I lay in my bed under soft, warm blankets, the rain drumming peacefully on the roof over my head. Its “pitter-pattering” is gently lulling me to sleep along with the calming classical music playing from the radio on my nightstand. I feel myself drifting into the place between being asleep and awake, and I hover there for a moment before I float into my dream. I’m standing on red and brown earth, a winding path stretching out before me under a blue sky spotted with clouds. There are rusty-colored mountains looming many miles ahead of me, and I can see them clearly due to the extreme flatness of the land. A single tree stands next to me, deeply rooted in the firm, clay-like soil. A few more of these lone trees can be seen across the flat land, but are scattered a mile or two apart from each other. A small, wooden ramp is before me, under the shade of the tree. I rest my hand on the tree, running my fingers over the bark as I take in the landscape and wonder about the purpose of the ramp.
As I gaze at the mountains in the distance, a boy approaches me from my right. He seems to have appeared out of nowhere, as there are no buildings, tents, cars, or any other signs of life in our surroundings. He looks to be between the ages of 12 and 14, and his reddish-brown hair matches the main color of the landscape. As he gets closer, I can see the friendly grin on his freckled face, and his green eyes sparkle with kindness. As there is nowhere to go, I stand and wait for him beside the tree.
He continues to walk towards me as he glances at the tree and the ramp. When he is about a yard away, he stops, looks at the ramp, and then back at me. I say nothing, waiting for him to speak first.
There is a long pause as he directs his gaze towards the mountains, and then at the sky.
“Lovely day today, isn’t it?” he says as he looks back at me. I notice his voice is very calming, but somehow happy and energetic at the same time.
“Mhm,” I nod in agreement to his question, waiting for him to continue speaking.
There is another long pause as he looks back at the mountains in the distance. Finally, he turns to me once again and looks into my eyes. His gaze is so penetrating that I feel as though he is searching the very depths of my soul for something. I look down at my bare feet and then back up. The boy has disappeared.
I turn around, wondering where he may have gone in the short moment I was looking down. He is nowhere to be seen.
I finally gaze up into the branches of the tree, and there he is – perched on a branch and swinging his feet as he looks down at me, smiling.
“How did you get up there?” I ask. He simply smiles back.
After a few moments, he gestures towards the ramp and says, “Run and jump off the ramp.”
“Run and jump off the ramp!”
I stare at him for a while, questioning what in the world is going on. Then, without knowing why, I jog towards the ramp, up the small incline, and hop off onto the red earth. I look back at him as he continues to rest on the tree branch.
“Do it again.”
“Do it again.”
Still unsure of what has possessed me to do this, I jog towards the ramp, up the incline, and hop off again. I look back at the boy.
“Do it again.”
“Just do it again.” He grins as we repeat the process over and over again – I run up the slope and hop off, and each time he tells me to do it again. I try to ask him questions in between the running and hopping, but each time he answers with, “Do it again.” This cycle continues for several minutes, and I finally become so frustrated that he doesn’t need to tell me to repeat – I walk much farther behind the ramp than usual, crouch down, take a deep breath…
and I run.
I run like I never have before. My legs are flying across the red earth, my arms are pumping, and my heart is about to beat out of my chest. I reach the ramp, and then leap into the air. I hit the ground hard, then, panting, look back up at the boy, who is still sitting in the tree. He grins and nods in approval.
“That was great!” he exclaims. “Now, do it again.”
“Are you kidding me?” I cry. “Why? What’s the point of this?”
“You’ll see in a moment. For now, run and jump off the ramp with all the determination and energy you’ve got, just like last time. I promise it’ll pay off soon.” His eyes twinkle as he nods at the ramp.
I sigh in frustration, but I do it again anyway. He told me it’ll pay off, and those eyes wouldn’t lie. I repeat the vigorous running and jumping routine several more times, though not as many as when I was only jogging and hopping. After about the fourth of fifth time, he holds up his hand to signal for me to stop. He produces a canteen from a hidden branch on a tree, and tosses it down to me. I drink eagerly to quench my thirst, and I notice that despite all the running and jumping, I’m not hot or sweaty. A nice breeze has been blowing every once in a while, but for the most part I’ve stayed at a very comfortable temperature. After I drink, I set the canteen down at the foot of the tree, and wait for further instructions.
