A word used in American English is “to dap” defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “to rebound, bounce; to hop or skip (as a stone along the surface of water).”
A stone needs a minimum velocity to move across water. Life is much the same way, and if any of the systems that enable you to breathe, circulate, recycle or excrete slow down or stop then it’s an ending on crisp, white sheets or in the aisle of the 7/11 arguing the cost of a pack of cigarettes.
Yannick was a jock, a high school running back, decent and raised to fear and love in a two parent household. No dark secrets, polled highly with the focus groups and treated the freak explosion that connected him to the Higgs Field as a blessing.
Straight out of the comic books, which is why people liked him.
Harris Dennis was talking at the age of two. Complete sentences. Walking at eight months or trying to. Neotenous traits that distilled into a silvery intellect that fascinated and terrified his parents from the word go. Harris had seen the television footage of Yannick in action as Fleet, the superpowered speedster of The Pantheon. Sponsored by footwear manufacturers, did that commercial where he outran the German sportscar but stopped to talk with the hot female driver, the soles of his feet smoking as he leaned against the roof. Something in his eight year old brain sparked into life and he began to collect notes in a series of scarred and stained notebooks.
Figured out the Higgs Field connection, which wasn’t public knowledge. At ten, he blinded a girl in school who laughed at him during recess, used the same HB pencil that he was writing down his theories.
In the principal’s office, Harris asked if he could have his pencil back. Janet asks me if I would like to see his notes. I nod. I wanted to see. To understand.
Harris got into a fast track program, tossing older and less intelligent professors scraps from the feast of his findings. His first experiment and his last shut down the power supply for around two hundred miles. What came out was the new Fleet, silver skin and eyes that saw everything and nothing.
Janet has not seen or heard from him since. Aside from an ungainly and awkward photo op when he was formally inducted into the team. He was cold to the touch, did not speak above a whisper, his lips hummed against her cheek when he kissed her.
Page 17 of Notebook 63 amidst a sea of dense formulae, there is a small verse.
At the limits, where my vision shifts to red.
I see something. Hear something call my name.
If I run past enough, I can get there.
There is a recipe for a synthesis of psilocybin. I look up at Janet, see the harried, disbelieving expression and close the notebook.
‘He’s our son and we miss him. But he’s not been our son, for a long time.’
I smile because that’s all that’s left to me of late.
‘He’s doing good work, keeping people safe’
She looks away, dabbing at her eyes with a tissue that she keeps in the sleeve of her sweater.
‘Tell that to that little girl.’