I wrote this early one morning after a dream. I'm not sure yet if this is it, or if there's more before or after.
I fly, dance, spin. Twist, jump, hang suspended in the air for what seems like minutes before tucking and rolling back to the stone. Trying to pass the time.
Asoph has told me to wait. He gave me the names of those I should wait with. His instructions do not make sense. The rest of the city was told to go to the palace docks. There they would be processed and board the ship. The evacuation plans have been in place for years. We learn them the first year of school and every year after that there are reminders and drills.
After having the procedure drilled into me for ten years, it is difficult to blatantly abandon it. But I must trust him, I have trusted him with everything so far, including my life, this is not that much of a stretch.
There are twelve of us waiting. We cannot jump too soon, he told us to wait for the signal.
. . .
There is a lot of shouting as the ship passes the balcony. The youngest jump first, into the waiting arms of those already on board the ship. The gap widens. Sheer walls leading to jagged rocks and hideous surf are the answer to a missed jump. There are two of us left.
“You go”, I tell him.
“No, I’ll get you across.”
“You wont make it.”
The ship is pulling away.
There is only one way.
Asoph is standing on the stern of the ship, robes flapping in the hot wind coming off the city. I retreat from the edge, ten feet then twenty feet, then I begin to dance. Everything inside me is screaming to run, forget all this. But I know I must. I will not make it if I don’t do it all. So I dance, spinning, twisting, leaping across the space I created, moving towards the ship. One final leap lands me on the stone orb of the railing. As I balance before leaping out into the air, my mind makes the realization that the ship is no longer where it was when I started, it is further, much further. The gap has widened, doubled maybe. The thoughts whip through my mind, but I cannot hesitate. I jump anyway.
I fly, twist, find an air currant and propel myself towards the boat. It is still too far. The panic begins to rise. I need an updraft. I twist to find it. There’s nothing. I am no longer flying, I am falling.
I feel his words rather than hear them. His voice inside my head rather than being heard outside. Then the explosions begin. Thats the power I need, if only the force will hit before, well, before I fall too far.
I twist and flip one more time, sideways, searching for an air current to bear me up. There’s a tiny one, I gained maybe a foot. Another one? Can I find one more? I’ll take whatever I can get. The rumbling hits my ears at the same moment the updraft hits my body. That’s it, what I need. I twist into it and propel my self upward and forward. It’s not enough, there needs to be more.
The city is exploding, the ship needs to move away from the collapsing walls and boulders that are becoming shrapnel. One more updraft. I feel the weightlessness of free-fall again. I’m not going to make it. I’m still above the side of the ship. I can still see him, our eyes lock as I begin to fall. I am not even trying any more. I can’t. I know the ship needs to go, I am holding them back. He stretches out his hand to me, I stretch mine to him, a silent wave, salute, to the man who drew me out of the shadows and gave me wings.
I feel the heat behind me. The fire must have reached the balcony. The explosion took out all sound. In the silence my body took over, the heat on my back was too intense, but with it came power, wind. I felt it and made one final attempt to fly into the current. The firey air propelled me forward. My fingers grasp solid material. My last coherent thought is to hang on, don’t let go. My ears are still silent, I feel a hand grasp my arm, then my eyes close and I give in to the firery heat behind me.