writing chapter 1.4
Posted by jeanne
The girl had trouble keeping aloft. She kicked her feet and pulled with her arms, but kept sinking, closer to the ground every moment. She was at the level of the ornamental trees in the parklet, scraping the tips of the branches. How discouraging. And had people noticed her descent, and were they coming to catch her? She turned her face to the sky and increased her kicking and pulling and thinking happy thoughts, with determination born of panic.
She was out of breath and exhausted when she finally landed on a tiny little platform at the top of the next skyscraper. The boy was waiting for her, grinning. He’d been tagging the rooftop while she was slumping toward the street. They rested up against the canopy pillars.
They boy scraped some of the pixie dust off his arm and collected it in his hand. “You think maybe you didn’t get enough?” he asked, offering to shower her with it. She shook her head, it wasn’t the dose, it was the attitude; she could feel it.
He looked at the pile of pixie dust for a moment, then raised his hand to his nose and snorted it, coming away with a sparkly face. “Wow,” he said, lying back on the roof. “I’m full of stars.”
While the boy experienced his insides dissolving into galaxies and suns, the girl fretted about how they were going to get down off the building, and what the cops were going to say about their being up there. She felt herself shrink down into a tiny little worried clump, like something she’d pull up out of the bathtub drain.
After awhile, the boy condensed back into a single human body and sat up. “We’ve got to get flying. It’s getting on to morning, and I don’t want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere.” He peered for the second star to the right. It seemed to be a little dimmer and twinkly. There was a blue light toward the east.
“But I can’t fly,” the girl said. “We were stupid to do it. I’m all out of happy thoughts. “
“Well, I’m not,” the boy declared, and stood up, walking to the edge. The girl gasped as he dove off the tower. Thirty seconds later he was back, zooming circles around the platform where she sat crying hysterically. “Here I am,” he said. “Why don’t you take a picture. Think of what people will say when they see it on Facebook.”
So she shot a picture of him hanging in the air, and one of his tag on the roof, and that made her feel a lot better. Until she looked down. There wasn’t any room on the platform to get a good running start; she was going to have to launch herself right off the edge of this building, and that scared her. She could feel her feet turn cold, and her stomach seize into a knot. “I can’t,” she whispered.
The boy landed beside her and took her in his arms. He kissed the top of her head and rubbed her shoulders while she breathed in his warm smell. It always calmed her; their fights always ended with her nestled into his chest, overcome with the comfort of him. It was probably the pheromones, she thought.
He broke away and took her hand. “We’ll go together.”
She looked at him, wide-eyed, thinking about suicide jumpers, and tried to take her hand away, but he wrapped himself around her once again and gave her a big deep kiss, a kiss he meant, and by god she felt herself rising up off the roof. Happy thoughts.
On they flew thru the night, holding hands, waving idly in the air with their outer arms and doing side kicks with their feet, pointing out the sights to each other, talking, feeling close, like they’d just made love.
They flew and flew. For hours and hours. There was nothing left to talk about. They were getting hungry. And still morning seemed as far away as ever. The girl checked the time on her phone. It was 4:30 in the morning. But there was no sign of dawn, and the second star on the right was still stubbornly ahead of them.
“We need to speed this up,” the boy said. The girl felt herself using body english again, ducking her chin and thrusting with her belly, like a dolphin. She changed her kick, and tucked her arms to her sides. She surged ahead of the boy. Then the boy discovered his turbo setting and surged ahead of the girl. Everything felt more intense. The stars got brighter and started singing, they could feel the wind all over their bodies, they smelled all the night flowers blooming in the countryside below, all the paper mills lining the coast, the salt in the ocean.
They cruised over the ocean, overtaking a plane at one point. The girl got a picture of the boy standing on the wing.
But it still wasn’t fast enough. They held hands again, and concentrated, urging each other to go faster. The closed their eyes and furiously thought happy thoughts. They imagined feeling themselves going faster. They wished and willed to go even faster. They saw themselves travelling faster than a speeding bullet.