The Fall
by Amanda Dykes

I was rocking like a baby down the cool blue river. Drizzled with water and sweat, my face was soaking in the sunlight and developing a rosy pink hue. Sighing, I opened my eyes to a bright blue sky bursting with light. Looking around, I did not recognize where I was. There were towering cliffs to my left and a pebbly bank thirty yards to my right. I figured I must have fallen asleep. Usually, in a situation like this, my first instinct is to panic. But I let my mind and body go limp as I continued to trace designs in the water with my toes.

I watched the clouds above me for a long time. Some were racing along the blue highway, in a hurry to get wherever they were headed. Others stayed a while, lousing around like myself. All of the clouds on this day were white, perky and full of cheer. Most of them were playful as well. Certain clouds played charades, while others danced together to the beat of the wind. I observed the trees, too. Green, red, yellow, orange, purple, green. Tall, short, fat, skinny, bare, coated. Trees are the most diverse living things on this planet.

Everything around me was calm and careless, just like my attitude. The river embraced me gently for miles, the sunís warmth comforted me, and the trees kept me company. The cool wind cut through my hair and molded itself around my face, soothing the bright pink sunburns that matched my swimming suit. But after twirling around in swirls of blue and white for quite some time, I began to notice the mood of the river changing. The pigment of the water was slowly darkening, and the surface began to get upset. No longer was it peaceful and smooth, but jagged and agitated, with white tips. The wind wisped by furiously, whipping my hair and the branches of trees. The trees grumbled and tossed back and forth in protest, and the clouds raced off in fright. Shadowing my eyes from the potent sun, I could barely make out the commotion ahead. It looked like a war of mist lay straight ahead. My own calm spirit swam away in the other direction and my instincts took control over my body. Furiously, I paddled for the bank, making no progress. The squall of mist drew nearer. I reached for a long stick and attempted to stab the bottom of the river, but it failed to reach. By now I could feel the mist carried by the wind on my bare legs. I flung myself from my raft and swam frantically for the bank. Looking back, I saw that I had made a progress of negative ten yards. So with just a few yards to the horrible fall and possible death, I decided to give in. Preparing for the worst, I shut my eyes tight and wrapped my arms around my shivering body. My body plummeted straight downward, leaving my stomach behind at the top of the waterfall. I opened my mouth to scream nothing came out, only water entered.


I landed violently on my right side. My arm was throbbing. Breathing heavily through my mouth, I barely noticed the different odor. It was a mixture of perfume and cigarettes, a shockingly similar scent to that of my basement. I opened my eyes to a bright, glaring light, but this time it wasnít the sun. It was an infomercial on cooking utensils. Glancing at the clock, I noticed it was two AM. With an irritated sigh, I grabbed my blanket and trudged off to bed.

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