We all gazed after Lucinda and William, gripping to one another as they disappeared into the darkness of the mysterious hole. Harriet stared after them as we did, and after a few seconds, turned to Marc and I, standing side by side. "Alright. Marc and Zoey, your turn."

  I gave Marc a nervous glance and he returned it with the same serious anxiety. Half excitement filled me-returning to Earth! Perhaps I could go home soon and tell my parents that I was OK and see if Jason was alright as well. We stepped close to the small pit, and Marc wrapped his arms around me, as I placed my own around his waist. "Whatever you do," Marc whispered into my ear, his warm breath ruffling my hair and making me shudder. "don't let go."

  Suddenly we were falling...falling...falling. Breath escaped me, and I began to gasp frantically for air, my heart beating wildly and colors flashing before my eyes in the darkness.

  The horrible feeling left, and sunlight almost blinded me. Wind whipped my hair and slapped at us as if we were toys. I blinked a few times and my vision returned. I couldn't contain a scream as I realized we were diving through a clear blue sky, tiny patches of land and houses like a small ant world below.

  "Zoey, I-!" I heard Marc yell, the rest of his words blending into the wind.

  The Earth seemed to come closer and closer-rolling patches of yellow and green farmland. Panicking, I used my strength to flip us around so that I was on the bottom...if one of us had a chance of surviving the impact, maybe my strength would hold up.

   As our speed increased, I tucked my head against his shoulder, my heart beating wildly. This will be the end.  I thought, a terrible knot in my stomach. We will not die fighting the Black Ones, but falling from the stupid sky....

   Let it end quickly, I repeated to myself, closing my eyes even more tightly.

  There seemed to be a shift in the breeze, and gravity itself seemed to slow. Within seconds we tumbled through still air once more and landed.

   It didn't hurt as much as I expected. Was I dead?

   I peaked open my eyes-Marc was on top of me and we both were panting from the fright of the fall. His eyes were wild and round, hay stuck in his hair and clothes. Still trembling, I began to smile of disbelief. Of all places, we landed in a hay stack!

    What were the odds? "That was close," Marc breathed, shaking his head. I began laughed, both from the left-over fright and the hilarity of the situation.  

   Marc began to laugh as well, a full hearty laugh that made me grin. After a moment, we caught our breath, our fit of laughter ceasing.

   Reaching up, I brushed my lips against his own in a light kiss and pulled away, gazing up into his soft brown eyes. He paused, bending closer over me to kiss me fully on my lips, sweet and passionate. I put my slender arms around his neck, and for a moment, time appeared to pause.

  He yelped, yanked away from me as the hay pile gave way and we both went tumbling down it's large side, an avalanche of hay coming with us. I giggled, both of us sprawled face up on the green grass.

   I pushed myself to a sitting position, brushing off pieces of itchy hay from my arms and attempting to shake it out of my hair. Marc stood, trying at the same goal, yet with no better result than I. Giving up, he took the cell phone out from his pocket which Harriet had given us and sat next to me.

  "And now we wait." he murmured, putting his arm around me. I smiled up at him, setting my head on his shoulder.



The End

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