Urbert’s Flight

Urbert’s Flight

Urbert saw the sky fall in.

It was the first thing he told anyone that he met, and it’s probably why most conversations in Urbert’s life were extremely short. In reverence for the momentous day, Urbert swept the streets of the city every evening; he figured that if he was under the night sky, in the open, he’d be more likely to catch the sky when it happened again. For Urbert, there was no "but" in the probability, only a "when."

Sweeping the streets had many advantages. Urbert found serial evidence of the instability of the sky: he found transparent stones with dazzling, illuminated centers, mini-skies, every one of them. He kept the stones in his uppermost overall pocket, close to his heart, so that he could feel their radiant glow coursing through his veins. Of course, he knew that the sky was watching him while he collected his evidence. He also knew that it was his duty to save the world, to capture the sky and set it right, to put it back where it belonged.

Dust and sand from the deserted desert plains gusted over Urbert’s world. Rain was rare. While Urbert swept at the endless dust, he kept vigil for angry gray-blue rain clouds, because his witness to the fall was vivid, a celluloid-type memory. On the sky-fall day, the clouds banked, the rain poured, the sky showed itself on the ground, and then... the stones flew, ricocheting against the sky, shattering it into a kaleidoscope of broken fragments that fell with the clear stones into the abyss of oblivion. Urbert knew the only reason the sky hadn't vanished completely was because he'd been there, collected the remnants before they disintegrated, and thrown them back at the black, black nothingness, the sky-hole.

Urbert remembered how he’d congratulated himself after realizing that he’d made the sky fly. made it fly back where it could shine.

On a day that began much like any other, Urbert’s sensitive nose detected the scent of rain on the breeze. He searched the sky for clues, but there were no gray-blue clouds, only wispy, white smoke-like drifts, scurrying hither and thither on the stiff breeze.

But Urbert knew—he knew his day had come.

A single drop of water on his forehead alerted Urbert; the deluge was building; the storm was close.

There were no blue-gray clouds. None.

But he watched the heavens, waiting for the dance of fate, waiting for his chance.


A cloud seemed to burst overhead. The world darkened, and the rain... the rain was accompanied by distraught outbursts of pain that lit up his vista with jagged bolts of sizzling fire. The heavens screamed out in agonizing drumrolls that forced him to plug his ears with his fingers.

But still, adrenaline flooded. He was ready.

It started slowly at first, but then the sky was everywhere, pockmarked in pools and lying on the ground. Urbert knew that this was just theatrics. A farce... a trick to perplex.

The sky couldn’t fall unless the stones cried out in anger. So he waited.

When they came, the stones came with pelting force, battering the sky as it lay in perfect reflection on the shimmering pools. Water held the sky’s life force in a ripple.

Urbert took a deep breath. He crossed himself. He saw the sky twinkle in the pool of water that lay at his feet.

Urbert knew that time was of the essence. He stood on tiptoe and pushed himself into a diving flight. Urbert dove in after it.

He dove in to save the sky.

Image is a collage of the Pixabay resources below

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