Never before had the sun created such a glorious spotlight as on this mountain.
Never again would it do so.
On top of the mountain, the wind was raw and slapped at my skin. My lips dried out and I licked at their chapped surface, tasting only stale dryness. The radio sitting at my feet crackled and spoke into the rush of air.
The only thing not carried away by the wind was the heavy, storm-ridden feeling borne by the charged air. The area in which I stood was a tiny oasis of gold. One slanting beam of light shone onto the side of my face, lighting my right eye on fire. The fierce glare of the sun agonized my stare.
And yet the radio babbled on, speaking of the places I wasn't, the things I cared nothing about, the facts I could no longer deny.
My gaze ventured across the surface of the plains, rolled out in front of me, like a map slapped flat on a table. Something moved down there. My eyes leapt to it; my heart made a similar leap. I swayed precariously. The radio toppled onto its side dejectedly with a muffled thud.
I looked straight down. For a moment, I felt like I was already falling. I moved my hand tiredly to my face to brush away the ginger hair that invaded the rims of my eyes. The sudden resulting shadow brought tears to my right eye, as well as huge black blooms in my vision. I exhaustedly lowered my arm back to my side.
My left foot searched around for the radio. I pushed it slightly in front of me.
"Watch out in the north," it advised me faintly, "for strong winds and possible storms. Maybe we'll even -" the radio chuckled - "get some tornadoes going here. Meanwhile,"
I didn't understand the humour. But I could no longer hear the radio - it was carving out the path I was soon to follow, toppling through the air at a sickening rate.
My stomach lurched as it dropped from my line of vision. I didn't even see it hit the ground.
I wondered if I'd see me hit the ground.
For a few moments longer, I stood and looked at the plains, at the solitary winding road and my scraped Buick pulled over by the side.
For a few moments longer, I just steeled myself - though how could I? The reason was that I could no longer steel myself to everything. The radio was probably still talking about me. I wanted to deny my name, deny everything about the past four hours, thirty-six minutes, and nine seconds (I checked my watch).
The wind helped me along. I fell out of the light and onto the current, the steady sea of air careening along at breakneck pace. My feet left rock and met nothing at all.
I had jumped mightily into the sky.
A piece of paper dropped out of my left pocket. I screamed and grabbed for it.
Something rumbled. Something exploded. Something connected with my outstretched hand.
An onslaught of electricity, too much energy for my body to hold, was channeled into me from the cloud nearest.
Just for a second, my mouth opened wide in pain. My body started to fall away from the mountain, reaching the peak of its arc, but I myself did not accompany it. I kept moving upwards, drifting, surveying my charred form as it spun, spiraled, careened towards the ground.
I moved towards the solitary gap in the cloud, wind not affecting me. I did not cast a shadow as I hovered once more inside the light that was flooding from the gap.
I slid into the blue sky and was perfectly happy to do so.
I slid into the blue sky and remembered how, four hours, thirty-eight minutes, and 14 seconds ago, you had done the same.