No one really knew when my baby brother started to float.
My mom swears it was the time she was feeding him peas. He had knocked them on the floor, and after going to get a paper towel to clean it up, she returned to see him floating a few inches above his highchair, giggling gleefully.
Dad says that it happened first in the middle of the night. He went to check on my brother only to find him suspended above his crib, still sleeping peacefully as he revolved in slow circles.
I remember it as the time we were playing in the sandbox. I had just built the perfect sand castle, complete with four walls and a moat that wrapped around the entire thing. All of the sudden he started to rise above the sand, bobbing and tipping until he crashed down right in the middle of my creation.
The funny thing is, none of us thought of it as odd. It was just something that he did. He couldn't float more than a few inches off of whatever surface he was on, so there was no reason to tell anyone else. They would just make a big deal about it and "whisk him away to perform experiments" as my mom always said.
This is the way it has been for the last 8 years. He couldn't really control it and it doesn't happen very often anymore so we all just kind of pushed it to the backs of our minds. But now things have changed.
It was the night before school started and I was fast asleep, dreaming of seeing all of my friends and starting my first year of middle school. All of the sudden there was an agonizing scream and I awoke to my brother pinned to the ceiling above me.
His eyes were rolled into the back of his head and he was flailing around helplessly. Saliva flew from his mouth and he was breathing in huge rattling gasps. I had never seen him float so high and I was terrified, unable to comprehend what was happening.
He screamed once more and then his eyes snapped into focus, locking onto mine.
"He has a hold of me Max", my brother breathed in a terrified whisper. "He said he has blessed me with a gift and now it is time to come and show him my gratitude."
His eyes were wide with fear and I could tell he was struggling, trying to move his arms and legs but they remained splayed out on my ceiling.
Hundreds of questions were racing through my mind but before I could ask any of them, he jerked violently to the right and slammed against my wall. We were both screaming now as he skidded across the ceiling and crashed into the other wall.
He continued to be whipped around my room, as if he was a puppet attached to terrible, invisible strings. His eyes had rolled into the back of his head again, but his screams were still coming nonstop. His shirt had torn in the back and blood streaked my ceiling.
Finally he was returned to his original position above my bed.
His breathing was ragged and his arms and legs were dangling down towards me.
I reached up to try and grab him but stopped when he opened his eyes.
"Don't let him take me" he pleaded weakly, and started to sink into the ceiling as if it was a pool of liquid. He reached out to me, but before I could do anything he was pulled fully under and disappeared from sight.