A girl walks along a narrow road. The sun beats down on her from above, as heat rays rise from ground. Her steps echo loudly along the narrow streets and the sounds of traffic and horns blaring can be heard in the distance. The road smells of petrol and concrete. On both sides there were buildings either too small to house those that lived within or ones so ambitiously large that they were never finished being built. There is a sudden rush of air through the road as a flock of roosting pigeons take off. The flurry of sound from their many beating wings gives her a jolt. She looks up to see the blur of wings disappear to reveal a cat walking along the gutter. It looks down at her and meows. She breathes a sigh of relief. As she keeps looking clouds roll over from above, casting the road into shadow.
Drops begin to fall, some of them hitting her eyes; making her squint and look away. The soft pitter-patter crescendos into a thundering roar that drowns out all the sounds of the city. She hurriedly ducks under the cover of a low balcony. The cat appears beside her. It meows and rubs against her leg. She bends down and ruffles its neck. As she scratches its ears the rain stops; just as suddenly as it started.
The sky looked brighter and more vivid. Slowly a rainbow begins to crystalize from within the mist. It arches over the alley, so that its centre hovered above her head, blocking out the sky. Colours swirl through, swirls pulsing and colours mixing. She stood there staring, mesmerized at the scene before her.
The rainbow began to move strangely. It began pulsing more violently, its sides shifting and flickering. It then began to bend downwards in the centre as if some heavy weight had been placed upon it. Slowly it began its liquid descent. Still she stood. It was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. It was as if a crack had opened up the cosmos and she was staring into heaven itself.
Then abruptly as if snapping because of the strain, the sides of the rainbow lifted themselves above the ground. The centre began to accelerate. It began rushing down straight towards her at incredible speed. The colours from its edges began to fly off violently, like raindrops on the wings of an airplane. All the while its pulses quickened and the colours mixed even more frantically until it became a blinding white arrow falling from above; barrelling straight towards her forehead. She was not afraid.
Just before it made impact it slowed down, barely an inch from her temple; then with the tenacity of a drop falling from a leaf and the ferocity of a cloud, it gently caressed her skin. It spread over her like mercury, enveloping every inch of her until she was covered in light. She extended her arms and took a look at her new glowing skin. It pulsed softly with the colours of wild flowers. For the first time in a very long while she smiled.
Her entire body quietly began to rise up, levitating towards the sky. She rose until she was high above the buildings. High enough to see around the entire island and the sea surrounding it. A hint of a cloud passes by and she couldn’t resist the urge to touch it. It broke up, swirled to form a leaping sailfish; which arced over her head and then dissipated as if sinking back into an invisible ocean. Delighted, she let out a giggle. Seeing some clouds in the distance she glided towards them. Effortlessly she soared, with finesse that would have made all but the most daring eagle jealous. She skimmed over the many clouds and when she brushed against them, many fish and dolphins came fourth, which followed her every move and rode the valleys of clouds at her side. The rush felt incredible. Everything was a blur of blue and white. This must be what it feels like to be truly free she thought. She was grinning now.
She came to a stop hovering over the centre of the island. She looked down at the city and its inhabitants, blissfully unaware of the spectacle above. They were going on with their daily lives as usual. Rows of cars and hordes of motorbikes swarmed the streets. People looked like scurrying ants. “I wonder if they know what it’s like to be free”; she thought to herself. For the first time since taking off she felt a stab of fear at her heart. Something was not right.
The horizon was darkening. Yet the sun still shone brightly above her. She squinted. In the distance, barely visible, a black tide was rising. It was gathering momentum and moving towards the island from all sides. It was not the ocean. It shined a deep dirty black that filled her with dread. She must warn them she thought. They were going about their business as if nothing was happening. They must be unaware. She must warm them. But alas, she could not move.
A strange force bound her in her lofty position. She tried as hard as she could but she could not break the invisible bonds. The tide rushed closer still. Her heart beat faster and faster until she felt like it would leap out of her throat. The black tsunami hit land. It spread like an oil slick, devouring the city below. It moved almost as if alive, parts of it leaping ahead to smother fleeing pedestrians and vehicles. Their screams felt like being encased within a coffin of needles.
From all sides it charged forwards until they met at the centre. Straining her neck she watched helplessly as it began to twist and spiral towards her. The vortex rose rapidly in a raging helix until it finally reached the soles of her feet. It spread over her, like a seething giant octopus, her screams doing nothing to stop its advance. It reached her neck and invaded her throat. All was dark. All was silent.