There was no escape but one
|Winning entry in '"Pretty Pesky Prompts " ' January prompt - a dream you yourself have dreamed. 600 words
They were after me again. I didn’t know their names. Why they liked to torment a little kid like me was a mystery. “Stop it.”
“This is our block. You can’t walk here. Don’t you get it?” The bigger boy held me while his brother broke chunks of ice over my head. My lunch sack lay ripped open. My homemade sandwich crushed by a footprint into the snow.
“I will be late for school.” My tears stung against my cheeks. The arctic wind moaned with me. Being late again would mean being stuck in detention after school and my dad being called. My father hated being looked at as if he couldn’t control one of his kids. It meant a sure beating to teach me better.
“What a woos. Won’t even fight.” I got shoved, stumbling on my way across deep snowdrifts. My mom would kill me for my shirt she made me being torn.
There was no-one on my side. My teacher couldn’t understand why I didn’t pay attention in class. I had to figure out a way to stop the bullies from doing this. They were so big. Fighting with them was a losing battle. I was too small to run away. They always caught up with me and it just made things worse. “What am I going to do? I’ve got months of school left this year.”
It was long into the night before I escaped into dreams. When I woke up, I started to relive the day before and the day before that. Every day was the same. They were waiting for me. The look in their eyes flashed mean and their fists looked like hammers swinging at their sides. “Come and get it.” The big one yelled.
That night, dreams plucked at me again. A gust of wind picked me up. The bullies stared up, pointing and laughing as I dangled in the air. They stopped laughing when I caught my balance. All I had to do was make gentle swimming motions to ride the current above their heads. “Make an ice ball and throw it.” The smaller bully sneered. The big one tried jumping and grabbing my leg.
“This is so easy, why didn’t I think of it before?” I flew higher out of their reach. There was such freedom floating and flying like this. I could get to school in a whiz.
The houses became rooftops. I hovered over the trees, holding onto a branch for a better view. What would it be like to fly higher?
It was hard to keep my eyes wide open. The wind stretched my hair into whips lashing my head. I lost my grip and tumbled head over heels, flung up in the sky. “Help.”
My school shot underneath. I headed straight for the mountains. If I hit, I'd be shattered into pieces. I dove straight down to earth in a death-defying swoop. “Whew.”
The wind wasn’t a jet stream at the level of the trees. I grabbed hold and climbed the rest of the way down. “If I’m careful, I can fly back low and I’ll be all right.” It worked. There was more to this flying business than I’d expected.
When I landed back home, mom was calling me to hurry. “You know what will happen if you are late for school.”: I couldn’t remember how to fly.
Every night as my eyes closed, I remembered how. Every morning on waking, I couldn’t do it. The only way out took years to learn. It took growing up, moving into adulthood. I lost the art of flying in my dreams along the way.