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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Blog 23: Jumping

He reached the nest floor. His legs were getting tired. Instead of following the stairs still further he walked across the dusty glass floor that suspended him high above the chasm of the rooms far below. Chains rattled and the wind whistled between unmanned machines. Police tape lay torn in a doorway. It had been a crime scene at one point evidently. Outside the rain continued to pour down upon the roof and walls. He heard the drips as water found its way into the building. Vague footsteps marked the floor through which he only saw darkness below. The yellow brick was turning green in many places as mould grew in the damp. Here and there plants grew in what might some days be a patch of sunlight. The wood of the banister was rotten and slimly and crumbled beneath his fingers. He wiped the gunk of on his trousers. It was damp but still dusty and his coughs echoed in the cavernous space.
Bored, he turned back to the stairs. The rusty iron of the staircase was far from trustworthy. He gripped the railing tightly and tested each step before trusting his weight on it. Out of the windows he saw the endless acres of factories and warehouses like it. Progress was slow until the rusty stairs became concrete which he put more faith in. His footsteps clattered as he clambered, feeling heavy.
He scattered birds on the rooftop. Seagulls parted grudgingly to allow him the view. Down, far below, was ground. Grass had grown through the tarmac and was a thick carpet in the shadow of his perch. He could parachute from that height, he would have time during the fall. At the precipice of the tallest building for hundreds of miles he paused. If he was wrong it would mean his death. Gravel crunched beneath his trainers as he negotiated the edge.
Doubt was the enemy of progress he thought, do not hesitate. Instincts screamed at him to anchor himself to the immobile earth beneath but he lunged for the air before him. Every drop of epinephrine available was released into his system as he plummeted earthward. His life did not flash before him but seemed to play out as memories spilling out behind him. Fear rose and fell to exhilaration as the ground soared ever closer.
He braced from impact and readied his reactions. In milliseconds the pain was total but he carried out the intended roll for several meters before losing consciousness.
He woke, still sore, having conquered gravity again. The agony radiated far beyond the limits of his flesh and followed the trail of his blood back to the point of impact. His vision was hazy and discoloured as he looked up at the looming tower he had jumped from. To breathe caused horrific pain but if he failed his vision darkened. Mind had triumphed over matter as he saw it but that might have been concussion. Pain would be his companion for weeks to come and for days a more corporeal companion than the friends that did not believe his story.
He crawled through the grass and tarmac for miles until he learned to stomach the pain and disorientation of walking. His horrified mothers shouts fell on ears deaf from damage and boredom. He would not be dissuaded from the madness. He could do what no one else could, because no one else was so stupid. He’d walked the thin line between life and death. He enjoyed tainting the reaper. On his dying day he thought his corpse would have more life left in it than most were born with.
He would not change. Pain was no deterrent when compared with the rush he felt on the edge. He was special, well built. He was not particularly muscular, not bulky anyway. His body was the product of his obsession, lean and finely tuned for the next mad move of whim. His friends called him insane. He loved hearing the truth.

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