My older brother Jake is a
genius. I was still in high school when he came home for the
summer from college. He was majoring in computer science with
a minor in chemistry or maybe it was the other way around. He
called me up to his room and closed the door.
Whats up? I asked him.
Have you ever wanted to
fly? he asked me.
If anyone else had asked me that I would
have been surprised but not Jake. I dont
know. When I was a kid (I considered myself a grown-up) I
used to dream I was trying to fly but I always came down.
Hmmm, lack of
confidence. What if I told you I think Ive found a way
to make people able to fly?
With anyone else I would have answered,
Youre crazy, but not with Jake.
Its a combination of chemicals Ive put
together. You drink it.
What does it do?
Well, its complicated. It affects your muscles in
a subtle way. Ive tested it on rats we have in our
Did you produce flying rats?
Not exactly. It
requires some practice but a couple did get off the ground.
So what are you going to
Id like to test it on
Id be like a lab
Youre much more intelligent
than a lab rat.
So what do you
No, thanks. Why
dont you test it on yourself?
Im not sure what its side
effects will be and I have to act as control.
interesting. Do you want to go outside and play some
My brother was very persuasive and he
kept at me all summer. Besides, he gave me a bribe of twenty
dollars. So on this day we were out on a deserted field near
our house. We lived in a suburb and some land still
hadnt been developed.
Okay, said Jake.
Drink this. He held out a test tube containing a
It looks yucky.
Actually, it doesnt taste bad. Drink.
All right, I said
doubtfully. I drank. Jake was right; it
didnt taste too bad.
How do you feel? he asked.
Nope. Then I felt a tingling all over my
body. Wait a minute. Somethings
Flap your wings; I mean your
I did and suddenly I was up in
the air. It was unbelievable. I was
flying. I tried steering myself but kept going around in
circles. Then something happened and I wasnt flying any
more. I came down and landed with a bump. Jake came running
over. Are you okay?
Yeah, I think so.
Well, one minute I was flying, then I wasnt.
Hmmm. It needs more work.
Jake went back to college and I
went back to high school. The years went
by. I went to college myself, moved to California, got a job
with the government, married and had children. I didnt
tell anyone, not even my wife, about my little flying
experience. A TV show came on called Heroes or
something like out. One of the heroes was able to
fly. I watched one episode and it reminded me of
myself. I suppose theres something in us that makes us
want to fly,
As for Jake, well, as I said, hes
a genius. He graduated from college, made some discoveries in
the computer field, formed his own company, became a millionaire, then retired
to become a college professor and continue to tinker with his
inventions. Im the only one who knows that every summer
he takes time off and joins a circus. His act is billed as
The Flying Acrobat.