Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Soaring.

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Fluttering minutely through thick air, touching down softly, taking over. Suspended in air, trapped in time, between ethereal and real, the earth at the foot and space high above as the effervescent flakes drop down in uniform masses; a spiral of nothingness all around me. Is this real or does this place only exist within our heads?1

"We're going to be late!" you shout over your shoulder, the cold air cutting hard into your breath as you scamper across the frosted plains.2

Through the settling twilight you look like a phantom, the bright yellow galoshes flip up in the dark as your stork-like legs make long strides across the grass; all else I can see is your matching yellow rain coat and the fierce red braids that fly around with wild abandon as they collect groupings of snowflakes that melt away into the red, disappearing with as little fuss as they fell.3

"Late for what? Mother nature sets no appointments!" 4

We're both right, but somehow I can sense the urgency that lingers in the air, as if some supernatural force is pushing us onward, making sure we match times with some universal schedule; great things are bound to happen.5


My Missouri lungs weren't yet accustomed to the sharp mountain air; it seemed that with every frantic, galloping step I took I grew weaker and weaker; there wasn't long before I collapsed onto the ground in a pathetic heap of exhaustion. 6

But yet, something compelled me to keep going, and though I grew fainter with each haggard breath, I didn't fall, didn't stumble. We hadn't reached our destination, I couldn't simply stop here. 7

It had been your idea, this impromptu escapade up to the lake; spontaneity, in a word, described our relationship. It was what I cherished the most about you.8

"We're going to fly, Andy! We're going to reach out and touch something real," you had screamed at me over the car stereo, your voice brimming with the excess ecstasy that poured out of your shimmering blue eyes.9

Such things were easy for you, flying. You were always flying, leaping, bounding across space before the rest of us could even get up to the starting position; you're just a star. 10

"Are we almost there?" I ask you, taking on my best whining tone. 11

"Almost, it's just after this thicket of trees," you reply, stopping to wait for me, my short, shivering legs finally catching up to your slender bounds. 12

"You doing okay? Or is the freedom of the Maryland air going to be too much?"13

"I think you'll have to give me life support." I lean in for a kiss, pulling your head close as our dry, winter-chapped lips embrace and then part, moistened; longing for more.14

"Quick, give it back, I'm starting to feel weak," you jest.15

I kiss you again, my hands running up the small of your back, finding that soft spot that's my favorite to caress. Carefully you wrap your hands around the side of my head, pressing my hair against my cheekbones, attempting to encase me in your tiny, hot hands. 16

We break; I tingle all over. This euphoria never seems to become mundane to me.17

"Let's hurry before the yetis catch us," you say, pulling me up, brushing the rogue snowflakes off of my face and head. 18

"Ready? Set, go." 19

We set off at a neck-breaking pace, you quickly overtaking me, then falling back to jog steadily in place next to me, your ridiculous smile shining like the lyrics to an Eisley song in the ever-growing darkness. 20

Thank goodness we thought ahead and brought our torches. 21

"We're here!" we shout in unison with triumphant glory.22

As the trees on either side clear away the ground turns abruptly from grass and foliage to rocks and little clusters of sand; tide pools sit frozen with crustaceans crusted into the ice. 23

The lake is imperial, massive and as impassive as one would expect from it, the frozen waves stuck in place, the water throwing an absolute tantrum underneath the thick sheets of ice. 24

You flick on your torch and point it out across the lake; they're the real expensive kind you only get at camping surplus stores, so the beam of light cuts through the darkness and the fog that rises off the frozen mass, nearly to the other side of the lake. 25

"Hello harpies of the cold, we approach with tentative feet and nervous chuckles!" you shout recklessly to the skies, running out to the edge of the lake and putting a toe on the ice carefully, daintily. 26

"Emily!" I screech, sounding almost harpy-like myself, my voice transformed by anxiety. 27

"Andy, don't be such a Worrisome Walter. This is the whole reason we came out here, we're going to fly!" 28

You put your whole foot on the ice, and then the other. 29

"Isn't it glorious?" you ask me gleefully, spinning around in tight circles as you inch another two feet out onto the ice. 30

"You're going to fall in and I'm the one who's going to have to haul your a** out, and explain to your parents how you got hypothermia!" I shout, half-heartedly, my indignation more worry than anything else.31


"Get your torch out and shut the f*** up, please." 32

Grumbling, cursing silently, I pull my torch out of my pocket and flick it on, changing the setting so the narrow beam switches into a warm, circular orb of light, cutting into the frosty air around me for five feet, at least.33

"Come on 'fraidy cat, I'll help you," you say, walking back to the edge and reaching out your hand, fattened by the gloves and yet still so little, so fragile. 34

Slowly, watching the ice intensely with every step, I take your hand and walk out onto the ice, prepared to dash back to safety if the ice should give even the slightest shudder; the smallest crack.35

Without warning you breaks into a wild sprint, dragging me along out into the center of the impressive, frozen lake. 36

I have to marvel at glorious mother nature, sometimes she really just outdoes herself. Everything seems bigger from out on the lake, fuller and more packed with life. The cold from the frozen masses beneath me rises up, biting through my not-thick-enough clothing; the temperature out here is the same as it was on the shore, but it seems more crisp, fresher. 37

