• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 03
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The boy who could levitate

He always practiced flight over the water. Standing, back to the horizon, he would flap his arms, shake his head and jump. And for a moment, seconds even, he was flying. Levitating, feet firm upon the water, and then damp.

He’s been coming here, in the late hour of a mild sun, since that first time he levitated. Middle school, rushing between classrooms it happened. He was sure it happened. In the rush to lunch, for maybe just a second, both of his feet left the ground and he was levitating. Nobody noticed. They were too busy concentrating on lunch queues to notice him weightless. But it definitely happened.

Home was a cacophony of voices, frequency set to white noise. And so, while his sisters talked about nothing in particular: school assignments, fights amid the lockers, he practiced. Under the table. Focus and focus, lifting one leg first. Then, for what felt like forever: both feet off the floor. Levitating.

And so it began. Ambitious but not overzealous. Sometimes, just one foot, to get practice in. But more frequently, between lunch and classes, he’d find a quiet spot in the playground, run and jump, somersault, and for an instant, he would be floating.

Over months he got focused. His normal routine of airtime was drawing thin. Levitation was no longer enough, next he would succumb to flight.


The boy who could levitate


The pier was often empty as the autumn evenings drew in, cold off the ocean. A few streets away from home he’d trail schoolbag in hand, leave his clothes folded out of reach from the water. To passers by he was just a boy jumping into the cold. Leaving, blue-lipped, after a relentless process of jumping and floating and clambering back out.

He always practiced flight over the water, content that if he fell the waves would cradle him.

The boy who could levitate. I met him once. He’s taking flying classes down on the edge of the ocean. His feet are nothing special. I’ve seen them. He’s just a little out-of-sync. Or maybe he hasn’t committed to gravity yet, like the rest of us.