It’s not every day you get to meet a real-life superhero. I used to believe that, anyway. Right up until the day that I met Nolan Hemmingsworth. Nolan was there the first time my family and I went down to Mansfield Lake. Being from the city, we had thought it appropriate to bring our colourful beach umbrellas and large beach towels. Nolan’s family, however, had made a water slide out of some old plastic sheeting his dad had lying around his shed. He told me later that they had spent the morning digging a trench from the top of the muddy banks down into the water and had then lined it with the black plastic. Nolan’s father used a length of hose to invent a self-feeding contraption that continuously trickled water down the slide and they were taking it in turns to run up. slide, laugh, and swim. I first spotted Nolan when he was sitting on his father’s lap so that they could slide down into the water together. Watching from a distance, it was hard to imagine Nolan would play such significant role in the next three hours of my life.
The second I felt confident enough to stand up on the slippery tree roots several meters away from where my family and I had set up for the afternoon, I lost my footing and sprained my ankle. Having never experienced a pain like that before, I wasn’t too sure exactly how to react. So, I screamed. Perhaps the scream was worse than what I remember because the next thing I knew, I was surrounded by Nolan’s family. “Tayte! Tayte!” Nolan’s mother was standing looking over me encouraging me to wake up. I didn’t think the pain was worthy of me passing out, either, but I’ll just add that to the list of things I’ve learned about myself since moving to Greenvale two weeks ago. Both of Nolan’s parents help me to sit up straight and offered me a drink of water. As I sat up, I looked over at Nolan and remember feeling as though I couldn’t breathe, let alone drink a glass of water. After all, this was the first time I had ever seen a boy my age who could fly.
It was obvious that I was the last to find out Nolan was able to fly because everyone around me was so calm about the whole situation. While sitting on the ground, I looked over at my mother and father to try and gauge how they were feeling, but I all I received from them was a slight smile and my father nodding, telling me that everything is OK. I turned back to Nolan and there was, hovering above the ground as though it was a completely natural activity to be undertaking. “You must have a lot of questions,” Nolan preemptively stated. “So, why don’t I answer on one of them for you now?” He flew slowly towards me as I sat on the sand and I felt as though I should have ben a lot more nervous than I was. Nolan reached out and softly tapped my ankle three times. In a matter of seconds, the pain was gone and I could move my foot with ease. I barely had time to appreciate just how fantastic this situation was before Nolan’s parents lifted me to my feet. I stood staring at this young boy who could fly for a minute or two. He seemed surprisingly calm about being stared at, but I suppose that’s just something that happens when you’re born a real-life superhero. “You know, you can’t really appreciate the true beauty of Greenvale without seeing it from above,” Nolan said as gently flew towards me. He held out his hand for me to take it, so I did. Before I knew it Nolan and I were flying above the trees in the forest, then above every house and, soon, higher than every mountain. At once I understood the true majesty of this town and knew why Nolan chose to call this town his home. All I could hope was that Nolan needed a sidekick as much as I needed some friends. I’ll be sure to ask him when we get back down to the ground. But, right now, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by just how much beauty there is all the way up here.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
Illustrations by Alisha Towers: FACEBOOK
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