Short Fiction: Afraid of the Wind

Good day all! This is my first entry for the “Inspiration Monday” short fiction challenge that is run over at BeKindRewrite and it’s been a blast! I’m not used to writing such short fiction, but I think it can only do me good since anyone who’s read my stories (or most anything I’ve ever written!) knows me to be someone who loves a good sprawling tale with lots of ideas and details that could at times never end if I didn’t self-restrain.

So I hope you all enjoy it, would very much like to get any feedback at all on this piece – like so much else I’ve written, perhaps someday I’ll build a larger story from this humble beginning. For now though, I’m just going to enjoy doing this every week and get the joy out of writing it and for it just as it is now. Cheers!

Afraid of the Wind

The buffeting gusts roared in his ears as he stood at the roofs edge of his high-rise building.

He looked every which way, especially down, thinking how instinct and conditioning told us to never look down yet that thought alone was enough to make you peer into the drop below. Up here the honks and bellows and plethora of city sounds were drowned out and an inaudible hum and buzz of it was all that weakly reached this high up from the distant streeets below.

Heart pounding and breath ragged and short, he just stared out into the night. The sweat and tears were streaking all around his face as the wind directed each droplet into random patterns all across his face.

“How could this have happened to me?” he wondered as he stood shivering. “This isn’t a story or a movie, this kind of thing doesn’t happen to normal people! Not in the real world!” his mind screamed, still trying to make him see rational thought and step away from the edge.

By now he was rocking ever so slightly on his heels and the balls of his feet, the wind aiding even the slightest such motion as it enveloped him from all sides, making him think of it as a living being that cajoled and caressed him while gently pushing him along at the same time.

His thoughts raced back to the events of the evening past – it had been just another night, another party with his sort-of-girlfriend and friends. They had clubbed and partied and he had been on his way to his car after a particularly intense couple of hours at an “invite-only” warehouse club that had been the end of the evening for him when it all began to fall apart. He had been on his own, his lady clearly having too much fun to want to leave and him barely seeing straight was no longer fun company. Story of his life. Of course in a moment out of some movie, the last thing blaring on the speakers as he stepped out had been Hold onto your heart which elicited an involuntary groan from him at the time.

“Maybe I need to change my lifestyle” he had thought in an odd moment of lucidity as he meandered.

But then he saw something in an alley and drunken curiosity got the better of him and he had stumbled over to look. He thought it must have been just a homeless guy, but he couldn’t be more wrong and now… now here he was… waiting to jump.

Slowly though, the rocking increased in intensity and somehow his mind quieted down… and rocking forward, he jumped.

As the wind screamed past him, his elation was indescribable. The creepy old alien-homeless guy had been telling the truth! He could FLY! That meant all those other abilities would be real too!

Euphoric, only one thought came to him, “What can I do now?”

(494 words – wee bit o’editing again after comments from readers.)

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Nice! Way to draw us in from the very beginning.

    I would change the exclamation points on “he jumped!” and “his elation was indescribable!” into periods – never underestimate the power of a period to emphasize and dramatize as well as, or better than, an exclamation point.

    I really like this piece. It makes me want to know what in the world the homeless man was and what powers he was talking about.

    Welcome to InMon!

    By the way – are you sure this is your first time doing InMon? I recognize your screen name. Maybe you’ve commented on my blog before, or on another blog I frequent???

    1. Spider42 says:

      I’m so glad you like it! 🙂
      And this is in fact my first InMon entry, though I have visited your blog before and am a follower of another of your rewriters – lovethebadguy, so you may have seen me in either place. I actually was in touch once before about trying my hand at this but was not able at the time. Better late than never no?
      As I mentioned before the story – perhaps when I have some time I’ll turn this into a larger story – either as a novel, short story or graphic novel/series and will definitely tell you if I do so!
      Thanks for the advice, you make an excellent point so I will make those changes.

  2. Yes, I liked your story too and wonder what happened in the alley.

    I have only suggestion (third paragraph) : Heart pounding in his chest. Could you see your way to removing ‘in his chest’? We know that’s where his heart resides already. Stronger, no? yes?

    Also, thanks for commenting on my 100-Word Challenge.

    1. Spider42 says:

      Thanks very much for the feedback, will make the changes – good point.
      You’re most welcome, I enjoyed reading your 100WC and am glad you dropped by here.

  3. TheOthers1 says:

    Welcome to Inspiration Monday! I didn’t realize you’d decided to participate. Nice story. I was pretty gripped reading it because I wasn’t sure why he was jumping. I went to the usual reason of something terrible had happened, but I like the different angle you took. I don’t think I have any critiques to offer just encouragement to keep writing. Welcome aboard. 🙂

    1. Spider42 says:

      Thanks, been meaning to for a while and finally got my act together! 🙂
      So glad you liked the story, I’m really not used to writing things this short so it’s both for fun and a personal challenge.
      I wanted to add something a little different to it and the prompt I chose just spoke out and I didn’t even need to consider the others much after that. 😀 such is the creative impulse no?

  4. I liked this one better than the Janus tale, honestly. The premise is intriguing, leaving us wondering if it was all a fantasy, if the narrator was having a mental breakdown – or if he really has developed the ability to fly! A nice twist ending. =)

    1. Spider42 says:

      Thanks SS!
      That was actually exactly what I was going for with this little fiction.
      It was written as an exercise really fast and limitedly edited (if at all :D) so am glad you enjoyed it and it seemed to get across what I was hoping it would.

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