Even the tiniest of fissures were suspect. After all, a fissure is a crack. You can look this up, if you like, in almost any reference book-saving atlases and perhaps almanacs. Allister had attempted a thoroughly misguided step towards a crack several times in order to build character. But, the fear was palpable. Allister could feel the Earth twitch, could hear the awful cracking of land severing, could see the lava crawling up into the widening veins-separating the sidewalk into floating cement squares.
And, for a moment, let us divert, shall we?
Because the first time Allister had ever seen a picture of Ghandi was in a newspaper somewhere. The article that accompanied had remained unread and Allister had clipped the man free of the paper, with the idea that this paper doll's skinny legs would be amusing to watch dance. And they were. The orchestra in Allister’s head striking up a tune that swung, the paper legs bobbing and bouncing on the table. Allister conducting the orchestra-smiling, giggling at the paper left and the paper right kicking at random with simple pushes of air.
And Allister saw that that the paper feet were nearly bare. That this man who had walked so far wore only the thinnest of shoes. Sandals. How had this man walked so far with skinny legs and no shoes? And how does one not feel guilty? When one has clipped a sage from paper and jiggled the man to dance?
Allister looked the man in his eyes and knew two things. They were paper, yes. But, they twinkled. There was a spark-a spark so bright and subtle that it could have burned the entire paper body but chose not to. And Allister looked to the picture from where the paper man had been clipped and saw from where he came. And, whether what Allister saw came as the result of one these man's sandaled steps that caused the chain reaction that destroyed many a man’s careful cementing or whether it was how it had always been where this man was born, Allister did not know. But, in the picture from where the paper man had come, there were no sidewalks.