"I'm going to take off, Andrew! Watch me soar!" you shout with excitement bubbling up out of your chest and into the cold air, letting go of my arm and running down the length of the lake, screaming wildly, waving your arms above your head in a frantic attempt to catch mother gaia's attention.38

"Here I am, frost harpies!" 39

Your voice is distant, smaller than its already meek sound; I can only just see your flaming braids in the beam from my torch; you gained a lot of ground.40

"Emily, come back, it's not safe to run out that far," I call back to you, halfheartedly. 41

I can tell the ice is frozen enough to hold your weight; it's only my responsibility as the worrisome lover to make sure you know how much I care about you, know how much I can't afford to lose you.42

I get no reply. Perhaps you're too far off, perhaps you've fallen through the ice. 43

I move faster than I think I ever have, my feet somehow finding ample footing on the slick, snow covered ice, not stumbling nor tripping up once.44

"Emily!" I shout again, searching for a glimpse or glimmer of you in the now complete darkness; you seem to have vanished from existence. 45

"Andy, don't be such an old woman, I'm fine!"46

Relief spreads through my body like liquid fire, warming me instantly and relieving the burning worry that was pounding behind my ears.47

"Let's go back, you've had your flying; I'm worried about this ice."48

I hear the crack just as I feel my weight shifting as I lose my footing; I forgot to knock on wood. Goodbye, Andrew, goodbye. The ice crumbles away and the furious, arctic waters bubble of hungrily from under the passive sheet, grabbing me and pulling down hard, deep into the abyss of darkness. 49

There is no darkness quite as complete as underneath a sheet of ice after the sun has settled; the regularly tumultuous waters are in a special fury, as though putting on a show especially for me.50

Oh god, I'm going to die down here under the water, I can already feel the cold pulsing through my body as my toes and fingers go stiff, the muscles refusing to respond as quickly as I'd like them to. I'd scream if I could just get my brain to do what I wanted.51

How long have I been under here, twenty seconds? Thirty, tops? It feels like a century; every bubble and current slows down to a nearly infinitesimal speed and floats past my head, daring me not to pay attention to their exquisite detail. 52

I can see them down here, the frost harpies. They swirl around me with fascination bubbling in their pale blue eyes, taunting me, waiting for me to drop my final defense and reach out for their harsh, infinite grasp.53

Gasping, retching, coughing up water, unsure if I'm still under the ice, dead, or if I've really been saved, I look up at you, your face frantic, snowflakes piling in your hair, tears streaming down your face and landing on my shivering, nearly frozen skin, the hot, salty tears burning me in the most fantastic way imaginable. 54

"Andy? Andy, baby, talk to me," you say through the thick tears, holding me close, soaking your clothes. 55

"I'm... so cold," I finally manage to say, my brain taking a status report on my body; everything seems fine, but then, that's how hypothermia starts.56

All of a sudden you're carrying me in your arms like a baby; it's a good thing you aren't attracted to jocks, even better that I am. 57

We seem to fly past the trees and rocks, making our way back to the car, but then, everything seemed a blur to me anyhow, so we might have been moving at a glacial speed. 58

"just hang in there, darling. We're going to get you into something warmer," you say, fumbling in the cold with my buttons, taking off my sopping clothing and throwing them in the backseat.59

The heat in your car takes eons to heat up, but at least there's no wind inside. I'm shivering uncontrollably, my now naked body looking even more pathetic than usual, pale, covered in goose-bumps and shaking all over. 60

You throw a blanket over me and start the car, driving with one hand while pulling me closer with the other, pulling me tight next to you, trying desperately to raise my body heat. 61

"Emily, I'm..." fine, is what I was going to say, but the words get stuck in my throat, choking me, almost as if they've frozen there.62

"Shhh, we're gonna get you to a Dr, and get you warmed up, don't you worry." 63

I can tell from your voice that a freakout is inevitable. You'll wait until I've been taken care of, and then break down.64

"Darling." I pull up closer, resting my chin on your shoulder, my mouth just inches from your ear. I grab your hand, interlocking our fingers; it always reassures you.65

"It... while I was under there, I was soaring, baby. It was almost as if I flew," I say, clutching your hand tightly, my voice filled with wonderment, wonderment that I've never felt before.66

You look down at me, your eyes blotchy and your mascara smeared, but those luminescent blue pupils ever so wide, so questioning. I'm alright, you see this now.67

"Marvelous, isn't it?" you ask, your voice still shaken, still vulnerable. 68

"It... indescribable," I finally say, leaning in and kissing you on the side of your mouth, gingerly. Your mouth is hot against my still cold lips; exquisite. 69

"We'll come back up here next weekend,"you say, sing-songy and delighted, excited that I finally felt the feeling you've known since birth. 70

Soaring always came naturally for you, you were born a sky lark. I was born a fowl, the necessary equipment was there for soaring, but only under the most extraordinary circumstances would I ever be able to feel the same adrenaline as you; you overtake me by leaps and bound.71

We drive down the mountainside as quickly as the frosty roads will permit us, the heat finally kicking in, my bones starting to relax a little as my skin begins to thaw out. 72

The wind rushes past us ferociously, a lament of the harpies that failed to ensnare us. Inside the car it's silent; how I love you so.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback