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Above: Chapter 1 - The Fall

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I stared down at the 1,200 foot drop. I could barely see the people running around, calling for taxis, talking on their cell phones. New York fascinated me, but not as much as the view from the Empire State Building. I started to turn to go back to my family, huddled around a tour guide, when a hand grabbed me. Before I could scream, another hand was forced upon my mouth. I struggled to shout for help, but that was when I was lifted and thrown off the building.


I heard the cries and yells of other people who watched, horrified, as I plummeted towards the ground. Faces popped over the edge as they stared at me hurtling towards my death. My eyes locked with a woman who was shoving forward to get a better view.
“HAZEL!” my mom screeched.


She desperately tried to reach out and grab me, but I was already tens of feet below her, and falling farther away. I glanced behind me and my stomach lurched. The ground seemed to be coming closer and closer with every second. I was afraid to blink, to miss my last moments of life. The air whipping around me stung my eyes, my face, my body. My heart seemed to be ripping out of my chest with each thundering beat. I couldn't let myself die. I wouldn't. I frantically kicked out, flailed my arms, tried to do anything and everything that would stop my fall. My mind flashed back to my past, trying to remember ever detail of my life before I smashed against the asphalt. I would never see my friends or family again. I desperately thought of all the times I had with them. All the times when I was little and Mom boasted about my wonderful imagination, of how I claimed I was a princess, of how I had a pet unicorn, of how I could fly...


This last thought jolted through me like an electric shock. A sharp memory flashed before me. A memory which I had carefully tried not to think of, not to remember.


I was young; only 5 or 6. I had broken a plate, and therefore Mom took away my favorite teddy bear. She placed him carefully on top of the highest cabinet, where I would never be able to seize him. I tried and tried to reach with my little hand, but it was too high. So I jumped. Up into the air I went, only a foot, but something amazing had happened. I hadn't come back down. I stayed there, floating in midair, shocked. Then realization had pounded through me. I looked up and stared at my teddy, willing myself to go there. No sooner had the thought entered my mind, when I shot up, up, up, straight to my stuffed animal. I commanded myself to go to the ground, and down I softly floated. I was so ecstatic, I started flying all around the room, zooming up and down, around couches and chairs, under tables. I couldn't wait to show my best friend at school.


The next day, I waited until recess, then I seized Angela's hand and raced behind a tree. “Look what I can do!” I had gleefully exclaimed, and I took off, racing through the air around the tree a few times, then gracefully landing back on the soft grass.


Angela, however, didn't react the way I thought she would. Instead of clapping happily, she was backing away, as though I was a monster. I stepped forward.
“Angela?”
She stared at me for a long time. Then finally she raised a shaking finger, pointed it at me, and opened her mouth.
“Freak!” she screeched. “Weirdo! You shouldn't be able to do that! It's not normal! You're a freak!”
And she sprinted back to the playground, away from me.


The rest of the year I ate lunch alone. Angela had been my only friend. She hadn't told anyone of me flying, I could tell, because no one confronted me about it. Unfortunately, she seemed to be spreading awful rumors about me. Whenever there weren't teachers around, I was bombarded with insults.
“Nose picker!”
“Bed wetter!”
“Crybaby!”



I went home every day feeling miserable. I told my mom about it. She asked me how and why the rumors began, so I started my story from the beginning. I was talking about how I was showing Angela I could fly when she interrupted me.
“You flew? Oh, honey I think you just had a dream.”
That shut me up. I had thought back then that Mom was always right. I figured maybe I had fallen asleep, and I decided not to speak of it again.


But now that I was facing death, maybe I should believe that none of that was a dream. At least, I had to try. I looked back up at the top the Empire State Building, and concentrated. I felt my self slowing down until I came to a complete stop. Then I shot forward. Back, all the way up, to the top, the wind whistling in my ears, the sun beaming down on me; I didn't stop until I had reached my family again. I could see their shocked, chalk-white faces, hear their gasps, and the group parted as I flew back over to where they stood, stumbling a little as I landed.



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