A series of micro-fiction pieces outlining some of the most vivid dreams you've had.
I am sitting beside the ocean. It is daytime in spring and the air is cool with the memory of frost. There are heavy cumulus clouds in the distance, over the mountains across the water, and a light drapery of cirro-cumulus above them.
I am sitting, shirtless and shoeless, in the shade of an Ash tree, concentrating on the ball of energy coccooned by my legs and body. I am so close to getting it right, after endless months of contemplating the design. I am excited, but also exhausted.
'Everyone has magic within us' we're told as a sort of platitude. 'The secret is finding out how to let it out.'
I think I've done it.
Nearby, I hear screaming.
A small blond boy, perhaps six years old, runs up the beach, chasing a blue and red kite that looms a good fifty feet above him, trailing an enormous ribboned tail. There is a good-natured but rather sloppy dog following him, barking with shared excitement. I think it's an Irish Setter. Sloppy and stupid, but endlessly devoted.
"Breathe," I whisper to myself, trying to shut out the noise. If I didn't have to be here for the initial flight I wouldn't be. It's so easy to get distacted.
I've got a pounding headache and a hollow ache in my stomach. I haven't eaten in three days; haven't showered for two. I am not a pretty person, even when fed and showered. But what I am creating, the thing I'm feeding the energy into... Beauty comes from purity of design.
"Just breathe." I match the slow cadence of inhale-exhale to the hush-hush-hush of water lapping the shore.
Then, all at once, my mouth goes sour and I feel a swell of energy, like I've slammed back an energy drink or swallowed battery-acid. I feel a tenseness in my shoulders, a sharp pain jabs under my sternum and lances into my neck and arm. I arch my back, frantic not to lose the energy-bubble. I throw it into the air, rather than risk crushing it.
The pain reaches every point in my body and I scream.
At once, there's a perception shift and I am hovering on stained-glass wings and a lithe body made of wires and glass. I leave the gigantic misshapen body on the grass and float out above the water.
On one level, I know my body is made from wire, foil and filaments of glass, but on another, it has a flexibility that wire and foil don't. And my wings are beautiful, traceries of silver and gold over membranes of the thinnest glass, refracting light in every color of the rainbow and some, I know, outside the visible spectrum.
I laugh with the freedom of flight, and speed up into the clouds with a thought, then down to the water again.
There is nowhere I cannot go.
I am beauty incarnate, the end result of so much effort, so much care. I didn't think I'd ever be capable of such beauty.
I don't want to go back.