Having never been allowed to roam the outside world in her young life, there was so much of the town she lived in that Gretchen didn’t recognise. She certainly didn’t recognise it flying above the streets late at night with the wind and rain distorting her features as if they were made of plasticine. Squinting her eyes, she raises her arms and spreads her hands like she’d seen Superman do on the tele. It didn’t protect her much, but it certainly made her feel as if she looked the part. Some of the buildings below her seemed vaguely familiar; like the bank on the high street and the candy store opposite the swimming pool she’d been to with her mother. The shopping mall, too, along with its glass façade rippling in the darkness like a giant pool of oil. But other than that, it was a strange new territory she navigated. That she was flying wasn’t an issue worth contesting. She was still young enough to believe in such miracles; she was naïve to believe such miracles weren’t miracles at all, either, but rather events that took place purely because one didn’t dismiss the possibility of them occurring. Squealing like a piggy, she kicks her legs the same as she did when she went swimming and finds herself spiralling through the air like the leaves torn from the trees. Rushing to the ground, for a second, her heart explodes within her chest, but when she pulls up at the last second, her childish laughter carries for miles in the wind that rises like the waves caressing the belly of the distant moon.

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US

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