No More Gravity

Pinterest Hidden Image

No More Gravity

Flash Fiction

by Calla Smith

The pool lay like a glittering gem below Lina’s balcony. It was almost one o’clock in the afternoon, and everyone else in her building was busy doing something far away from the eagerly becoming turquoise waves. She liked it best like this, just her and the knowledge that there was somewhere she could escape to, a world of silence and the shifting patterns of the sun like diamonds on the tile floor.

 The illusion would be ruined anytime anyone else occupied one of the lawn chairs, bringing their boom boxes and conversation to pollute the fresh air. There were already so many other sounds assaulting her eardrums day in and day out. She needed the silence like a slice of cool relief from time to time to keep going.

The water was waiting for her. She already had a bathing suit and was finishing a cigarette on her balcony. She thought she had to go down now, or it would be too late. If she didn’t make it in the next minute, the window of opportunity would be closed just as it had been so many times before. She thought about how long it would take to find her flip-flops and wait for the elevator as it traveled the 10 stories down to the ground, and the impatience started to grow inside her. Lina snubbed out the cigarette in an ashtray and glanced once again at the paradise below.

She needed to be there now, not in five minutes. Maybe…no, that wasn’t possible, she told herself. But she couldn’t find her shoes, and she could hear the seconds ticking. She couldn’t stop thinking that the rest of her day- maybe even the whole week- would be ruined if she didn’t make it in time. Her life always hung by such a delicate thread. There were always so many rules to be followed, so why shouldn’t she make her own?

She had to get down there right now, and there only seemed to be one way. She could feel her heart ready to break through her rib cage if she didn’t feel the pure, sweet relief of water on her skin and her wet hair fanning out behind her as she dove down. There wasn’t any more time to think about it. She stood on her chair, closed her eyes, and jumped.

The dive seemed to last forever. The wind whistled in her ears as she sped past the apartments below her, the pale faces of her neighbors nothing but a blur. Lina angled her body to hit the water just right, then her hands were slicing through it like a knife, and her heart slowed down again. She skimmed the bottom of the pool, losing speed alone in the aching perfection of those first few seconds before coming up for air. She shouldn’t have survived the plunge, but she had. Lina had made it in time, and the day and the week stretched out like a blank canvas with no more universal rules left to be broken.   

No More Gravity illustration
About the Author

Calla Smith (she/her) lives and writes in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She enjoys reading, cooking, spending time with friends and family, and continuing to discover all the forgotten corners of the city she has come to call home. She has published a collection of flash fiction “What Doesn’t Kill You”, and her work can also be found in several literary journals such as Five on the Fifth, Cosmic Daffodil, and Health & Coffin among others.