It’s not as short as Hemingway’s shortest story (For sale: baby shoes, never worn.) but seeing as I don’t compare myself to him, it doesn’t matter. It is, however, my shortest story, barely scratching 450 words.
She feels the pressure at her knees, because this roof is on more of a slant than the hill behind her house, and she’s only used to running down dirt and grass. Something about this hard tile surface hurts.
Looking toward the sunset she’s excited by how far her vision extends. She’s only ever seen the curve of the earth when she visits the coast with her parents, and somehow, it never seemed as powerful a view as this does now. She wishes, for a snatch of time, that she could just extend this sunset into tomorrow.
Behind her, flapping in the evening wind is her magical cape, constructed as part of her upcoming celebration of Halloween. It is purple and magnificent and will hide her because it’s also a cloak of invisibility. She sees Andrew, jumping off the monkey bars two blocks over, and smiles at him. No more of Andrew’s ice balls with a thin layer of snow packed around them, no more getting tripped on her way to social studies, no more being cornered on the bus, never again receiving the instruction to make him a milkshake the next time she has a seizure. She smiles all the way across her face, thinking about her impending triumph.
She only teleports at night, zipping to her hospital because it’s the special place where people take care of her. No one teases her there. At the hospital, beeping sounds like crickets, even though the nurses tell her they’re just her own heartbeat. She’s psychic, she knows. She sees the doctor with his penlight and foretells what he’ll do next: look into her brain, nod his head, tell her parents she’s okay. Even he calls the unrelenting dances that she performs a spell.
It’s not her fault her family and teachers are blind to the magic around them. After today they’ll believe her.
She crouches down, feeling her feet skid just a little as she adjusts her weight. She is setting up for a jump when her mother, searching the back lawn, finds her on the roof. The woman starts running to the house, no Jessie, no, you don’t know what you’re doing, she says. She’ll see, she’ll see. Jessie waves at her, still grinning wide. The wind is picking up like it does every evening. Jessie has flown kites for years and with her magical cape she’ll glide on top of the stream.
She jumps, she takes off, she glides over blocks of houses, Main Street, older homes and railroad tracks and as she passes the edge of the only town in which she’s ever lived, she starts to blend into the air. Jessie is a puff of purple light fading with the day.