By Rebecca Demarest
There had always been stories, stories told in whispers around the evening meals, rapidly hushed as the adults came close because we were not supposed to know them. The stories
It was these last myths that captured my imagination. To be able to soar above
But to be able to fly.
One day I noticed as I strung the laundry to dry on our lines that the water-weighted fabric caught at the wind and ballooned, straining
That week I went to the rag baskets in the laundry and took some scraps I
I took dowels meant for beans from the farming supplies which would not be missed until the next growing cycle to construct a frame, something to hold the bit of cloth tight against the wind, just like the sheet had done on the line. It was not stealing and owning, I told myself, I would return it to the stores when it’s use was through.
Then line. I needed a line to hold the whole thing steady, to anchor it to me, so that it would not go soaring away forever. A ball of twine from the laundry sufficed, though I wasn’t so sure this one wouldn’t be missed. At this point, though, I would have happily subverted all our laws just to watch my project fly.
Finally, it was ready. I stole out to the beach during a rest period and waited for a breeze to catch the patchwork, but it stayed rooted in the sand, quivering. I tried throwing it into the wind, only to have
And it flew. Straight up into the air, out of the sand and into the breeze, soaring against the clouds. I laughed, crying now in
I didn’t realize how long I stared at the sky until an older brother came to find me. He cried out and ran towards me as I hastily reeled in my flying cloth, afraid he was
“Give it to me!”
I hid it behind me, ashamed to be caught, terrified of
“Make it fly,” He stomped over to
He growled in frustration and threw it in the air again, and the wind threw it back at him, gashing his face, hard. “Damnit! You must have bewitched it! You’re...you’re using science, aren’t you?” His face contorted in disgust at the thought of the old contaminant, the brain poison that killed whole societies. “Show me how to
I couldn’t stop crying and shaking and he struck me with the wood and cloth, sending me back into the sand, splitting my scalp and breaking its frame. “Heretic! Throwback!” He threw down the ruined fabric and ran back to the village, screaming accusations at the top of his lungs all the way. I pulled myself across the sand, dashing blood from my eyes and tried vainly to piece the frame back together.
About The Author
Rebecca A. Demarest is an award-winning author, book designer, and technical illustrator living in Seattle, WA with her husband. Together, they maintain a household jungle, cater to a dog-like cat named Cat and a Portuguese Water Dog named Teal’c. When she isn’t writing, you can find her at the Bureau of Fearless Ideas teaching the youth of Seattle how to get their ideas onto the page, crocheting, embroidering, and playing lots of Dungeons and Dragons. She is currently working on the sequels for everything, so, before you ask, yes, you’ll find out what happened to Benny, Sophia will keep sticking her nose in dangerous places, and Thea will find the seedy underbelly of Oz.
Rebecca’s website: http://www.