"Wow," the boy's mouth stretched from an awestruck "o" into a wide grin. He pushed his glasses up to the bridge of his nose. He wanted to see this as clearly as possible.

Tombo had dreamed of this day his whole entire life. This was the accumulation of years of staring up dreamily at the sky and wishing he could be up there in the clouds.

Cotton swirled into soft, thick clouds sat in an endlessly blue sky. His fingers tapped against the glass as he leaned in closer to the window for a better view. The Spirit of Freedom, a grand dirigible, sailed effortlessly across the clouds, traversing an upside-down ocean that knew no end. It was free to roam the skies. Tombo was standing beside the captain inside that wonderful flying machine. He could not believe his luck.

His eyes grew wider and wider in order to catch every scrap of color and movement. He had been starving, so great was his hunger for the sky. He could always see it stretched out above him, but he could never reach it.

He could see the clock tower scraping the sky beside him and the town sprawled out below him. In the distance, he could see the ocean sparkling in the sunlight as it brushed against the golden shore. He could see all of his tiny world from up there. It looked so much smaller than he thought it was. Along the horizon line he could see towers and mountains reaching up to the sky, trying to touch it, to claim it as their own.

He could see the whole city from up there, but he was most excited by the sky. His eyes followed the flight of a formation of geese. They spread their wings as one and glided on the wind. They were so free, the way they rode on the wind. Behind the glass, he could not taste such freedom.

He wished he could feel the wind at his fingertips. He wished he could feel it rush through his hair as it swept the geese's feathers. He wished he could fly. But this wasn't so bad. It was the best he could get. He could see what they saw, but he could not feel like they did. Like Kiki did as she soared across that sky. He'd never touched a cloud or tasted the stars, but he had always dreamed of it.

This was the closest he'd ever gotten to the sky, but he could still not touch the sky through an inch of glass.