She used to fly because she believed she could. That’s how magic works, you know. It’s not that complicated. Think it, imagine, do it, and the world is yours.

     Now, she walks. Tiny feet dragging across the sidewalk. She started to question it, you see. Maybe I’m not flying. Nobody else is. Maybe I can’t either.

     “Am I?” she asked.

     They answered.

     Her toes touched the ground, and the ground made sense. It was solid, and all that. Predictable.

     She learned that when something goes up, it must come down. Six years old. They taught her that.

     She threw the fallen leaves into the air, and they fell back to the ground. They didn’t float up into the sky, melting into the stars. Why would they do that? They were leaves, not giant balls of gas burning millions of miles away.

     Her toes nestled in the dirt.

     When she’s old again, like me, she’ll see the way the magic spun away from her as her feet hit the ground. When her hair’s gone grey, she’ll tell them – but they won’t believe her. Why would they? Their world is so small, and hers was as big as the sky, until they brought her down.

     She’ll fly again, when she doesn’t care if anyone believes her.

     But, for now, she sees the leaves falling, and knows they’ll stay there, orange and yellow stars, crushed beneath her feet.