“Hold your breath. Lean forward. Don’t jump until I tell you to.”
The words as instructed come in as a muffle behind the blindfold. I can make out the words, but not the tone in which they’re spoken. All I know is my shoes are gone and I’m on a ledge, the fold around my face being the only thing keeping me from falling over.
I can’t see the water, but I can still smell the salty air that it infuses with in the fall. After October it starts to get chilly, and the wind breezing past my toes pinches at the skin. If it were Winter I’d feel snow cruncing under my feet, but I still feel the gravel and the grass even as it dips over the edge of the immediate world I’m standing on.
Footsteps crunch over the earth behind me. Then a tug, on the arms where the constraints are tied around the wrists, tightening above the already numbed hands underneath. “Am I going to die?” I ask, the tightening of the restraints halting for a fluttering moment. A finger pulls down on the blindfold, just beside my right ear. “No. You’re going to fly.”
The tightening doesn’t return as the footsteps crunch into quiet, the wind blowing through the cotton cloth and sticking the fabric to my face, my hair in my unbound mouth. Even If I could scream, there would only be two results: I’ll be cut loose and fall into the nothing below, or the fold will slip down and become a noose before I could utter a tangible word. I’m not sure which is worse. I stop focusing on the end of me and lose my sense in the waves crashing below, the salt water air, the wind playing underneath my dress and through my hair. I’m not on a cliff, I convince myself. I’m on a beach, a vacation that I never have to leave, the edge of the world at the tips of my toes. The gravel is sand, the blindfold just my eyes closed in serenity. I hear the muffling of the wind crescendo, until it cuts the air in stutters.
The sirens soon follow, an audible “shit!” creeping up from behind me, mixed with the chopper overhead. The sirens wail louder and louder till they press upon my back, a booming voice calling for an arrest and a release of the girl. Me. The voice tightens the restraints, a clamor of yelling and soon pops of a gun, but not before I hear the tearing of the cloth release my body over the gap in front of me. The fold stays close over my eyes, my dress a failing parachute, the rest of the gun pops and helicopter chops falling away as the crashing waves take over everything around me.
I’m at the beach, diving into the ocean during high tide. I come up for air and gasp a thunderstorm.