This is another flash fiction piece.
By Ronald Cypress
Esther Jacobson first flew when she was twelve years old. The incident happened at school, right outside the gym. Esther was reading a book when a classmate—a notoriously rowdy boy—walked by and knocked the book out of her hands. She left the book on the ground. It wasn’t the first time such a thing had occurred. Esther decided that she was tired of dealing with the kids at her school. She was ready to fly.
Esther had never flown before, but something instinctively agreed with her when she decided to do it. All she had to do the first time was close her eyes and really concentrate. It took a few minutes to get going, but soon Esther was soaring above the school and those other disorderly kids who had bothered her that day. Below her hundreds of tiny kids and teachers gazed up, the awe they were feeling evident on their faces.
When she finally came down about an hour later, Esther instantly had to deal with the repercussions for revealing her ability. First, she had to have a meeting with the principal. Her parents were present and tried to offer an explanation for how their daughter was able to fly. They had never seen her do it before, and no one in their family had the capability to fly. Days later, Esther had to meet with several people in the medical field and several other people who worked for the government. They all wanted to know how the young girl became the first known person in history who had the ability to fly on her own.
Once the professionals accepted that they couldn’t figure Esther’s ability out, they left her alone. She received one last warning from an old guy who worked for the government. He told her that she would have to be careful; a flying person could get in a good deal of trouble if they weren’t very careful.
“I won’t fly anymore,” Esther said. “It actually hurt when I did it.”
She had told a fib. Esther hadn’t felt any pain when flying. Her body had never felt so comfortable and free as it did when she had flown.
The kids at school and the teachers treated Esther differently after they knew she could fly. They didn’t like the fame flying brought her. They didn’t like the power they assumed she had because she could fly. They all pretended to be nice to her, even the ones who were never nice to her before, but it was clear that many of them held contempt for the girl who could fly. Esther decided to stay grounded, and many of the people around her soon forgot about her ability.
Esther didn’t fly again until she was a freshman at college. She was well into her first semester when she decided that most of the people around her didn’t know who she was or that she existed. She felt invisible. One afternoon, Esther took off flying, allowing all those below to stop, watch her and be amazed. Flying still made her feel good physically; her body became completely weightless and absolutely unrestricted. She didn’t feel slightly overweight or plain while in flight.
People began to notice her after she came down. The news even started talking about her again, giving the public an update on the girl who could fly. The fame didn’t last as long as it had the first time. Some people started following her around, claiming that she was a goddess. Some people, people who had once been decent to her, began avoiding her and looking at her differently. They started giving her a familiar contemptuous look whenever they saw her, and Esther remembered why she hadn’t flown in so long.
Only a few years would pass before Esther took another flight. She got drunk one night, celebrating her twenty-first birthday months after it had actually occurred, and flew just to impress the people who were around her. Her body felt even more ecstatic while she was intoxicated. The people who witnessed it were all impressed, but later many of them expressed their disapproval over her flying. Most of them did it without words. Their displeasure didn’t need to be spoken; Esther could see it on their faces. She decided that she wasn’t going to drink again. She also wasn’t going to fly again.
Years would go by before Esther took her final flight. People had forgotten about her again. Those who had worshipped her faded away from her life, abandoning her to go create another false deity. Those who disliked her weren’t given a motive to go on with their disdain. All the news coverage had gone away. As long as she wasn’t flying, people didn’t care about her. Esther was left alone to discover a normal life.
She found a man who wasn’t aware of her ability. He was an ordinary man, and together they followed a path of normalcy. They got married and she was pregnant several months later. One night during her third trimester, when she knew her husband and most of the people in the city were sleeping, Esther flew through the night sky with a protruding belly and a simple smile. Her body still felt buoyant and perfect as it soared through the air, and it was still the best feeling she had ever experienced. Her flight went on until it got close to the normal world’s waking hours. She couldn’t let them see her in the air. Esther went back to the ground and never flew again.