Short Story Sunday | 1

He faded into consciousness that morning, feeling like a cloud floating blissfully along in a blue sky of hope and dreams. He wouldn’t open his eyes; not yet. It was too good a feeling, tucked up in his warm, soft blankets. It was always best to enjoy these moments as long as possible.

Stretching, he turned over on his bed. The stretch felt so good. He could feel all his muscles, grateful for the movement after such a deep sleep. Everything was wonderful. He didn’t have a care in the world as he curled up and rolled onto his side.

Until he rolled too far.

All at once, the beautifully soft covers, the perfect warmth, and his blissful sense of peace fell away and he flung his eyelids open. He was falling, down, down, and there was no floor, no end, no up and no down; he couldn’t see anything but dark, hear anything but the wind rushing past him, knocking his breath from his lungs. He flung round and round, and suddenly there was a speck of light rushing towards him, getting larger, until it was on top of him and he could see a bright yellow sky, and he was falling from it.

There was ground beneath him, but it wasn’t normal. Everything looked like a cartoon as he pitched headlong towards it; the round, squat buildings had no dimension and the colours were wrong, too bright and definite. He continued falling, and the cartoon grass came to meet his face.

It never made impact: the ground opened up and he fell right through it. He tumbled over and over, and he wondered if he’d ever stop. The tunnel was long, winding and bending, but he stayed falling, hitting nothing. The tunnel widened and the world went topsy-turvy as he shot up from a hole in the pavement, rocketing towards the sky, past glass skyscrapers, flying cars and hoverboards, up through pink fluffy clouds.

The sky broke as he met it, shattering into pieces, but he felt nothing. Blinding whiteness surrounded him and he covered his eyes to hide them from the light. Without his sight he couldn’t tell which way was up, whether he was falling or flying. The wind buffeted him around, and suddenly he was thrust around so fast his hands were forced from his face and he saw an ocean opening up to swallow him. He roared in terror as he fell, because he couldn’t be flying now, and he plunged into the water. It crashed down on top of him, dragging him into its depths. He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t cry out, couldn’t control the movement of his limbs. He was completely powerless to the ocean’s will. It was overwhelming, suffocating, and he saw stars behind his eyelids. He was going to pass out soon.

Seconds later, the ocean opened up again and he fell towards the open air, gasping to fill his lungs, and he blinked in the sudden brightness. As he plummeted through the light, he watched the ocean close up above him. The light faded and changed, and he started as he crashed straight through his ceiling onto his bed.

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