Flying in Reverse by Cesar Toscano

When I was young, I learned how to fly. I placed an array of pixels together until they were a 4D 8-bit flying contraption.
Maybe it worked because my father was part duck and mother was a quarter swan.
What are your parents?
Part air animal or part land animal?
If so, you know and there’s no more reason to ask again.

In 1910, when I flew for the first time, the sky was pink, laced in strawberry clouds.
I have never felt so alive, not even when I actually grew a feather or two the next summer.
Imagination has unlimited possibilities, and many don’t like to agree, and I would like to say they are wrong, absolutely wrong.
On that day, I flew and flew with only my mind and a jar of sweets. Sugar is important for imagination, makes your brain run a little wild and a lot bit faster.

My town looked like a miniature city up above, I wanted to collect them and play with them, make my little village of my own.
You would have wanted to, anyone would have. Little figurines doused in possibilities and dreams of a new world, my own little world.

It’s now 1942, I wanted to fly again like those birds over the battlefield, free with not worrying about death. I would love to fly again but I am in between two battlefields. They would think of me as a foreign fighter and shoot me down. They possibly would not see me as a duck or even a swan like my father and mother.


Cesar Toscano is a Chicago based writer; he is currently a junior majoring in creative writing at Columbia College Chicago where he worked as an assistant poetry editor for Allium magazine. He also runs the new magazine Mystic Owl, which will be released on October 3. His work delves into mental health and identity through a speculative and horror lens. When he is not writing, he enjoys watching movies and playing video games.