"Flight Is For Those Who Have Not Yet Crossed Over" by Jeff VanderMeer [Read]
Publication in The Third Alternative no. 17, 1998
Reprint in Infinity Plus, 1999
Reprint in Secret Life, Golden Gryphon Books, 2004
D'Souza loses his balance, slides slowly down the bars, into the darkness of the floor.
"Take a message to my wife or do not take a message to my wife..."
And then, in a self-mocking tone: "It truly does not matter. I have dreamed of flying to her myself, you know. Flying over this country of El Toreador. My arms are like wings and I can feel the wind cool against my face. All the stars are out and there are no clouds. Such a clear, clean darkness. It seems almost a miracle, such clarity...Below me I can make out the shapes of banana plantations and textile factories. I can tell the green of the rainforest from that of the pampas. I see the ruins of the Maya and the shapes of mountains, distant...and yet when I wake I am still here, in my cell, and I know I am lost."
D'Souza looks up at Gabriel, the whites of his eyes gleaming through the broken mask of his face and says, "My wife's name is Maria D'Souza. When I have died, you must tell her so she can come for my body."
Music by Cargo Cult
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