Free Fall

What a rush.

The ancient lumbering C-47 falls away above me as I take to the sky. The roar of her engines morph into a hushed whisper of rushing air.

The freedom is intoxicating, invigorating. I am in free fall, diving toward the earth at terminal velocity. Adrenaline pumps through my body. I have never been more alive.

A sudden harsh jerk snaps me back to reality. My parachute has deployed prematurely. I spin violently, and then twist. Something is wrong. I should be floating, but I am not.


My main chute is only partially deployed. The lines are tangled.

I only have seconds to act. I cut away the main; it billows uselessly above me as I drop back into free fall.

Earth beckons.

My one chance left is the reserve chute.

Please open.

I pull it from its pack and fling it out and up.

It snaps open and jerks me almost to a halt, then shepherds me softly to the waiting grass.

I almost died. I came so close.

I can’t wait to go again. I am that high on life.

What a rush!

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