A Moment’s Notice by Emily Burke

This story is one of the August Writing Challenge entries chosen to be a featured story.

We are running faster than light.

Stepping on colours before they can reach the leaves of the trees or the deep crimson in the sky.

Fading into the forest like old photographs, yellowing at the edges, melting into the pages of an album.

His hair is alive with colour, like flames setting fire to the earth and enveloping everyone into him. I want to freeze the scene that I see, of us running as if we were shedding the skin from our bodies — like memories floating into the sky; our birthmarks, our scars, our tiny imperfections no longer keeping us on the ground.

For a second, I glance backwards at the great grey shadows of the city, as if saying goodbye — absorbing every detail of its arrangement until there is no need to look back, only an urge to accelerate deeper into the wilderness. Beyond the street lamps and the car parks and the petrol stations scattered along old roads signposted on rusty posts.

When I return my gaze forward, I see that he is standing still, the shade of a tree resting across one half of his face. His eyes have been redesigned in a new colour spectrum, a painting splattered with golds and greens and oranges as well as colours I never knew existed. The boy who held the earth in his eyes, who could take the colour from the sun and smooth it through his hair. At a moment’s notice we are off, sprinting through the forest; so free that gravity has lost all control and we are running faster than light.



Emily Burke
Germ Magazine guest author
… is a contributing guest author for Germ, which means the following criteria (and then some) have been met: possessor of a fresh, original voice; creator of fresh, original content; genius storyteller; superlative speller; fantastic dancer; expert joke teller; handy with a toolbox; brilliant at parties; loves us as much as we love them.



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