The wind whistled in Michael’s ears, piercing, cold, welcome. He fell through the atmosphere, reaching terminal velocity far more quickly than he expected. He glanced at his timepiece and realized that his calculations had been nearly exact, it was his perception that was flawed. The ground wasn’t approaching as he expected. The fall was taking too long. He glanced at his wrist again–his calculations were perfect, his expectations flawed. He just wanted to die and this was taking too long. At least it was too late to chicken out. He’d already sabotaged his parachute, pulling it would likely break a few bones before he hit the ground; not his idea of a good ending.
Finally he could make out some details of the forest beneath him. More than just trees, vibrant colors of foliage began luminating his awareness, huts or houses appeared as if hidden before he looked, people were milling, children running, a woman looked up.
He could see her as clearly as if he had been standing next to her. Autumn brown hair and hazel brown eyes, she was tanned as if she had never spent a day indoors, and wore a simple peasant blouse and long brown skirt. She smiled up at him and her face suddenly lit up Michael’s life. He had spent everyday in a dark cave and had suddenly seen the sun. She blinded him with her light, every ounce of hopelessness that had brought him to this fall fell away; he was filled with hope, and happiness, and peace.
And then Michael hit the ground.