out of the ashes

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Titanic Tree-RISING

I've been working in fits and starts on my new novel; the story of a young girl sentenced to sure death by virtue of her banishment to the island of Folly. Alana Bendrece has murdered a young attacker from the caste of Polit, the rulers of her walled-in, desperately poor community. Found guilty in a quick trial, she isn't hanged or shot, instead blindfolded and loaded unceremoniously onto a Helicere-II aircraft. Hours later the cargo door opens, and she is shoved out.

Of course the young heroine doesn't die...


They’ve blindfolded me. I sit in the cargo bay of a Helicere II, my hands bound behind my back, my knees to my chest. The only sound is the soft, low whirring of the engines somewhere near the rear below the deck. I am freezing because I wore only my tunic, and the craft must have climbed to a very high altitude. I’d been given nothing else to wear, not even sandals. Why didn’t they simply shoot me, or hang me?

It’s been hours, me sitting, numb from the cold, until suddenly, finally, I hear another sound. A different one than the engines, like a door sliding open to my left. Seconds later a hand gripping me under the armpit. A jerk to my feet, and then another, larger door sliding open. And then a frigid blast of wind.

I know what is going to happen next, I think, and I am petrified.

I wonder what it will feel like when I hit the ground? For that last split second of life, anyway. I scream, but it all happens so fast that maybe I only imagine me screaming. Maybe I haven’t made a sound.

Two or three tripping steps, and then the rough push. The whir and drone of the Helicere’s engines quickly fading to quiet. Air ripping over me as hard and furious as water in a raging river. I want to thrash my arms, but I can’t. I want to see the ground rushing up at me for some unexplainable reason, the panorama narrowing until it becomes impossible to focus in that final second coming too soon. The blindfold panics me as much as the sensation of falling. Maybe more. Would it be any more comforting to actually see my death approaching at 120 miles per hour?

I think of Mother just before I hit.

Patrick Sean Lee (c) 2014

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