If you’ve ever felt truly invincible, you know how I felt in that moment. If not, then you can’t imagine how I felt as I flew beneath the storm –laden clouds that shrouded my city in a gloomy half-light.
It was like I had to be gentle with the world, like if I squeezed too hard it would crumble in my fingers. In that moment I held the world together and though it was terrifying it was also… exhilarating. I will never forget it – that long, perfect moment in which the world rested on my shoulders and I bore the weight. I will always remember, regardless of how much I want to forget.
It was the most painful moment of my life. My mind encompassed the world and everything in it. The revolving planet, the gravity holding humanity down, the lakes and rivers and seas, the molten core of the earth – all of it under my control.
Then it was gone and I was falling. Frozen, gaping, realising how small my mind was. It’s the kind of thing that takes your breath away. The air whipped past me, the metres between me and the pavement melted away as I wrestled for control.
I grasped my mind and forced my body to stop. I halted in mid-air and hung helpless, holding on by a thread. Then, slowly, I began to ascend.
That was when I noticed the oddly shaped form floating above me, waiting for me, and I wasn’t sure that I wanted to face it. I wanted to run away and hide from the pain reverberating like the tolling of a giant bell through my skull. I wanted to hide from the fact that I’d have to spend my life living and reliving that moment. The moment I’ll never forget.
I didn’t run, partly because I was curious and partly because I knew that running wouldn’t help.
As I drew level with it, I saw the runes etched into its metal surface. It shimmered and floated, its undulating body caressing my battered frame, bathing me in soft yellow light.
I could feel the energy draining from my limbs and I realised that it was sucking the life out of me. It was tempting to embrace the light, because it promised warmth and safety and an escape from the terrible sense of responsibility that comes with holding the world together in a shaking grip. It was killing me, and I wanted to let it.
I knew that if I died, the world would too. Without someone to hold the world together it would fall apart. I knew that this was more than just what I wanted; this was the fate of the world.
So, with all the strength left in my limbs, I pushed it away and watched as it spun through the night, veering towards an apartment building. Then it stopped dead in mid-air.
Before I could draw in a ragged breath it slammed into me and I was the one spinning, still defying gravity but only just. I absorbed the kinetic energy from my own momentum and felt the energy buzz like a thousand wasps in my veins.
In one fluid movement I drew my curved hand and a half sword and smashed it into the hardened metal surface of the machine that was now trying to kill me in a more conventional manner – by breaking every bone in my body.
With a defending pop, the sword gouged a jagged hole and I, thrown back by the strength of my strike, watched as the machine exploded into a million shimmering shards of metal.
It rained down onto the city like confetti and I revelled in my own strength. It was then that I remembered why I held the world together.
If I didn’t, who else would?
Copyright: Emma Tobin 2012