Wendy Raven McNair
Author & Artist
Ascend (Excerpt)
Awake (Excerpt)
Asleep (Excerpt)
Giant Slayers (Excerpt)
ABOUT: Awake
ABOUT: Asleep
ABOUT: Giant Slayers
Archives: Calendar 2009-2011
Asleep (Excerpt)

[Adisa slips and falls as she tries to get out of the path of a falling tree when she sees Micah coming to her rescue.]

My eyes were showing me the impossible. Micah was flying straight at me. But my mind kept rejecting the image. It froze me in place while it struggled to make sense of the information hurtling toward me.
My inability to accept this reality short circuited my brain and locked on the single impractical vision; Micah was in fact, incredibly, incomprehensibly, impossibly flying to save me. In an instant, I was in his arms.
My body registered the impact, jarring but protectively tucked beneath him, my face looking up at the sky over his shoulder as we flew parallel to the ground. I saw the tree descending fast now, bearing down on us. A fraction of a scream escaped me before he shifted, positioning me completely beneath his body, blocking my view just as the tree exploded against his back in a deafening crescendo of sound.
I felt him shudder with the impact and the air filled with wood chips and sawdust but miraculously, we weren’t smashed into the ground. We kept right on flying, the wind rushing around us. His arms were wrapped around me, pinning mine to my sides. He held me tight to his chest and I could feel his sledge hammer heart beating impossibly fast.
I couldn’t see where we were going but I sensed we were low in the trees. I turned my head to the side and saw tree trunks blur by at a dizzying speed. He shifted me again as he slowed and now cradled me in his arms while he still flew parallel to the ground.
We landed with hardly any disturbance, smoothly transitioning from air to land and he was running with me in his arms but only for a few strides into an enclosure. It was a sheltered outcrop that mimicked a wide shallow cave. He set me inside on my feet and released me. I nearly fell over and he reached out to steady me but I scrambled away, managing to stay up on my shaky legs without assistance.
I backed away from him and he didn’t try to stop me. I could hear my breathing echoing off the rock wall along with his. I felt solid stone press against my back and knew I couldn’t go any further in that direction.
“Did I hurt you?” he asked from where he stood.
I could see the rain slanting between the trees just beyond him and hear the storm still raging. I couldn’t speak. I just stared at him. He was so beautiful. Small silver droplets shimmered on his dark smooth skin and his wet shirt sculpted his chest and shoulders so solid he appeared to be a statue. Superman transformed into Adonis.
I saw woodchips in the tight black spirals of his close cropped hair. I remembered the air exploding around us and the dizzying rush of wind. The trembling started and I couldn’t stop it.
“You can fly?” my voice shook, barely a whisper. Then I felt the familiar comfort of my rage and with more strength, “You can fly!?”
My words loudly filled the small space.
“Adisa, I wanted to tell you but there’re confidentiality concerns and the need to maintain anonymity, not to mention…,” he exclaimed stepping toward me.
“Don’t touch me,” I spat out and he immediately halted. I was livid. “You knew I spent years immersed in superhero fantasy and suffered for it. How could you, of all people, question my commitment to safeguarding your true identity?”
I couldn’t believe he doubted my ability to keep a secret. The nerve! That hurt almost as much as his abandonment. And how could he fly instead of me? All this time, he had the power of flight and never even told me. Finally his secret was out.
I could feel my heart painfully squeezing in on itself. He didn’t trust me. After all my efforts, even declaring my love, and he refused to let me in. In spite of all I had revealed to him, he couldn’t bring himself to confide in me.
“You could’ve trusted me with your secret. You didn’t have to run away and leave me,” I said.
“I didn’t run away. There’s so much more going on here and I… Adisa, wait. Where are you going?”
I had stepped out from under the shelter at the far end away from him. I started running, dodging the trees. I was out of control, a hot mess inside and out. Fear, anger, relief, shame, jealousy, simultaneously coursed through my short circuited irrational mind.
I wasn’t up to confronting Micah. All I could think about was getting back home. I wanted something familiar and comforting and I instinctively ran for it.
The stinging rain punished the exposed skin on my face and I squinted to protect my eyes. I looked back and saw him coming for me, weaving in and out between the trunks. He was doing it again! Flying!