I was falling.
The sensation made my stomach lurch in panic.
I braced myself for whatever would happen when I stopped falling.
But nothing changed. The wind still whipped at every part of me. I dared to open my eyes. The ground seemed so far away, I thought I might never reach it. But it gradually became closer and bigger, at what I realized, was actually an alarming rate.
Except for the sound of my heartbeat and flapping clothes, it was peaceful up here among the clouds and birds.
I watched in fascination as the earth got close enough to see more and more detail. I felt no real fear. It did not matter whether I survived or didn't. Instead I smiled, the wind drying my mouth instantly, and greeted the planet that pulled me so strongly towards it.
A nagging idea tugged at my consciousness. Without further thought, I pulled a string attached to the pack strapped to my back. The air left my chest with a whuf as my harness jerked sharply. I dangled there, tickled by the fact that I was hanging from a glorified tablecloth.
The falling was much smoother and quieter. The height still made me dizzy, but the ground seemed much friendlier now. The wind pushed me forward, and I sailed over some roads and houses. It was fun to watch the little cars speeding on their narrow little paths, like toys.
My stomach twisted again as I prepared myself for impact. I thanked the wind for not pushing me into a tree. My feet hit the soft soil of a plowed field, and the rest of me and my chute followed. I lay on the ground, embracing the stillness and solidness. I could feel the world tilting a bit, so I closed my eyes, welcoming the darkness.