In the Wind

Cray felt the fuel cells eject from his rocket boots just as they had a thousand times before. He watched them plummet to a dull thud against the sandy Estoria shoreline, hundreds of feet below.

He twisted his legs, tapped the thrust button on his palm and whirled himself to face the carnival several miles away. People scurried like ants near the dock from where he’d taken off. Somewhere in the crowd was Pons, serving drinks and predicting Cray’d finish the set like always — “with a double zero-g somersault and a wave skim, I tell ya.”

It was the same routine every day. Cray looked to the endless azure water. How far until the boots gave out? They would last for weeks, probably. He could catch seagulls and cook them under the thrusters. He could piss mid-flight. He could bathe by inverting himself during a wave skim.

But Pons would be crushed. And Pons had been the only person who’d helped Cray when he was alone. So Cray tucked his legs and prepared for a somersault. He’d make it a triple today.

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