Saturday Morning Short Story: The Secret

September 29, 2012

The Secret

I welcome this friend who has asked to use Chocolate Cream Centers to reach out to others with similar secrets. I am honored to guard my friend’s trust and identity.  Here’s the story in my friend’s own words.

Thank you to Mrs. Stephenson for letting me use Chocolate Cream Centers.

I have a secret that until today, only three people on earth knew. Lest you recoil and think it is some dark evil buried in my past, it is not. But though not evil, the loneliness of it has at last become unbearable.  I decided to reveal my situation through a friend who promised to hide my identity while sharing my stories. Who knows but what there are many like me who also shun the notoriety that a revelation such as I am about to make, would cause.

I fly. Not as a bird or a bat or any other living thing that I know of. I do it by the power of my mind. As some have said that gurus or hermits can levitate when deep in concentration, so I have accidentally discovered the nook of my brain that overrides Newtonian law and allows me to move above the earth at will.

As a young person not yet an adult, I often had dreams of flying. Vivid, realistic, delightful bouts of freedom from the usual gravitational rules. Dreams were my schoolhouse. I learned how it felt, not only in bodily sensations but in my head. Even in my dreams, when I would soar in the clouds and swoop in the crisp, cool air, it exhausted me. I woke ravenous and mentally weary.

But it was worth it. Like skiing or sledding or whipping down a fast mountain on a bike, it was worth it for just plain fun, I thought. I used to hope for dreams in which I might fly again, and they came more frequently.

I was approaching middle age when I learned the terrifying truth. It happened like this. I developed a skin condition that so troubled me that I sought first medical help and then resorted to quackery. The witch doctor at the health food store advised me to rub an exotic, expensive and malodorous concoction all over my face before I went to bed. I obeyed the instructions, wondering if I had been tricked into smearing pond slime on my face. I laid a rolled towel on either side of my head like a football player with a neck injury, to keep myself from fouling my white sheets with the greenish ointment.

Horrid as it was, it led to the revelation of my ‘gift.’ When I woke in the morning and looked in the mirror, I saw that the top of my forehead, the end of my nose and the tip of my chin had been rubbed bare of the slime mask.  I searched the bedding, the towels, and my pajamas for sign of the gunk.

I couldn’t find the smudges. The towels were somewhat displaced, and I had waked on top of the covers, but with no smudges. I concluded that my skin had soaked in the slime on those spots only.

But that night, having seen no improvement on my skin after I washed off the ‘treatment’ I lay in bed slime-free, waiting for my spouse to come to bed.

“It still stinks in here” my spouse said. There might have been another reason just then, buy I pretended the treatment was the cause. I rolled my eyes upward and found the smudges. They were almost directly above my face on my 10 foot high ceiling! There they were, lined up properly where my face had apparently bumped!

I remembered that I had dreamed of a collision with a sky diver as I went up and he came down the night before. When my spouse was out the next day, I placed a ladder and, using a long-handled scrub brush, I cleaned the ceiling. Sure enough, it stunk of stagnant pond.

 It took a year before I could do it awake.  Many evenings, I would retreat to some secret corner in my house and concentrate on moving upward. At first, it was just little puffs and piffs where I rose and fell like a Kleenex on an air vent. I learned not to do it while I took care of certain personal necessities, lest I spend the next ten minutes cleaning the bathroom.

I know you’re curious to try it. I do it by concentrating on the very center of my brain where inspiration, gratitude, delight and love reside. I become light. (as in weight) and I become filled with light. The joy of it is more than the fun! And as I concentrate on that high, holy, happy place, the center of my soul, I will myself to rise, to move free of all fetters: all hate, all disappointment, greed, and laziness. Gravity slips off and I rise into the air by the power of my will.

You may wonder what the point is. You may appreciate the mundane, pedantic, pedestrian approach we humans usually expect. But if you ever experience flying the way the angels fly, you’ll seek it again and again.

It’s funny to me to watch movies about super heroes. Superman flies at the speed of light. Heroes seem to fly by nature, like a bird flies. But to them, it seems merely for utility, without enjoyment or delight. I think the people who wrote those stories had not experienced unassisted flight.

I can only do it outside late on a Friday or Saturday night when my neighbors have been drinking enough to have succumbed to deep sleep. I fly with my mouth closed. Moths and other insects are attracted to my ‘lightness’. I have to be careful, too, since if my concentration breaks, I sink like an unopened parachute. That always gets my attention. I plummet toward the earth as I remember the year Santa favored my siblings most conspicuously. Not only did I have an average of $4.88 less value in my stocking, I had three fewer pieces of ribbon candy! Whoosh, down, down, down on the dark wings of a blighted Christmas! If I don’t remember that I still have half a box of fine chocolates in my sock drawer, I’m pancake batter.

I wrote that only three people know my secret. Obviously, the author who agreed to post this on her blog knows its source. My spouse does not know. My spouse is a strong, stable, unimaginative, lover of normality. Sublimely normal. My spouse defines ‘normal’ by her/his personal limitations. I have no need to upset anyone in my family. Not that I couldn’t easily prove that I can do it. But it would complicate my life and their lives more than it would benefit them or me.

My next-door neighbor knows, too. She is a gentle soul, battered and twisted and pummeled like a tenderized piece of beef. She has lost the will to deceive, to withhold love, to compete. She takes her simple joys in simple things. She keeps a lovely flower garden. She also keeps a vegetable garden since her husband died.

I guess the local crooks can spot a vulnerable type by their scent. One night, someone broke into her house apparently looking for prescription drugs. But my good neighbor had never needed anything more than an occasional gumdrop for her sweet tooth.

I was having a midnight soar when, through her upstairs window, I saw the intruders threatening her. I knew my face seen through the window behind the monsters was nearly as shocking as what was happening inside.

I learned then, that though the stimulus was entirely negative, I flew with tremendous super-man-like speed to rescue my friend. I zipped through another bedroom window, snatched up a lamp as I passed through the upstairs hall and clubbed the predator cold. I could fly, even with negative stimulus when I did it for love.

I don’t know what she told the police. The thug never saw me, so whatever it was she said was good enough to reward the fellow with twenty years of living off the public largess, complete with security system.

The day after that incident, I went over to check on her.

“I had the oddest impression that you were in my house last night.”

“I was.” I answered. I told her my secret. I explained that I had been out for a little fresh air. Upper air. “I’m sorry that you’ll wonder if you’ve slipped a screw from now on, but you can see why I keep it secret. The nut houses would overflow if I did it in broad daylight, without a cape, a broom, a nun’s hat or some other believable device.”

It’s not witchcraft. It’s not magic. Anyone that learns merely where their inspiration, joy and light are,  can use the power in it.

I’m sorry to be such a coward. If I had sufficient courage, I’d teach people to develop their joy. I’d give lessons on love and gratitude, on worship and peace. I’d help people find their heavenly light.

I have begun to wonder, however, if  there are others like me. What if hundreds of people keep their own secrets? So I decided to send this out into cyber space, via a trustworthy friend’s blog. Are there others as lonely as I?

I call for a meeting. No fingers to the side of the noses, no membership dues, no passwords. Just meet at your local church. When you take your next night soar, take a spin around the steeples. We’re bound to brush against each other from time to time. What a relief it would be to nod knowingly to another flier!  We’ll know each other! Not the details of your bumps and scrapes, but the in the moment of our eyes meeting, each will multiply our joy by two. I’ll see you there!        

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1 Comment

  • Reply Anonymous October 7, 2012 at 3:22 pm


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