He was pushed from the plane and his mind screams at the unfairness of it all.
The roaring wind penetrates cold while gravity grabs him by the balls and squeezes tight. His shirt flutters mad. His eyes water and his bare-feet clench hard and painful and the nails of his hands bite into the flesh of his palms.
How many people get to think about their murder as they are being murdered, he wonders.
He tries to breathe, but the air hits hard and his adrenaline races too fast and he wonders why it even matters.
The biggest issue is he has time to think. Play with the idea of his reality for a while.
He is falling.
That’s pretty much it.
He is falling.
But he is not dead yet. He wrestles with the idea of this. But there is no hope in that. There will be no branches to scramble for, or use in bracing for impact to prevent it from become not true.
The happy fact is; it is in fact not possible, if he had already struck land, to be falling. Hamlet said it best; to be, or not to be and soon he wont be, but he is, so that’s good.
Maybe he can make his existence stretch on forever by denying death is possible.
Maybe death can only happen if he allows it to.
He closes his eyes away from the vision of the rapidly approaching Earth and deny’s death’s potential.
Then he wakes in exquisite fiery white pain realizing too late death too serves a purpose and is sometimes preferable to living.
The sun shines bright. The day is warm. The breeze comforting and filled with the flavors of late summer. Maybe noon at a table in the middle of a grassy yard sounds harsh, but summer was ending and its a perfect place to collect a little sun, spend time with new friends, listening to kids play and lawn mowers churn angry.
Sara and Dan did not know the MacLeans well, but when invited they accepted happily.
Deanna was dark and willowy and Sara knew Dan found that attractive, which was fine it proved he was still alive, which after twenty five years of marriage feeling alive is a good thing.
Mark was dark also, but in a mysterious, dangerous way. When he was around Sara could taste his presence like salt on the air.
Awaiting final orders.
The two couples sit and drink cheap Merlot and talk about the weather.
Small meaningless talk really and Sara begins wondering what that buzzing sound is before never wondering anything again.
The desert air smells like burnt tire rubber and dried mouse turds. From a hundred feet away Harold can hear the whoosh of cars on 15 heading either to Vegas or Los Angeles. The heat hasn’t dissipated by the lack of sun. It’s just dark now and he still feels wrapped in a hot oven.
He hitched a ride and got dropped off here on a dirt road in the dark. He’ll find another ride tomorrow when the sun comes up.
A coyote howls in loneliness.
“I feel ya buddy,” he answers back.
Having nothing better to do he starts walking, but shortly stops when the failed seam along the outside of his left boot, which exposed his sockless foot to the elements, picks up a sharp pebble.
He takes his book off to shake it free.
With boot in hand he is startled by the sudden intrusive vroom of a 12 piston German manufactured engine and bright halogen lights bearing down on him.
Fritz is drunk and has forgot he is even driving as he stares down at the library of music on his phone.
He wants a wicked beat to enter California with.
His foot sinks further down on accelerator and the back end of the BMW skids on the dirt as he hits play on a bass and drum piece pumping his fist.
The good news is Harold doesn’t feel the car slam into his body. Only his weak heart exploding in fear.
With maniacal laughter, George Talbert slices through another tree. His fat arms quiver exhausted and the chainsaw buzzes mad, as if on the verge of breaking down. Talbert has felled about fifty trees so far. A whole livelihood of maples in fact. The air is pungent with revenge, sweet-sweet mapley revenge.
The tall tree begins to fall with a crack. He releases his finger from the chainsaws trigger and screams a sarcastic, “Timber!”
He wipes cold sweat from his bald scalp with shaky fingers and turns.
He smiles, jaw aching, at the wide fierce eyes of farmer Brown.
Talbert stares back, black splotches forming at the corners of his vision. This man’s reaction, trussed up, ball-gagged and fuming, is his reward.
“Didn’t have to come to this,’ Talbert wheezes. “You could have dammed the river elsewhere.”
The ache in his chest grows into an inferno of pain. He collapses to one knee, mouth working around a suddenly fat useless tongue. He is desperate to gloat more, but can’t, and dies.
He raises the old .22 and fires a bullet at the cops.
The cops shoot back.
He gets hit!
While dying he thinks, the bitch was right all this time. Everything she said. “You’ll fail!” and he did. At least he tried. Right? Attempt coupled with failure is still a success?
The place is on the water. It has little umbrellas that have frayed in the wind. The fresh salty air from the gulf can’t penetrate the smells of stale beer and greasy food that surround the plywood structure like a fugue.
Gulls circle looking for morsels of food. With protesting squawks they fly off when the big bikes roar into the parking lot. The leather-dressed men smell of piss, shit and vomit. They have long greasy hair and beards. They wear dark glasses and scowls. They step off loud machines onto sun bleached cement stained with blood and violence.
One after another they park until twenty bikes are lined up.
When the last one enters the dive bar the door closes after him and the music inside kicks off and the gulls return to search for food.
The tour guide stops and sighs, “this is one of my favorite exhibits in the entire museum.
You’ll notice there’s an actual outside beyond that window. It’s not just a picture, this little girl’s bedroom overlooked Broadway and Sixty-Sixth street. If you listen carefully there is a soundtrack playing of long ago New York City. Do you hear the traffic and the sirens? My favorite part is coming up. There it is! A horn honk… and a crash… then two men arguing. That is an actual recording of a minor auto accident.
Oh, what a world to have lived in.
The toys and furniture are all made out of natural elements like wood and actual cotton and wool.”
“Was this child rich?” a little girl with purple hair interrupts.
“Not even.” In early 21st century all of these things could be made by hand, or even store bought. No 3D printing was even needed.”
Thursday photo prompt – Child – #writephoto