As a young boy, Jake had always dreamed of flying.
Jake loved to lay in the grass and feel the warm summer sun. As he closed his eyes he would drift off above the world buoyantly floating by. When he opened his eyes he could see the clouds drifting overhead and ponder what it would be like to soar above the earth like a bird.
Jake's problem was acrophobia. Once he stood up he felt a fear that he would fall down again. That fear kept him off bridges and high building and even kept him off his bicycle. He had a terrible fear of heights and he had resigned himself to the fact that he would never be able to fly.
It was only when he was lying flat on his back looking up to the sky that the dream of flying seemed real. Until one day he heard a strange bump on his roof. He knew it was too cold for the raccoons to be playing around, but he was certain he heard something prancing and some jingling sound.
When he opened his window his greatest dream and worst nightmare came true.
He was face to face with the man in the suit himself. Jake looked surprised, but the man just chuckled. He said, "Climb aboard and you won't be afraid a bit." Somehow, whether it was the magical tone of his voice or the bright shining smile the man in red made, Jake found himself in a magical sleigh.
Although it was cold outside Jake felt warm and climbed in next to the driver. It was a sled with a seat belt. He knew this was his time to fly. As the sleigh took off from the top of the roof Jake did not frighten a bit. Instead he felt relaxed feeling the wind through his hair and the joy of a bird in the air.
The old man in the red said, "You take the reigns instead."
Jake took them proud and soared through the air, the wind rushing past him, Jake felt a sense of freedom and exhilaration like he had never experienced before. He flew higher and higher, until he could see the entire city spread out below him. It was a sight he would never forget.
But Jake's joy was short-lived. As he flew over the city, he encountered a sudden gust of wind that sent him and the sled spiraling out of control. He struggled to regain control of the sleigh and its eight reindeer, but it was no use. He was plummeting to the ground at an alarming rate.
Crashing down, it seemed like all hope was lost. Jake braced himself for impact, certain that he was going to crash and burn. But just as he was about to hit the ground, something miraculous happened. With a little twinkle of his nose, the old fat man next to Jake just made the sled awake. They leveled out, and Jake found himself gliding gently back to earth.
They landed safely in front of Jake's house.
He couldn't believe what had just happened. He had faced his worst fear and conquered it. This was the greatest Christmas present he had ever received.
And as he looked up at the sky, he knew that the possibilities were limitless.
The story was inspired by the inkwell community prompt "sky" and my attempt to follow the "arc" pattern of writing @theinkwell. Both pictures in this story are my own work captured from my cell phone camera although credit goes to the natural Creator who made the clouds and the rainbow and the birds in the sky.