Friday, April 22, 2016

Free Fiction: Not Flying Today

"You're a liar," Jeff said. He jutted his chin at the edge where solid ground plunged away into thin air with only jagged, sharp rocks at the bottom.

"Yeah." More than a few of the other kids chorused and grumbled, agreeing with Jeff as long as they weren't singled out.

"All year long you boasted about how you could fly. How you were gonna fly, if only you had the right conditions. Well, if these aren't the right ones, then nothing is." Jeff picked up a stick and launched it into the air. It spun end of end and sailed out into the vast nothingness and fell away.

Kaylen shrugged. "What do you know about conditions?"

"I know it's sunny with blue skies. If this isn't perfect, what is?"

"Not this," Kaylen said. "It's too still. The air is too thin. There's nothing to hold me up."

Jeff flapped a hand at Kaylen. "Ah, you're just a big liar." He looked at the group of kids that had gathered. "Let's get out of here. We can still get in a game of kickball."

Kaylen watched the kids trickle away. He hadn't asked them to follow him after school. And he certainly hadn't boasted about being able to fly. He'd mentioned it once, three weeks ago. But he'd probably been overheard. Or tattled on. He should have known better. His mom had warned him about these kinds of things.

Kaylen inched closer to the edge. He stared down at the rubble at the base of the broken away area.

"You aren't gonna jump, are you?"

Kaylen turned to look at the voice. It was Sammy, a scrawny kid one grade younger. He was too skinny, often begging for snacks and remainders from other kids' lunches. Kaylen was pretty sure Sammy didn't get breakfast or dinner, just the school mandated lunch as part of an assistance program.

"No," Kaylen said. "There's still not enough wind."

"Can you really fly?" The question sounded sincere, and held no tinge of mockery.

"Sometimes," Kaylen said.

"I'd like to be able to fly," Sammy said. "Is it something you can teach me?"

Kaylen shook his head. "No. You either can fly or you can't, and you'd know it already if you could."

"Oh." Sammy's face scrunched up with disappointment.

"I can't fly today either, it's too still," Kaylen said. "Want to come over to my house and play video games and have a snack?"

"Sure. I can do that." Sammy waited for Kaylen to retreat from the edge. "How come you came out here if you couldn't fly in the first place?"

"It's a nice place to walk," Kaylen said.

"But you have video games at home that you could play."

Kaylen shrugged. "Didn't have anyone to play against."

"Oh," said Sammy. "I guess that makes sense."

No comments:

Post a Comment