white strip to the next. A somewhat shorter girl ran along beside her, trying to keep up. As the taller reached the far side of the road, she saw the final piece of white paint, and made a split-second mental calculation. Her knees dropped lower than before this time, then she rose gracefully, almost as if in slow motion, and both feet once again left the ground. A second later there was a gentle thud as her body slammed into the concrete footpath, landing just inches from a young couple. The guy spun round angrily, as his girlfriend jumped with a start at her human missile, who simply grinned back at her.
The girls who had been crossing the street continued on their way. The shorter one, as always, had to walk quickly to keep up. The taller walked with an uneven stride, as if she were trying to re-synchronise it with something every few metres. Every time they approached a crack, a join, or any large abnormality in the surface under their feet, she would carefully adjust her step to clear it. The pair sat down at a coffee shop for some morning tea. The girl produced a magnifying glass from her bag, unaware of a waitress approaching them. She bent down to study something at her feet. Her friend jabbed her as the waitress smiled at them and asked, "Did you drop something?" The girl beamed up at her with a crazed grin, and replied, "See these cracks? Don't step on them. There's monsters hiding in there, and you'll wake them." The waitress nodded uncertainly, and asked what they would like to eat.