I walk to a place of three hills. My hill is lower than the other two. Sun battles cloud. All the land fills with water. As the ocean rises I look with envy upon a family standing on the very top of the highest hill in the valley. They are close and safe and dry. The High Hills stand with arms folded. I hear them chunter with ambivalent curiosity, mulling over what the Low Hills will do. My sisters and I embrace the coming of the seas. ‘Shall we swim?’ says the middle one. I wade out into water. I am wearing an old towelling dressing gown and carrying a cup of tea. The gown becomes sodden and heavy. I panic. Then I tread water and sip tea. My sisters distant banter drifts into my ears on a maritime breeze. The ends of my hair are wet. Calming waves lap fondly at my shoulders. Sunlight reaches across the water. I feel its warmth upon my face. Everything will be fine.
I live in the 19th century in Victorian London. The drawing room is crowded with men in top hats and coat tails. There is a thick, smoky fug. I am stifled. I want to escape. I sneak out of the back door and walk to the end of a long, thin, untidy garden. I lift my layers of skirts and scale a metal fence; the like of which I have never seen before. I jump from a height into a busy road. Every which way I turn there are motorised vehicles so I run. I run and run down the road till air fills my mourning dress and lifts my feet and I am flying. My flight is jerky and uncertain. I’m worried my petticoats will get caught beneath angry wheels. I try flying with one arm outstretched but two arms thrust forward gives me more power. Yet I cannot gain enough height to stay above the bustle.