“Now that you’ve refreshed yourself,” says the boy, “walk all the way down to that tree.” He points to a distant tree that I’d guess is about a quarter-mile away. “Once you’re there, run as fast as you can back here and leap off the ramp with all the strength you can muster. And I know you’re going to ask why, so I’ll tell you that this time will be different. Just run, and leap.”
I nod, and begin walking towards the tree. There has to be a reason for all of this. What would be the point if I wasn’t trying to do something he has in mind?
I reach the tree and look towards the ramp. I can faintly make out the shape of the boy watching me from the other tree in the distance. I take a few deep breaths, crouch down, and launch myself across the earth towards the ramp. The wind whips through my hair as I run, and the distance between myself and the ramp gets smaller and smaller with every stride I take. I start to pant, and I begin to lose my energy. Keep going, just keep going. My breath is coming in gasps and my legs are on fire, but I keep pushing towards the goal – the ramp. You’re almost there, don’t stop now. With the last of my energy, I reach the ramp, vault up the small incline, and launch myself off and into the air. I take a breath, brace myself for the fall…
and I float.
Afraid I may have fainted, I keep my eyes shut tight. After several seconds, I slowly open them, gasp, and freeze. I’m suspended in the air, and I have no idea how. I have become paralyzed with fear and shock, but somehow manage to look down at the ground. I gasp again as I fully realize that I am hovering in mid-air. I carefully direct my glace towards the boy in the tree. He’s still sitting there, watching me with the biggest smile on his face. Too stunned and scared to speak, I give him a confused look as if to say, “what is going on?” or, “please help me.”
Just as I’m about to return my gaze to the ground, the boy slides off his branch and begins floating towards me. I hover in the air, even more shocked, as he floats nearer. I watch him move forward, my entire body tensed up tight. He soon reaches me, and offers out an open hand. I look at it, and then at him. He smiles, his hand still outstretched.
Very cautiously, I move my hand towards his. After several moments of wobbling and attempting to gain control of my muscles, I’m eventually able to latch onto his fingers. I relax a little, knowing that he can keep me from falling if need be.
“What do you think?” he asks.
“I’m not sure,” I shakily reply.
He laughs, and slowly begins to float away, pulling me along with him. I cry out, scared, and he stops.
“Please get me down from here.”
“Alright, down we go.”
We descend onto the ground, and I have some more water. After allowing me to wrap my head around what’s just happened, the boy asks if I’d like to try again. Hesitantly, I nod my head, and he proceeds to show me how to hover in the air by jumping off the ramp without a running start. He says that all the running was intended to build up my determination, and that it’s much easier to float for the first time if you have the motivation and energy which comes from a running start.
For the next several hours, the boy teaches me the basics of hovering, floating, and eventually, flying. I fall, crash, and lose my balance several times, but I soon learn to relax in the air and maneuver obstacles with grace and a steady speed. By the time the boy has finished teaching me, I’m flying above the ramp, along the path, and all around the scattered trees. I zoom along and laugh aloud with joy. The boy never stops smiling.
Soon, however, he says he must go, but assures me that I’ll do just fine without him. He then vanishes, leaving me to fly around alone. As I touch down after a long flight, my feet landing gently on the red earth, I leave the flat land with the mountains and scattered trees, and return to my bed where I’m tucked under my blankets.
I slowly open my eyes to see the morning sunshine streaming through the window, and I lay in bed for several minutes, reflecting on the beautiful and magical dream I’ve just had. As I replay it over and over again in my mind, an idea strikes me that I can’t shake. I’ve got to try.
I get out of bed and put on my slippers and jacket. I then walk outside and climb up onto my roof, the shingles still damp from last night’s rain. I stand there silently, my eyes closed, breathing in the fresh morning air. Then, taking a deep breath and bracing myself as I do so, I jump up into the air…
and I fly.
If you made it this far, congratulations! XD And I Fly is a short story that was inspired by a dream I recently had. It was one of the few magical dreams that I vividly remember, and I liked it so much that I decided to preserve it in the form of a story so that others could experience it, too. While it’s not exactly like the dream I had, it’s very close. Some parts had been “erased” when I woke up, so I had to fill in the blank spaces using my own imagination. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading this story as much as I did writing it, and if you’d like to check out more of my short stories/fan-fictions, click here!
Have a great week! :)