The Hardest Secrets are Uninteresting Secrets

She dreamed that she learned how to fly, and brought that knowledge with her, surreptitiously, out of the dreamlands.

(Her name is Vanessa, which means butterfly. Her middle name is Anthracite, which is a type of high-grade carbon. Her last name is not Germaine.)

For two weeks she did nothing with the knowledge. She neither tested herself, nor wrote it down, nor communicated it to another soul, for, in the manner of all gifts from dreams, to share, to define, to acknowledge is to destroy. She merely held flight within her body, warm and nurturing as a cup of soup sliding down her throat.

(And in her dreams she walks a grey wasteland. She slaves within dusty and directionless cubicles. In her dreams the relish is gone from life, the joy from work. In her dreams she wears no colours, and sings no songs.)

She was flying to visit her parents, nodding gently on the edge of sleep, with the sun that shines forever above the clouds pressing against her face, and then, in the manner of dreams, a loud noise, and then she was falling. The air was too thin, so she had to gasp for breath, gulping after oxygen like a fish. She saw the plane smoldering down to her left, thick black smoke blowing from the engine. Three people fell through the air beside her.

(The ground is coming, the clouds are gray, and she will keep the secret right until she hits the