Pseudopod 183: Learning to Fly

By Garth Upshaw

Read by Jacquie Duckworth

I set my feet and reached for the next rung of the ladder. The wind snatched at my clothes, whipping my bomber jacket against my thighs, and then pulling it outwards in a billow, tugging me sideways towards the scary drop.

I muttered three short Words, voice cracking on the last, and the wind’s grip slackened, leaving me in a fragile bubble of calm. I sagged against the wet, rusty ladder. Spots flickered at the edge of my vision, and I tried to catch my breath. The preparation for tonight had taken months, and electric anticipation warred with the exhaustion in my body.

I’d snared the rats with generous dollops of peanut butter in long rectangular, live-catch traps. Their fur was sleek and glossy. They were greedy, bright-eyed pests, always wanting more than they needed. Never satisfied.