Walking on walls

The wall Jimmy was walking on was big, but not that big. It can’t have been more than six feet tall.

“Jimmy,” his mum moaned. “Please get down from there. Climbing walls that big isn’t for 11 year old boys.”

“Peter Wickleswith climbs walls.” he replied.

“Well you’re not Peter Wickleswith. If you’re not careful you could have an accident and crack something.”

“Mum, it’s so wide. I’ll be fine.”

His mum looked at the wall. It’s thick, cobbled bricks were crammed together creating a width of at least seven or eight feet. “Fine, just please pop your glasses on.”

Jimmy was not far from being registered blind. Two years tops, the doctors told his mum. They gave him glasses to wear but he hated the things. They were too tight for his head and the boys at school all laughed when he wore them. He could just about make out basic objects without them, so he would always just keep them in their case.

Jimmy reached inside both trouser pockets, nothing. He tried his coat.

“I think they’re in my bag.”

Jimmy’s mum tutted. “Wait exactly where you are, I’ll go to the car and grab them for you.”

As she scuttled off to where they’d parked up for their afternoon picnic, Jimmy waited for his mum to turn the corner, go past the shrubs and out of sight before he continued walking on the wall.

Jimmy never understood why his mum didn’t like him walking on walls. Especially walls as wide as this. What could go wrong? It’s not like he’d had an accident before.

He loved walking on walls. He felt his lack of sight helped him not be afraid of however high up his was and he could really escape from the world.

As he slowly stepped forward, feeling every stoney crunch under his feet, he closed his eyes and smiled as the slight breeze washed over his soft skin. With a deep breath he filled his nostrils with the smell of freshly cut grass from the fields surrounding him and the mornings rain droplets that nestled on the tops of the trees. The distant sound of birdsong filled his sensitive ear drums, prompting a whistle to leave his lips. Jimmy felt as though he was flying. He felt closer to the skies. To the clouds. To his Dad.

He flapped his arms like wings and stretched as high up on his tiptoes as he could go. As he cawed like the crow he was becoming, his stride was broken by the thud of stubbing his foot against a what he thought was a loose rock.

The rock rapidly flew off to the right, crashing to the ground. Jimmy’s balance was shot. He began falling.

The serene feeling of hovering above the world was quickly replaced the the feeling of chaos. Everything was moving quickly. Grey shapes span and swirled in front of him. His hands flailed to grab on to something, anything. His senses were taking a battering too. His mind playing tricks on him. His head thumped to a thunderous, clattering sound, like a million hooves smashing into the ground. His stomach spun as a rotten eggy stench engulfed his over active nose. What sounded like ambulance sirens began ringing and screeching and bellowing around his head.

The madness was suddenly broken by the jolt of his body landing into the arms of his mother. Tears streamed down his face.

Jimmy looked all around him. His mind hadn’t been playing tricks. The chaos was real. The hooves, the egg, the sirens. His heart skipped a beat as he looked at the mess on the floor.

“What’s happened?!” screamed Jimmy’s mum.

A paramedic replied: “It looks like this man has had a great fall.”


© Carl Burkitt 2012


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