A Dream of Flight

My friend Soph at Sophia Ismaa Writes knows how much I love to spin a good yarn and knows I’m almost always a sucker for a good tag.  The other day, Soph tagged me with this awesome new (to me, anyway) storytelling challenge.  Thank you, Soph!  After reading her wonderful story, which I hope y’all will read as well by clicking on the link above, I couldn’t resist adding my own.  My story follows the rules of the challenge.

RULES

  1. Pick your first word, your setting, and your story genre from the list below. As individuals, your brand of creativity is unique to you, so we want to highlight that by letting you choose from a bunch of words and creating something beautiful out of it.
  2. The short story will have a limit of 1000 words. You do not need to write a story with 1000 words exactly. It could be 300, or 500 as long as it doesn’t surpass a thousand.
  3. YOU HAVE TWO WEEKS TO ANSWER THE TAG.You must tag three people to participate.
  4. Link back to Keiko’s Create A Story Tag, so she can collect all the stories. You can’t just link back to her WordPress since she won’t be alerted of the pingback. You need to link back to a post or a page because WordPress works like this.
  5. Use the Create-A-Story picture in the post.
  6. Copy and paste the rules in your tag post as well so others can be clued into the Create-A-Story rules.

CAS table

 

I chose ‘Fall’, ‘Mountain’, & ‘Drama’.  I hope y’all enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.  Regardless of what you think, please let me know in the comments down below.

A Dream of Flight

Fall from the proper precipice, and you’ll fly.

I couldn’t have been more than 7 years old the first time I heard that sentence in a dream.  It’s a dream I remember well and that has recurred, in one form or another, often throughout my 65 years.

In it, I stood atop the roof of my family’s apartment building looking down upon the playground below.  After hearing the statement, spoken by a smoky, whispering, disembodied voice, I stepped off the roof and flew, like a diving hawk, to the grass around the playground, swooping upward at the last second to execute a perfect landing.

At breakfast the next morning, I had asked Mom, “What’s a prep-a-siss?”  She hadn’t known the word, so in her usual fashion, she asked me questions to tease out the context.

“Oh, you’re talking about a precipice, Lindy, pronounced ‘press-uh-pis’.”  She tousled my hair and said, “What a delightful dream!”

I hurried to finish my breakfast, brush my teeth, and leave for school.  Mom held the door open for me and kissed my cheek then patted me on the back as I left.  “Fly, fly, my little sparrow, don’t be late!”  As I ran, I flapped my arms up and down, up and down, trying to achieve lift-off.  I heard Mom’s laughter until I turned the corner out of our neighborhood.

Mom wasn’t laughing a few hours later when she came to pick me up from the school nurse’s office to take me to the hospital after I broke my ankle jumping off the top of the slide.  “I’m sorry, Mom,” I wailed, “I thought I could fly!”

After that, Mom watched me much more closely, forever fearful that I would attempt the stunt again.  Dad found the incident amusing and commended me for my bravery.  Grampa, until the day he died, encouraged me.  “If you put your mind to it, Lindy,” he’d say, in a voice remarkably similar to the one in my dream and always with a half-smile on his lips and a gleam in his eye, “you can do anything you want to.  Even fly!”

I have never been able to shake the feeling that I can do it.

In my dreams, that voice urges me on.

I have lost count of how many mountains I’ve climbed, of how many precarious ledges I’ve stood on, gazing through the haze at the treetops far below, leaning forward, knowing I could do it if I just believed it firmly enough.  Faith the size of a mustard seed, and all.

I stopped counting, long ago, the number of times I lost my nerve.  But I have never stopped climbing.  Never stopped looking for that proper precipice, the one that will serve as my launch pad.

I think I’ve found it.

Up here atop the ridge of a nameless hill above the Stone Door in Savage Gulf.  The autumn wind roars up from the valley below, rich with the scent of thousands of pine trees and tens of thousands of years’ worth of pine needles carpeting the valley floor.

The ledge beneath my boots looks exactly like the ledge in my childhood dream.  The voice I can feel in my thrumming eardrums is the very voice that spoke to me in that dream.  I lean forward tentatively and am buoyed by the updraft.

I remove my backpack and canteen and prop them against a nearby boulder.

I return to the ledge and spread my arms.

I smile, close my eyes, and lift my face toward the sun.

I lean forward into the wind’s embrace.

Now I fall.  Now I rise.

Now I fly.

606 words

Because they are all three seemingly bottomless wells of story, I tag:

Kristian at Tales from the Mind of Kristian

Fandango at This, That, and the Other

Michael at Afterwards

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15 thoughts on “A Dream of Flight

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