The Taylight Zone - Anthology Nine

18 - Trying to Fly - Michelle

It was considerably warm for an early December night. Zac could be outside without a jacket. He sat at the edge of his treehouse, feet dangling off the side, with a strange girl sitting beside him. She pulled a box of Marlboros from her pocket and lit a cigarette.

"Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to fly?" she wondered out loud.

Zac hesitated for a moment, contemplating a response. Instead, he gave her a quizzical look. "Fly? Like, in a plane?"

"No, like a bird." she said while staring vacantly out into the distance.

"You’re wasting that." he said, motioning toward the cigarette she wasn’t smoking.

"You’re not answering my question."

"Sorry..." he said slowly.

"I can fly, Zac." she whispered, still looking away. "And so can you." A wild smile stretched across her face. She grabbed his hand, startling him. "Let’s fly together Zac! Right here and now."

Zac stared at her with wide eyes. "How did you know my name?" He pulled his hand away from hers.

The girl stood up, surveying the land below her carefully. She drew a long breath in through her nose. Her eyes sparkled with an insane aura. "Do you smell that, Zac?"

Zac sniffed the air slightly. "Smells like gasoline." he commented. Fear began to penetrate his mind. "Who are you?"

"An angel with scabbed wings."

Zac let out a sigh, finally tired of her. "You’re one of those crazy Manson freaks." He pulled himself to his feet and turned so he was facing the inside of the treehouse. "Sorry, but I don’t have time for any games. See ya."

The girl grabbed his shoulder and pulled him back. "You wouldn’t leave me now, Zac, would you? Tonight’s our night. We’re going to fly!"

He tried to pull away, but she held him tightly. "Look." she said softly.

Zac watched in horror as she tossed her lit cigarette to the ground. A ring of fire lit up instantly, encircling the tree.

She grabbed his hand and held it so firmly that he could not let go. Her toes hung over the edge daringly. "One...two...three..."

And with that, she jumped, taking Zac with her. He screamed as they plummeted toward the ground...

Zac woke up in his treehouse screaming into the silence of the night. He closed his mouth and realized where he was. Wiping the sweat from his forehead, he sighed in relief and shook his head. Zac, you’re too old to be having nightmares.

A stale aroma drifted into his nose. Cigarette smoke.

He got up and peered out the door. A Marlboro cigarette was resting at the edge of the treehouse, ready to fall. Instinctively, he rushed forward and grabbed it just before it fell.

"Nice save." said a voice behind him.

He turned around to see the girl from his dream smiling that same wild smile at him.

"Have you ever wondered what it would be like to fly?"

Zac looked at her with fright in his dark eyes. Before he could answer, the girl placed her cold hands on his shoulders and shoved him off the side.

She lit a Marlboro and took a long drag from it. "A simple yes or no would have sufficed."