I didn’t realize I was alone in the house. I thought my landlord and two roommates were somewhere about, doing their usual thing. I heard something unusual so I left my room and went downstairs.
The kitchen was empty except for the usual clock-radio playing CBC Radio One endlessly. The landlord kept it on twenty-four hours per day. She told me that it was a habit she got into during her time alone after her husband left. Then her two children moved away, far away: one to the opposite end of the country and the other to the United States.
I reached for the volume control. The volume was louder than usual. I turned it down slowly. As the volume faded, the sound of laughter became audible. It was coming from out front of the house.
I peeked out the window briefly but saw nothing, so I went to the front door and opened it. The volume of the laughter increased as I pulled the door open to reveal the twilight. The cool spring evening air hit my face. I stepped outside. Cautiously, confused, I brought my sight upward.
I just could not believe what I was seeing.
There was my landlord and two roommates floating—hovering!—above the street out front of where I live. They went up and down, left and right, chasing each other in circles, flipping and flopping around in the air.
I didn’t know how they were doing it!
“Hey Christopher!” my landlord yelled over to me. “Why don’t you join us!?” She laughed loudly.
“Uh,” I stammered, feeling confused and left out. “I don’t know how to fly!”
She was flipping forward in circles, round and round, then stopped, got herself upright, and turned to face me, levitating above the street. “There!” She pointed in my direction. I followed the tip of her wavering finger and found it aimed at a tall can sitting on the patio. It was unopened. I picked up the can. It was light as air—completely sealed—and brand new. It felt empty.
They all laughed again, louder than before.
“There you go!” my roommate Cici shouted down to me. “That’s what you’ve been looking for!”
They chased each other in circles through the air again, rising and falling, spinning, and twisting, and flipping.
I picked up the can. It was a dark bluish-purple. The label read—
Doctor Aether’s Starlight Serum.
It looked like fun, so I opened the can. A gust of wind pressed against my face and hit my nose. It smelled like a million different fruits all mashed together, racing around in circles. A bright, purply-violet light burst out of the can. The radiating neon fluid had no weight at all. I could feel the warmth of the light against my face. It tingled and beckoned me to partake in its mysterious ingredients. I shut one eye and gazed into the can. Tiny points of violet light swam amidst a neon purple haze, a strange mix of liquid and cloud—and something else. The fluid sat liquid-like for a moment before gently spinning into a mini tornado, which gently pushed more air out of the can as I peered into its depths. The glow pulsated and oscillated, bright and then dim.
I had never seen anything like it.
It made a sound like that of a ghost trying to break in through a tiny crack of a window uninvited, openly declaring its intention to enter without fear of repercussion.
“Go on!” Cici yelled down to me in between flips. “Don’t be shy!” She swam through the air and giggled. It looked like so much fun.
I put the can to my lips and took a small sip. It was delicious! I downed the whole can in one big gulp, then…
I began to feel strange. Really strange.
A silence descended upon the air around me as they all stopped frolicking at once and shot their gaze upon me, looks of awe spread across their faces.
“Are you crazy!?” my landlord burst out. “Why did you drink the whole can?”
I just stared back at her as a warm sensation crept into my entire being. My stomach felt warm. Some kind of heat crawled through my body, inside each vein, each pore, every inch of skin. A wave of gentle pinpricks rolled across my scalp and made its way down my arms and legs, stopping at my feet, pulsating. My right foot lifted off of the porch for a moment and then returned to its original spot. Then my left foot lifted off of the ground for a moment. I tried to press it back into the porch but it did not obey my command. Gravity let go of me, its grip opened up without second thought or regret.
I felt myself lift off the ground gently. They all had their palms pressed against their faces; they stared at me as I floated upward. I looked down as my feet dangled in the air—the ground shrinking away.
They became like tiny ants in my vision as I ascended into the sky. The top of my house became smaller and smaller, along with the rest of the neighbourhood. Up and up I went until I recognized the outline of North America as seen from a globe.
The warmth of the atmosphere covered me all over. It didn’t hurt at all. The red haze covered my limbs. I looked at my hands—red transparent heatwaves moved over them like a rushing river. My heartbeat shook my eardrums like a dance club. I was too stunned to be afraid, too shocked to cry out. Further up I went until the Earth was the size of a blue dinner plate and then—
I gently slammed into the moon. I stood up, legs wobbly, my mind disoriented. I looked up at the blue dinner plate in the sky. Earth. My planet. My home.
This is just great. How the fuck am I supposed to get back?
Christopher is a second year Professional Writing student at Algonquin College. He avoids TV like the plague; he sings and plays guitar in his spare time.