2 Replies to “6.16.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. I’d had dreams of flying and being above everything and looking down. But they were only dreams. She said she could do it for real, sometimes she could. First time was when she saw a small bird, a wood-pewee, and its wing was broken and she felt something in the very heart of her, a longing and a wanting. I laughed and said she was sweet and funny and weird.

    She had weights in the pockets of her coat: tins of baked beans and tins of beef, and small nuts and bolts, and rocks. She showed me and she said they were to keep her grounded and that without them she might float away.

    I shook my head and laughed.

    Her name was Muriel and she was the cleverest girl in the school and she was pretty too. She could do the hardest maths and she made it look easy, and she talked with teachers and they nodded and gave her books to read that they said would stretch her. Boys in her class scratched her name on the tops of desks and when she spoke to them, they lost all their words and made noises an animal makes when it is hungry.

    I took her to the movies one day and we saw a film about the end of the world and it was all serious and dark and afterwards she let me kiss her and let me put my hand under her blouse.

    We’d been going out for almost a month and I swear I was in love, whatever that means. I know I just wanted to be with her all the time and seeing her I couldn’t help smiling and walking taller and feeling like I was walking six inches off the ground. That’s what I told her one day and she shrugged and said she felt like that all the time, and that lead onto us talking about flying.

    ‘Dreams about flying is just sex,’ she said. She’d read that some place and I thought then of the books the teachers gave her. She said we could do it if I liked. I swallowed and said ok.

    We were alone in her house and the day was hot and quiet. I could feel my palms clutching sweat and my shirt was sticking to my back. We went up to her room and I didn’t pay no heed to the dull and the dark that it was up there, or the wallpaper peeling from the walls, or the torn grey lace curtains keeping back the light of the day. She undressed quickly and her clothes fell to the floor with a heavy clunk, her shoes and her coat and her dress.

    ‘Hold me,’ she said, ‘and don’t let go.’

    So there we were, her in a thin cotton slip and me without my shirt and my pants, and we were holding each other and kissing and breathless, and it was the best damn feeling in the world and I’d never felt like that ever. It was a sort of magic, I thought, what Muriel could do to me.

    ‘Don’t let go,’ she said, and her voice was all begging and wanting.

    Only, I did let her go. Just for a moment, and that’s when it happened. She lifted off the ground and floated to the ceiling. Like she was made of air or something lighter. Like if I sneezed she’d shift a little further from me. She laughed and it was a little girl’s laugh, and she said, ‘See, I ain’t no liar.’

    ‘Fuck,’ I said and I didn’t know what I meant by that.

    She said I wasn’t to fret none and she breathed in slow and easy. ‘It’ll pass,’ she said. And it did and slowly, over the course of a half hour she came back to me and she didn’t feel like doing it then so we dressed and she swore me not to tell and so I didn’t.

  2. She’d been trapped in this room for as long as she could remember, lying here, waiting for someone to come. That’s all there was to do, really: when you can’t do anything for yourself, there is only hope that somebody—anybody—will remember you are up here and come to help you eat or pee, or maybe even talk or read you a story.

    But everyone else was busy, of course they were. There was the farm to run, and the meals to cook, and the little ones to care for, the babies who had legs that could walk and run and arms that could catch balls and hug stuffed toys. She knew those things, but that didn’t make it easier as she listened to the chatter and the laughing, the dogs barking and the sound of the tractor plowing the fields in the summer sunshine. Please, she thought, please come and feed me, touch my skin, push the hair off my face. Love me, she said, though no words would come.

    Alone, she watched the ceiling, noticed the wall paper curling slowly down the walls in the heat of the afternoon, felt the sweat running off the sides of her face, knew that the fat green fly was crawling up her arm, and she could do nothing but wait. She heard the pickup truck pull out of the yard, leaving only silence and the hot, still air.

    Please, God, she silently prayed, please come for me. I am waiting. As I have always been, just waiting, all my life long. Please.

    And at last her answer came in the stifling July afternoon of her fourteenth year, and she floated above the bed, hovering for a moment to say goodbye. Then she was, at last, free.

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