Don’t Let Reality Get You Down

Don’t Let Reality Get You Down

“Matthew, come quick. Oliver is taking his first flight!”

A man rushes into the room, peering up at a child of two who is flailing his arms and legs as he floats through the air. 

“Oh, would you look at that! My boy is flying!”

“I’ll get my phone,” the boy’s mother responds.

“Oh! I better turn off the fan,” Matthew says, flicking off a nearby switch before the boy drifts within range of the spinning fan blades.

The woman looks up from digging through her purse. “Catch him before he hits his head on the ceiling.”

The man reaches up and grabs his son by the ankle, pulling him a bit lower. “We’ll have to watch him now. Who knows what he could get into.”

“Smile,” the woman says before snapping a couple of photos. “Now let go. I want to get some of him flying on his own.”

The man obliges but keeps a wary eye on his son. He lifts a hand to protect the boy’s head before it bumps into the wall. With a gentle push, he sends his son drifting in the other direction.

“Maybe we should just tell him now,” he ventures. “Some parents do that you know. It keeps their children from potentially getting hurt and saves them from disappointment later.”

“Oh, he only just started flying,” his wife answers. “Let him have a little fun while he can. There’ll be time enough for reality when he’s older.”

Oliver flew through the hallways, bypassing all the other children who were walking to lunch below him. I don’t know why the other kids just walk everywhere. This is so much faster. 

He took note of the annoyed glances and rolled eyes of his classmates as he floated into the cafeteria. Why is it that everyone seems to dislike me for flying? None of the teachers have said it’s against the rules.

Two teachers stood near the entrance to the cafeteria, watching over the students. One leaned over and whispered, “They really should have told him by now. He’s much too old to be flying.”

“Well,” the other teacher replied, “we can’t tell him right now; he might get hurt. Leave it up to his parents.”

The teachers nodded, satisfied that they could justify avoiding an unpleasant task, and watched as Oliver floated down to eat his lunch. 

Halfway through his meal, one of Oliver’s friends cleared his throat. “You know Oliver, well…has anyone talked to you about your flying?”

The girl next to him elbowed the friend in his side. “You better not,” she said out of the side of her mouth.

“I have wondered why no one else flies anywhere, but my dad says everyone is just not as good at flying as me.” Oliver looked between them. “Why, what is it?”

His friend’s eyes slid to the girl. “It’s just…well, flying can be dangerous is all.” 

“Oh yes, I’ve heard that many times. All the adults say so. But don’t worry, I’m very good at it.” Oliver smiled at his friends and finished his lunch. 

After they had put their trays up, Oliver shouted, “Meet you on the playground,” and took off through the air. His friends gave a resigned sigh behind him. 

As Oliver flew outside, an older boy he had never seen before snickered. “You fool, don’t you know people can’t fly around like that? Gravity keeps us tethered to the Earth.” 

Oliver paused mid-flight. “What are you talking about? I’ve been flying like this for years.” 

The older boy grinned cruelly. “Look around. Gravity is the thing holding everything down. Don’t you wonder why no one else flies, why objects don’t just float through the air, why things fall to the ground when you drop them? That’s gravity’s job. You can’t fly. It’s just not possible.”

Oliver looked around. What the boy said did make sense. He had been feeling lately like he was strange.

Oliver cried out as he plummeted to the ground. It seemed that he couldn’t fly after all.

What did you think of the story? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks so much for reading!

-Clever & WTF

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