Once upon a time a small boy grabbed a handful of sugar cubes from the bowl on the kitchen counter. His mother, with eyes behind her back, told him off, but he didn’t listen, instead, while she was pouring out the hot water, he took the whole bowl and ran into the garden. Then hidden behind a hawthorn tree he sat on the ground and popped them one by one into his mouth.
With greed he grabbed four at a time and crunched on them like there were houses and he was some great monster. His eyes blurred but he continued to shove whole fists of sugar into his mouth. The roof of his mouth became rough and dry, and his tongue swelled and stuck to his teeth. He swallowed up all but one, which slipped out of his slow grasp and rolled under the hawthorn tree.
The boy reached for it, but his arm went limp, his eyes grew dim and he crashed. There he lay sleeping until his ankles began to tingle and itch, but he was too fatigued to even scratch. His head lolled to the side and there was that last sugar cube, barely out of reach, taunting him. How can you say you ate a whole bowl of sugar cubes if you didn’t eat every last one? He stretched his arm and the sugar cube flew into his hand.
The impact stung him, but not as much as the surprise. There it was, half crushed against his palm, a palm that was red and sore. He licked his dry lips and the cube zoomed straight into his mouth and down his throat, he just about managed to swallow in time. For a minute or more all he could do was cough and splutter. Tears formed as he hacked and spat into the thick grass. He reached for a branch to pull himself up, but before he even got close it snapped off the tree and whacked him across the chest, pushing him back to the ground.
The boy stood and shook his head. He gestured to the right and a pile of leaves whooshed past him, then again to the left and they sped back the other way. With a circle of his hand he made them spin around him, and then twigs and rocks and stones joined to make a whirlwind of debris. His hands raised and the hawthorn ripped out of the ground and flipped through the air. Then more trees; huge oaks, shading elms, tall sycamores pulled themselves clear of their roots and whizzed around the small boy, smashing everything that got in the way.
Fences and gates and bales of hay were added to the maelstrom. Then cows, large mooing cows, their milk streaming behind them, spiraled around the boy. A rock as big as a house rattled in the ground and then in a spray of stones and shot towards him. He jumped in surprise at the speed and size of the thing, he pushed down as hard as he could and left the ground. Flew straight up into the air and everything he was controlling followed him.
The boy hovered. His eyes blurred, but he didn’t care about that, he was flying. Up he went — up and up — dragging trees and rocks and cows behind like a comet. His mouth felt dry, and his tongue hot, but what did that compare to whizzing through the sky? He soared up towards the sun, high enough that the world bent below him. His ankles began to tingle and his head felt light, but he could go further, he could soar around the world.
Fly until he touched the sun. he could drag it closer, lengthen the summers and get rid of the bitter winters. A winter without ice or mittens or scarves or cabbage or baked potatoes. A longer summer of ice cream and cake and strawberries covered with sugar. He reached for the sun and felt its weight and his eyes became dim and his body went limp and he crashed to the ground.