Updated: May 5, 2021
Someone is spinning in mid-air. A color rhapsody envelops them. They fly higher and higher into the pure green sky. With arms outstretched, head extended towards the sky, and their legs tucked into their chest, they spiral downward. The crowd beneath them erupts into a cacophony of noises ranging from fear to bewilderment. Some onlookers flee while others wait to see if it is a trick. The sky-swimmer places their hands at their sides and turns their head downward and stretches their legs so that their toes point at the sky. They swish their body back and forth like a marine creature, picking up speed as they begin their collision towards the ground. Only a few members of the crowd have stuck around to see what would happen next. And when the being crashes to the floor, the rest of the crowd scatters. But they land with grace, spin around, and bow to the remaining crowd who erupted in applause.
“My name is Morgan Pipley,” the sky swimmer says. Morgan Pipley stands five feet in height exactly and is wearing a black suit and tie. Their hair is a dour shade of brown and lays flat against their square head.
"You will of course be needed my card, won't you?" Mr. Pipley asks.
Some members of the crowd murmur in reply and step a little closer.
Mr. Pipley wiggles their arm a bit until a small slip of paper prints from the very point of their elbow. They reach their other hand down to grab the copies of the card that have just printed and offers the cards to the crowd as if to suggest this was a perfectly natural phenomenon. One man is brave enough to step forward and take the card.
Mr. Pipley smiles at the man. "And who might I have the pleasure of speaking to?" they ask.
"My name is Ed," they say.
"Ah, Ed. Just Ed then?”
"Ed. That's the only name anyone has ever called me. Well, when they were being polite that is. I've been called other names too but those were not very polite names."
"Ah. I understand, Ed. Shall we get to it?"
Ed was not sure he knew what Mr. Pipley meant by 'it' but they said it in a way that made Ed feel like he ought to know. Afraid Mr. Pipley might think they were a fool, Ed refrained from asking. Instead, he opted for a crisp nod.
"Very well, Ed. Right this way, Ed."
Mr. Pipley walks into the middle distance where the crowd had been a moment before. Ed begins to wonder if he is forgetting something that he should know. Then, starts to panic when he realizes he can't even remember what he had for breakfast. In fact, he couldn't remember what he has ever eaten for breakfast. Ed decides something is very wrong with him, but he can’t decide what exactly that something is and decides to follow Mr. Pipley. Mr. Pipley seems to know what is going on after all and maybe they could help him figure it out. Ed runs to catch up to Mr. Pipley who had not waited for him to decide anything at all.
Ed follows Mr. Pipley through a series of complex turns in what appears to be a garden maze. The branches stretch out for miles and almost seems to touch the sky. There is a vibrant blue and Mr. Pipley doesn’t slow down for anything, not even to see if their traveling companion is still following them. From time to time Mr. Pipley shouts out, “oh Ed, are you still there?” Though, they don't turn around nor wait for Ed to respond before saying, “ah good. Simply marvelous.”