He built airplanes and dirigibles and gliders.
They were magnificent, his creations, lighter than air, larger than castles.
Three of the richest men in the country came to him.
“Build us a Hall,” the dark one said.
“Build for us a Refuge,” said the light.
“Put lots of little windows on it, yeah,” said the bored one.
It was an uninteresting commission.
He dreamed of grander things, and rarer, but of what exactly he could not say.
He built for the tycoons a flying palace of aromatic woods and cunning pattern, but his heart was not in it.
A man came to him one night, in shabby clothes and glasses.
“I am not rich,” said the man, “but I would something of you.”
He hesitated with his hand upon the door, and did not close it against the man.
“Who are you, and what would you of me?” he asked.
The man opened his hands and from them light poured.
“Here is my body,” said the man. “And I must fly.”
He spoke of the roar of motors but the man shook his head.
He brought the man into his home and shut the door against the night.