….I have a cape. I’ve had it for a long time but only recently did I realise what it really was. I saw other people with capes flying around above me and often wondered where they’d got them and reasoned that they had just been lucky. What I didn’t realise was I already had a cape but I’d been using it as a picnic blanket. I’d stuffed it in the boot of my car and taken it with me everywhere, only getting it out to cover up the mud and stain it with jam. The people around me would comment on my picnic blanket and how theirs was similar and weren’t the people with capes lucky, hadn’t they just been so so so lucky to have been given a cape instead of a picnic blanket, weren’t they so beautiful flying around up there? My teachers at school had shown me how to use my picnic blanket, how to make sandwiches and cakes, how to fold it properly. When I’d asked about getting a cape I’d been told they weren’t for me, they look so ridiculous up there flying around why would you want to look so ridiculous? My bosses in workplaces had been even less interested in the capes asking me why I wasn’t happy with my blanket? It was a very nice blanket after all and many picnics could be had on it.
Then one day I was cold. It had been getting cold for a while but now it was unbearable. No one else seemed to notice how cold it had got as they ate picnics and talked about the cape wearers. I rummaged in the cupboard to try and find something to warm myself up but all I had was a picnic blanket and I couldn’t wear that could I? I mean it was for walking on and covering over the mud not for wearing but I was so cold and there was nothing else. I wrapped it round myself. Suddenly I felt a warmth in my bones I hadn’t felt before, not much of one just a flicker of heat. I looked down at my feet, they felt lighter than they had before. I wiggled my toes and realised they weren’t touching the floor, the soles of my shoes hovered an inch or two above the carpet. The warmth grew ever so slightly with this revelation. Like blowing on kindling I felt parts of me tingle with heat, parts of me I hadn’t even known were cold, some I didn’t even know I had. I reached up to the corners of the blanket wrapped around my shoulders and tentatively pulled them around my neck. My cold fingers fumbled to tie a rough knot. As I pulled it tight the warmth blossomed through me in waves, pulsating into my extremities. I was shaking but not with the cold anymore, I was shaking with excitement. I looked down at my hands as I let them fall to my sides, I could almost see the heat in my bones. The bang on the back of my head brought me back to reality.
The floor was miles away. I’d hit the ceiling. My scalp stung from the impact but that feeling was quickly replaced with an epiphany. My blanket was a cape. The piece of cloth I’d trampled all over, smeared butter onto, dried pets with and bundled into dark corners was so much more than I’d thought. It was so much more than I had ever been told. It was so much more than anyone had ever been told. Everyone had a cape. Everyone could fly but no one knew how.
Now I spend as much time as possible flying, I missed out on years zooming around and diving through the clouds so I had a lot of catching up to do. I still get cold but now when it gets too much I wrap my cape around my shoulders, smile and relax because without that cold I wouldn’t know how warm I can be.