The Passed Note Issue 1 June 2016 - Page 54

what it was like; he lived at the top of Mount Albot, alone, away from everyone.

The old man nodded thoughtfully, watching a flock of starlings line up in flight. "I suppose that's true as well. I am an old man who fills his days watching birds fly by. I do not know that life."

The boy asked why the old man decided to live on the top of a mountain to begin with.

"I thought you already knew. My body is one that desires to be closer to the sun. I've never been one to refuse what my body asks for."

The boy started to cry. He pleaded with the old man to teach him some way he could be different than how he was.

"Take note of where you are, boy, and how you came to be here. Did the townspeople help you climb?" the old man answered.

The boy became scared and angry, both emotions warring for control. He didn't want to live at the top of a mountain by himself or in a town surrounded by people who believed him cursed. Most of all, he didn't want to be stuck inside his body anymore, a body that punished him simply for living inside of it.

He turned from the old man and tried to run away, but his feet refused to move when he went to lift them. The boy forced his wooden leg forward with the whole of his mind, but it stumbled. When he tried correcting his imbalance with the metal leg, it tripped as well. The boy began to lurch forward with a terrible momentum, constantly scrambling for solid footing. His body refused to work in symphony with the boy’s mind so polluted with rage and sadness. Before he understood it, he felt the thin mountain air push fiercely against his face, as though trying to keep him balanced at the top of Mount Albot. But the boy’s body was much too heavy, and he plummeted downward.

The boy hurtled through the frail clouds. A steady whistle of air filled his head. He knew his body, the cumbersome steel and the infinite oak, only increased the speed in which he fell. Each breath the boy sucked in seemed to add more weight to his drop. Like a bounder tied to a balloon, the boy knew his body had accepted its