The Red Sky
“Right,” began the kind man in charge, strapping my harness tightly to the heavy kite. “You have to jump when I say so, OK?”
"Oh! But – but -" My face crumpled. When I spoke, my voice was a whimper. "I'm so scared."
“Look at me,” the kind man knelt down in front of me. The whole world started to spin and flash before my eyes. It was silent, and the only people left were us. His voice echoed in my head. “Don’t be afraid. Just think about it. Not many people get to experience this sort of thing and you were chosen out of all those people. Don’t look back now. This is now, not then. Now,” he tapped the side of my helmet. “Get up there and start exploring!”
I nodded bravely, sniffing. Behind him stood my mum, cocking her head to one side, hands pressed together as she smiled proudly. Next to her was my naughty little sister, scowling enviously, her eyes saying, I’ll get you back, you’ll see! I shot her a triumphant smile.
“There, you’re ready to start.” The man said, shattering my moment of glory and pulling me back to earth. My smile froze with panic.
“Make sure to hold onto the rail and stretch your legs out, OK?” he reassured me with a thumbs-up. I looked over the edge. It was a very long way up, and a crowd of people had started gathering to see what would happen. I saw my best friend Daniel arrive at the last moment, joining the waiting people, shouting and waving his hands about. I couldn't hear him from the clouds. The sun was beginning to set, turning the sky a saffron-orange colour.
“OK. One… ” I closed my eyes and inhaled sharply. “Two… Three!” With that, I started running, and just as I reached the edge, he gave me an almighty push! Faintly, I heard everyone below gasp in awe. Just as I was told to, I clutched the cold, metal bar with the palms of my clammy hands and stretched out my legs. I had done it! I had faced my fear!
By now, the sky was a deep crimson-red shade, and the sun was a beautiful yellow moon in the sky.
I even risked stretching a hand out towards its rays. As I soared, I spied tiny things shimmering all around me. Whatever they were, there were millions of them. Steering a little to the left, I forced my eyes open against the wind. As soon as I saw it, I couldn’t believe it.
The red sky – it was made from rubies. They were just dangling in the air like a decoration! They glimmered, sparkled, touched me with their magic.
To prove to myself I wasn't imagining things, I moved one hand from the rail and scooped a handful of the precious diamonds from the sky. They jumped in my hands, sparks flying from my fingertips. I knew they would stay with me forever.
After a few hours, I turned around and flew back towards where I took off. I landed, breathless with excitement. On the way I had decided that there was no point in telling or showing the adults that the red sky was fashioned from rubies. They just wouldn’t believe me, they'd laugh and say I was imagining things.
But I knew I'd be able to trust my best friend any old time. Quietly, I crept up to him, tapped him on the knee and slipped a diamond into his hand. After realising what it was, he beamed. He even winked. I winked back.
From that day on, I kept my ruby in a suede pouch, locked safely in a drawer. If you still don’t believe me, just come over to my house (I’ll know why you've come) and I’ll show you the ruby any time you like.