Gin’s mind sped at super-human speeds. He was thinking faster than anyone had ever thought before. He squinted up his eyes so the world rushed past—as he ran—in an arbitrary blur. He knew where everything was in the garden: he didn’t need to look. His bare feet barely touched the grass as he sped along, weaving, flash-like, around and under obstacles. The wind became the only reminder of where he was, buffeting his face, rippling the fabric of his costume.
This was his favourite part of being a super-hero. Normally, you had to think too much about everyday things—balance, safety, alertness—to keep you plodding along in a normal life, but when you were a superhero, your everyday senses were elevated, and you didn’t have to worry about mundane physical and mental functions. You were working on a higher level. It was great.
A multitude of worlds passed below Gin’s elevated gaze. First the garden, then the driveway, then the town, and then the ocean. He flew higher above the clouds. They spread out under him like a bumpy mattress: white and grey stitched with shadow. He dipped back through them, breaking sun-paths that let the sky in. Clear, clear blue.
Gin was bigger than the world he watched. He landed, and his arm found a tree to wrap around. He had returned to the backyard. The garden was vibrant. Colours pulsed. He rolled up his sleeves and took off his socks and walked around to the front of the house. He went behind the big lavender bushes and turned on the tap coming out of the wall. He heard the comforting chatter of the sprinkler beginning further down the driveway, on the left-hand lawn. He ran down the side of the drive, along the old railway sleepers. Under bare feet, they felt like the scales of an ancient serpent. He ran along the giant snake’s back, jumping off at the last minute to avoid its snapping jaws. He jumped joyfully under the waving arms of the sprinkler. Once he found its rhythm, he closed his eyes and began spinning against it. His eyelids sealed themselves like birthday presents. He tried his very best, as he spun, to forget where he was, to let the water ribbons graze him from every angle, to let the sun appear everywhere in the sky. This was the only way he could ever really think properly. When he found himself totally lost.