A while back in work some colleagues set up a number of creative writing sessions where we would do various exercises and writing prompts and write short stories, and give feedback on longer stories if we so desired.
The following (very) short story is the result of thinking about where big revelations occur in a story: the beginning, the middle, or the end. I wrote one with a big revelation at the very beginning.
I’m looking at him, and he’s hovering. Legit hovering. He’s maybe 20 feet away from me, there’s no one else around, and he’s hovering. I’d guess he’s less a little more than 10 feet off the floor.
“Hi!” he says cheerfully. I stare blankly, my half eaten apple hanging limply by my side.
“It’s nice up here, you should join me.” You what? Does he not realise that the vast majority of us can’t just ignore things like gravity. There are rules. What would Mother say? Besides, shouldn’t talk to strangers.
“Hey, uh, I can’t join you at the moment. Or ever, probably… You might not realise this but you’re hovering about 10 feet above the ground,” I gesture to the empty space between him and reality.
“Oh,” he looked down at his feet and laughed. “It’s a funny story actually.”
And with those words, he started falling. Very very slowly, and as he did I started feeling sick. As if my car had gone too quickly over a bump in the road and I was… Wait a second. I’m rising. Not quickly, but the sensation is different enough that I feel sick. Is this what being an astronaut is like? I drop my apple.
“See? Funny,” he concludes, and starts walking away.
“Hey! Wait! What’s going on?” I shout after him, but he either doesn’t hear me or doesn’t care. Given how blasé he was about having the ability to hover, I’d guess the latter. Is it really an ability if you can’t turn it off?
Why isn’t anyone here? Aren’t there normally people walking around here at this time of day? I can’t get down. I’ve tried everything. I’m half glad there isn’t anyone here, because I’m sure doing a breaststroke towards the floor while 10 feet in the air is not my look.
Am I going to stay here forever? Has everyone else died? What would I do if they had? I can’t just ask profound questions for the rest of eternity. Surely there’s something productive I could be doing…
With that thought, after spending hours in fruitless pursuit of the floor, a stranger walks by. Eating an apple.
We stare at each other. A moment passes.
“Hi!” I say, cheerfully.