The Girl Who Couldn't Flyby Author / Richelle Renae
The Girl Who Couldn’t Fly
Copyright 2017 Michael P
I knew I could do it. Everybody in the world--my parents, my older brother, even my friends--said it was impossible. They said it was stupid, immature, insane, and all-of-the above. But I, an eleven year old girl at the time, had watched lots of movies and read lots of books. Even at a young age, I could see clearly that the greatest achievements were always accomplished by those who laughed in the face of doubt. I had failed many times already, but I wouldn’t give up. The heroes never gave up, and I was going to be a hero. Besides, I had figured it out this time. I had done the ritual right. I just needed to show that I would sacrifice everything, that I was willing to give my life to accomplish my dreams. That was what all the stories told me.
Despite all that, when I jumped off my third-story roof, broomstick tucked tightly between my legs, the broom didn’t suddenly jerk upwards and pull me into the sky. I didn’t feel some magical power flowing through me. It wasn’t like a scene in a movie where the main character was saved at the last second. I still don’t understand it. What happened after I jumped off that roof was both the last thing I had expected and the first thing anybody else would have expected.
I just fell. Straight to the ground, I fell. In a matter of seconds, I had crashed into the ground. Apparently I passed out the moment I hit the ground, which is great news because it means that I never had to accept that I had failed. Right until I passed out, I believed that I would suddenly begin to fly. I believed that I would unlock the magic within me. Even after waking up in the hospital, I still believed that I could fly. I just needed to find out what I had done wrong first. After that incident my family banned me from all things related in any way to the occult.
By the age of sixteen, I was an expert of the wiccan arts. I understood the flow and harmony of the universe. I understood the beautiful complexity of the balance and equilibrium of the universe. I dressed in black, the all-absorbing color, and dyed my hair accordingly to capture as much natural energy as possible. I carried around a black book of spells and nature-based rituals with a pentacle etched into the cover. I was fully committed to my cause. I would become a great wiccan witch, no matter what it took.
“You’re such a loser.”
“What’s wrong with you?”
“Stop trying to get attention.”
“When are you going to be normal?”
“I’ve never seen someone so pathetic.”
“I hate you.”
These were all things that other students, and even some teachers, would say to me everyday I went to school. I never got the last one. All the others were just passing judgements, but hate is a powerful world. It’s strange that they feel such powerful emotions towards me purely because of the way I choose to present myself and the system of beliefs I chose to follow. I had never done anything to hurt them. In fact, the Wiccan Rede forbids me from doing so. For those of you who don’t know, the Wiccan Rede is the sole rule of wiccanism: “An it hurt none, do what ye will.” I would never harm someone on purpose, but when people said they hate me, it hurt.
The words hurt the most, but that wasn’t all people did to me. They had held me down and dyed my hair white. They would force me to be the one who stayed after school for any ‘volunteer work’, because they knew I wouldn’t fight back. A few of them had even gotten into fights with me, trying to physically force me to deny the truth ingrained in the wiccan arts. Of course, I never did deny those truths; however, there was one occasion when I broke the Wiccan Rede.
It started with a boy named Peter. Peter was a kind boy, one of the few people who rarely mocked me. He had stood up for me a few times and even gone so far as to eat lunch with me. I don’t know why he had decided to do such foolish things, but I was thankful. I knew all-too-well how he got mocked just for being even that close to me. That was something any sane girl would appreciate.
“I was wondering if you could show me some of that wicca stuff.” Peter had followed me on my walk home from school and waited till we were far enough away that nobody could see before approaching me and asking the question. I looked at him in shock.
“Really?” I asked. “Are you sure? You don’t want my reputation.”
“Just a little bit… to dabble in the arts.” He replied. “It seems like fun to me.” I hesitated for a moment before answering.
“It’s not about having fun.” I tried to explain. “It’s about connecting to the universe, to some greater being. It’s about feeling the powers and the energies of the world flowing through you. I mean, doing the right spells and rituals can give incredible thrills, but being a wiccan isn’t about the fun.”
“It can be all those things.” Peter said briskly. “But why do it if it’s not fun?”
“I’ll show you.” I answered, suddenly determined to share with Peter the wonders the wiccan ways could offer. “Just tell me where to meet you tonight, and we’ll do one of my favorite rituals.”
“Alright!” He sounded genuinely excited. I smiled. “Can we do it down by the old abandoned boathouse?”
It was an unexpected request, but I agreed without hesitation. The boathouse he was talking about was a broken-down building on the edge of the local lake. I believed it to be a location with a strong concentration of energy due to its long history that had had much time to sink into it. I could definitely make that work.
I had a lot of preparations to do if I wanted the ritual tonight to show Peter how incredible wiccan rituals could be. He was lucky. Tonight was a night where the dark moon transitioned into a new moon, and I knew a spell that would allow us to release our inner fears and doubts from our lives. It would be exhilarating, for me as an experienced wiccan but even more so for Peter as somebody who had never experienced any spells before. These rituals are uniquely intimate experiences, and I had always wanted to share them with others.
That night, I showed up to the boathouse an hour before Peter and I had agreed to meet. I wanted to make sure that everything was prepared to go smoothly. The boathouse looked like an old barn, with fading sky-blue paint slowly chipping off its walls. The wood that made up the doors had begun to disintegrate. Instead of the doors opening, they broke apart. Inside, the floor that had once been a dock floating over water was now only dust with remnants of dissolved wood scattered across it. The water of the lake now barely reached the always-wide-open entrance that boats had once been able to effortlessly float through.
The lake itself was a beautiful sight to behold. It was massive, stretching far further than the eye could ever dream of seeing. At the right time of the month, a full moon would rise over its horizon, creating a glimmering reflection upon the wavy water. I dreamed one day that I would be a talented enough wiccan to ride my spirit upon those reflected rays of light and out towards the moon, to see its completed form up close in its greatest glory. Of course, I was yet to do any magic that altered the physical senses, so something like that was far beyond me.
Tonight, only a thin crescent of light would rise over that horizon. As it did so, Peter and I would do the ritual to release our inner demons, blowing them away with the darkness that had consumed the moon for the past few nights. Then, as soon as the entirety of the Crescent was in sight, we would meditate before it. We would experience the power of a new age. Peter would fall in love with the sensation of connecting with nature, and I would finally have a regular ritual partner. This would be the best night of my life.
I built a small table in the center of the boathouse and drew a large circle in the dust around it. Then, I sat at the edge of the water, dipping my bare feet into the cold, cleansing liquid, and stared out towards the horizon that the moon would be rising over shortly. I took in the incredible sight and then closed my eyes, allowing myself to take in the smells, sounds, and tastes as well. The calming crash of the water against the land, the fresh fishy smell that seemed so strong that it put the taste of fish in your mouth as well, the shockingly cold yet still somehow calming feeling of the water softly crashing on my feet, the image of the lake and its many miles of deep-waters, all of these sensations, I ingrained into my memory. I lost myself in deep meditation as I attempted to become closer to the lake through them.
“You’re here already?” Peter’s voice brought my drifting mind