The wind wracked crazed fingers through her hair. It gripped, tore, plucked at her suit and pressed its weight in over her ears. The earth spun momentarily and she swung around to face the others. Their faces were pulled tight towards their hairlines in grins verging on the grotesque. One of them, the dry old woman who had spoken briefly with her on the ride up, gave her a thumbs up.

She returned the gesture, though her arm felt it would be wrenched out of its socket by the pressure.

The instructor, in his dull green suit, motioned to his backpack, nodding at each of the group to pull the cord. Each student fumbled at the pulls and tugged. The parachutes billowed out with a relieved whoomp.

She twisted her arm back around. Across her front. At her hips. Something cold seized her heart and it twitched frantically in her chest.

The rest of the group wavered hestitantly in the breeze, slowing substantially as she continued to plummet. They looked like technicolor dandelion seeds, drifting confidently in the wind. She kicked round to face them, waving up like a rag doll dropped from a great height and weighted with a rock deep in her stomach.

The ground twisted in roiling hills. A whip-stitch line of fences showed sharp black over a patchwork of faded greens; but the image warped in her watering eyes. She fell.

Once on the ground, she chuckled and slapped the backs of the others. Her grin was wide and edged.

"God," she sighed, "Can't believe I forgot my phone on the plane!"

The End

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