Floating down at terminal velocity from the belly of an airplane, my parachute is broken. Beneath the veranda of the blood red sun I spin, flip and gasp as the ground gets ever closer. This is all like some bad dream.
Memories come rushing up to meet me now. When I was just six years old I had a golden clock that sat on my dresser. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. It went all day long, counting down the seconds until my death. Ticking the minutes away as I hurtled ever faster into the future. I couldn't take it anymore. I smashed my clock.
Up above where the clouds are born I lie. Have you ever seen the light of the sun through the thin air? It's incredible. We all die under the blue sky, but so very few of us ever get the chance to be above it.
When I was five my father and I looked out over the dusty remnants of our feild. Sand and sweat swirled around the ground like a reapers scythe. From the corner of my eye I could see my father. His silver hair shone in the hot air and a crystal teardrops formed on the edges of his eyes. They rolled of of his cheeks and crashed into the soft ground. Instantly they were gone, swallowed by the thirsty earth. My father had given that land everything. His blood, his sweat, and his tears.
The wind rifles through my hair like bullets through corpses. Falling to the patchwork earth I can see farms and feilds stitched together by the hand of god. Funny how the beauty of this world is apparent from a couple thousand feet up or from a rose lying in your hand. The earth is getting bigger all the time. Rushing towards me as fast as time moves.
When I was just seventeen I fell in love with a girl. Her name was Rose and she hated roses. I guess you kind of get sick of something if you're named after it. That's probably why people never call their kids stuff like "Chocolate" or "Lollipop" who wants their kid to hate chocolate?
Anyway. This girl was real cute, a totall doll. Made my heart jump a couple of times whenever I saw her. She wasn't just cute either. She was kind and most of all she understood. Understood me so well I never had to explain myself. Of course, she ended up understanding me so well she had to leave. Not sure if you can love someone like me.
The quilted world is spiraling ever closer. I roll over and look at the sky. The pumpkin sun and mayonaise clouds are getting ever farther away. I could see fragments of my airplane coming down too. A big peice of wing, torn off by a flak cannon was peacefully floating down about 20 feet above me. It was beautiful. The metal majesty of man on the canvas of God.
The ground is getting close now. Only a few more seconds and it's all over. I knew a guy once who got shot in the chest during a live fire excersize. His heart stopped beating for one minute and then started again all of a sudden. He said it was the best experience of his life.
He said it felt like he was going home.
One day I was with Rose when a little kid walked by. I stuck out my leg and he fell onto the hard concrete. Rose didn't need to ask why I did it. She knew why. She looked at me with her glassy eyes and said she couldn't love me anymore.
I couldn't understand why I did these cruel things. She understood though, and for that reason she left me.
I joined the army three days later.
I'm going home soon. The ground is close and my freefall is over.
A few months ago I was waiting for my plane to land to take me to France when we saw a bunch of guys walking down the road. They just walked down that road, single file, heads down, just putting one foot ahead of the other. They were in hell, every one of them. And the dead? They were checking in at Heavens gates
"Private Joseph checking in, I've already been through hell."
I pity the survivors.
The ground is close. Five more seconds.
And then, they put a rifle in my hands and I hopped on my flight to Paris.
Somewhere along the way we got off course.
Anti-air guns lit up the sky like fireflies on a warm July night. They ripped the steel off our aircraft like skin from a ripe peach. I was sucked out of the plane.
A letter will be written to my parents. "Private James Reginald was killed in action over a foreign field in France."
I never saw a minute of combat.
But I think I am the lucky one.
Most of my regiment died after seeing days upon months upon years of war.
I died with a peaceful mind.
I pity the survivors.
I hit the ground with a thud. My spine collapsed, my blood screamed out of my chest, my body was ripped to pieces. Like so many others, my bones rest in a foreign feild underneath an alien sky. Unlike many others, I was never a soldier. I died, still dreaming.