THE COLD INSIDE
By AL BRUNO III
Monday November 7, 1994
Higher still, the city streaking beneath him, a tangle of neon and streetlights. Ahead the clouds churned and beckoned, melting across the starry November sky. Tristam Bloom spun in midair, laughing voicelessly.
Below him the panorama of familiar Albany landmarks looked almost lovely. With a flicker of desire he angled swiftly downwards, feeling a ripple of pressure as he collided with a nearby building and passed through it.
It was an office of some sort and for a moment he hovered there, lingering in the darkened interior. He wondered what was done here during the day, what was filed or sold.
Then he was off again moving straight up, the four floors splashed over him until he slipped out through the roof. A flock of sleeping pigeons reacted to his passing, fluttering this way and that in a blind panic.
Tristam wondered why birds always did that when to the rest of the world he was as invisible and intangible as a dream.
On the edge of the horizon the darkness was beginning to brighten, turning the sky from black to a bruised purple.
It’s almost that time.
He rocketed upwards at the thought, losing himself in the clouds until he couldn’t see the city any longer. What would it be like if he never returned? If he stayed up here forever or lost himself among the stars? Did he ever really need to touch the Earth again? He waited for the familiar tug and soon enough it dragged him from the heavens.
Plunging to Earth he passed through buildings and trees. They flashed around him as he tried to control his descent. Occasionally he would pass through a person and a flare of pain would rise up, arcing through him.
His bedroom window rose up like a wave to swallow him. His last sight was the curtains just beginning to part.