A HIGHER LOVE
Jacob turned the corner, saw Marian walking her black lab up the hill, and levitated about an inch off of the ground. As far as Jacob knew, he and his family were the only Lifters in the neighborhood, but he still pulled the hood of his sweatshirt up and over his eyes when he was out. At least he felt more anonymous that way.
He didn't know if the guys in his class knew his secret or if they just really hated Lifters, but they always seemed to threaten him specifically with their incendiary horseplay. “I pulled one down by his laces and pushed his ass on the ground so I could kick it,” one kid said, bragging in the locker bay, pantomiming the pull as well as the subsequent pushing and kicking, as Jacob stashed away his Algebra II book. Jacob wore Velcro shoes.
Keeping his feet on the ground as he walked wasn’t too hard, as long as he concentrated on each step, but when he locked eyes with Marian, he couldn't help but bounce higher and higher. He thought of the time last week when she picked up a pencil he had dropped in History class, and how Marian had trusted him with her eye contact then, like he wasn't just some floating freak.
The dog was the only one who noticed the gray squirrel digging casually, searching for the meal it had hidden for itself in the Fall. The squirrel felt the dog’s gaze, snapped out of its instinctual trance, and sat up on its haunches, frozen between fight and flight. The lab tugged on its lead, and despite Marian's best efforts to stay grounded, she flew behind the charging dog with her feet flapping behind her like a flag on a windy day.
And before he could think, Jacob was right there behind the pack, flying after them, the eight paws on the ground, and the four feet in the air, chasing each other down
When the dog had properly treed its prey, Jacob and Marian had time to think and to realize the meaning of their mutual discovery. They shared the same secret.
And when the two of a kind embraced, they turned into rockets and shot into space.
BIO: Nick Faber lives in
MOTIVATION: I once told my girlfriend that she and I get along because we're both magical. She looked at me like I was joking, so I dropped the subject, but I've never stopped believing. This story is about us.
Photo by: Jef Bettens