Head In The Clouds

Short story.

Chapter 1

Head In The Clouds

Back when I was five, I saw people flying on TV. It was magical; the way they soared through the clouds, spreading their arms like eagles. The way their hair flowed behind them like the beautiful strands had a mind of their own. All I wanted was to be like them; in fact, I prayed every night until I was eight. I tried countless times to launch myself into the sky by jumping off rocks and leaping out of windows. My parents made me stop when I broke my wrist by jumping out of a two story window at my mom's job.

After my dad left, the craving to fly increased dramatically. I was only nine, yet I knew how the load of having a family to feed was now off of his shoulders; he was free. No responsibilities. It seemed to have the exact opposite effect on mom, because she became more stressed by the minute. Her hair started to fall out in clumps and the bags under her eyes became purple. Sometimes I caught her staring out of the window, up at the night sky - and I wondered if she wanted to fly as badly as I did.

I drew a lot of pictures. Most of them consisting of me with huge pink wings which pulled me up into the air. One cold day, when I showed mom my latest masterpiece, she took it and ripped it up.

"Flying is impossible," she told me, "get your head out of the clouds."

But that was exactly the problem. My head wasn't in the clouds yet.

I forgot about flying for a long time. Once I turned eleven, I decided my mom was right. I was being stupid. Besides, when we moved out of our big house and into our small apartment,I lost most hope in the few dreams I had.

It was recently that I started to wish to fly again. Once school ended, mom went off to a sleepaway camp as a cook to earn some extra money. That left me alone in our hot apartment for six weeks. The stuffiness of the one room house seemed to change me; something inside of me clicked and all I wanted was to be in the air. Besides, all I did day after day was sit and wait - maybe for my dad, maybe for some wings to sprout out of my back. I think I was just waiting for a change.

The craving I had to fly became so intense that one night, at two in the morning, I ran. Out into the abandon street and past the dark alleys. I don't know where I was going, but I knew it felt good to be this free.

I stopped after what felt like hours. I didn't know where I was, but I was surrounded by tall grass. A big boulder sat nearby, and I climbed on top of it. As I stood, I saw the orange sun rising in the distance behind a big city. The cold wind kissed my face and I felt happy for the first time in a while.

I spread my arms and closed my eyes. I stood on my tippy toes until I couldn't feel my feet anymore. Then, I jumped.

And I flew.

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