image by author

She Soars

How Bridget Bailey McQuinn finally lost contact with Earth despite all her best efforts.

Sarah Lofgren
6 min readDec 4, 2020

--

Children dream of flying. They imagine how wonderful it would be to soar from wall to ceiling, or even burst through the windows and tickle the stars. In their dreams flying is euphoric. In real life it has drawbacks.

Bridget Bailey McQuinn had always been shy of gravity. When she was an infant nestled in her mother’s arms, she’d occasionally sigh happily and rise up into the air. Her mother had to grab her by the toe and bring her back down to the safety of her embrace. Later Bridget Bailey McQuinn started leaving sticky handprints near the ceiling fan. Whenever she left the house her mother kept her on a harness, afraid to watch her daughter float off in the middle of a walk.

It turned out that bliss was what was propelling Bridget Bailey McQuinn away from the earth. A lick from a friendly dog, a gift from the neighbor, or a bite of ice cream were all dangerous happenstances with the potential to send her flying out of reach. This discovery altered her life forever.

Her favorite movies were banned from the house and the books in her room were limited to those described as boring or sad. Bridget Bailey McQuinn was no longer allowed to play with her best friend, as the two of them had a tendency to erupt in peals of giggles that sent her floating up the stairwell. The problem was treated like an allergy, only, instead of avoiding mold or nuts, Bridget Bailey McQuinn needed to stay far from joy.

The wisdom of this practice was only reinforced in high school when Bridget Bailey McQuinn fell in love with the class president and soared one county over after a relatively chaste kiss. Bridget Bailey McQuinn realized then that the only partners she could afford were the ones who gave her heart no reason to flutter.

Bridget Bailey McQuinn also made certain to avoid all interesting hobbies or glimmers of passion, instead limiting her studies to mundane subjects guaranteed to keep her emotions safely bedded down. In university there was a moment of danger when the opportunity to study abroad presented itself. The letter alone sent Bridget Bailey McQuinn all the way to the cafeteria roof, before she was forced to acknowledge she dare not risk…

--

--