ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Thursday, 16 June 2011

#RomanticFridayWriters challenge for June 17 - My story, 'Up, up and away' - an adrenalin rush.



For this week's challenge I'm posting a rejigged version of a published story called '60 Seconds.' Some of you may have read an excerpt ages ago. After so many positive comments I knew I was onto a winner, so I then polished it and submitted it to a fiction magazine in Australia. It was published recently. This new version is quite different, but lots of fun to do for the weekly theme. Enjoy!

Up, up and away!

‘Too dangerous!’ Fazie yelled. ‘You have children. No more jumping from planes. Not on your birthday. The kids’ll be devastated if you’re late for your party.’

‘It’s my birthday Faze, my 30th. I told you I was planning something new.’

‘Skydiving’s not new.’

‘Going solo is.’

‘Solo! Think of the kids if you won’t think of me.’

‘They’ll be proud. I was hoping you would be too, facing my fears and all.’

‘You’re afraid of nothing, not even of letting me down.’

‘This jump’s not about you Faze. I’m challenging myself! I’m sorry I’ve disappointed you.’

‘I love you Jilli. I’m terrified of losing you.’

***

Your life really does flash before you as you die.

My parachute’s stuck. I’m not going to hear that thunderous whoosh, or see that puff of parachute silk billowing skyward. Nah, this time it’s just me, the sky and that old enemy, gravity. 

I’m drowning in wind and velocity as I plummet towards the ground with a flickering movie playing in my head – I see my children’s faces, Flo’s smile smeared with my bright red lipstick, Mikki’s high five after the soccer game. Their birthday parties flicker and I’m sorry I probably won’t share any more. Today they’ll be waiting to yell ‘Surprise! Clever Mummy!’ Fazie flickers into the scene. I hear his voice catch on his last words to me: ‘You’ll be sorry!’ 

I love you Fazie. I’m sorry now.

***

I’m dropping like a lead ball, faster, faster. Probably 60 seconds to impact. Think! Think! The adrenalin surges through me and I know what to do. I lunge backward, extend my arms and bend my knees so the back of my head nearly touches my heels. Now I can make a turn just by twisting my upper body. 

People have survived a free fall from 50,000 feet. I’m at less than 11,000 so I must have a chance. Survival float, it’s called. Choose a drop zone, a nice soft spot preferably. A sand dune would do.

Yes! My speed’s slowed and I’m heading towards the beach. I can hear the sound of wind screaming in my ears and my desperate prayers…‘help-me-help-me-oh-God-oh-Godddd...’

About 30 seconds left. 

 Any moment now. Bend knees! Drop zone! Dip shoulder left. Here comes the ground - colours blending-whirling-blue-green-sandy-use balls of feet-point toes-swish-thump-roll-bounce-cover head-arms over ears-elbows up-hold tight-grassy knoll-thump-thump-thump-ouch-ooh-ah…

‘Jilli!’

***
©DeniseCovey2011

This is my story of 400 words for #RomanticFridayWriters.
Click on the image above to read more stories from the talented writers
 of prose and poetry who post on Fridays.

I'm actually up, up and away in the air today, Friday 17, heading for Korea, France, Spain, Morocco and Andorra. I won't be able to post a RFW story for a month but I'm travelling with my netbook and a patient husband so I will be able to read your comments and maybe make a few comments of my own.




26 comments:

  1. Oh Denise...I need to know. Does he make it? I certainly hope your travels are safe, fun and full of adventure.
    Nancy

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  2. I like this short story -- maybe they should use it as required reading in those flight schools where they train you to jump!

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  3. Denise, I read this before I went to work & I'm reading it again now I've got a short break...I'm none the wiser!
    Don't leave me hanging (no pun intended)...did she make it?

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  4. I'm an optimist. She made it :)

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  5. OMG, this made me almost wee wee in my pants! You have some great imagery here, and I'm choosing to believe she made it, too. Is that true about the survival float??

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  6. Oh my! I held my breath through the whole piece! The pace is fantastic.

    I could only jump out of a plane IF my life depended on it....never for my birthday. Give me perfume and chocolates any day!

    A fabulous Up, Up And Away :-)

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  7. Ohh the tension! Would make it, I say!

    Loved this story.

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  8. im an optimist, she would make it:)
    A lovely " up up and away":)

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  9. Hee hee guys. Signing in from Seoul. I reckon she makes it, that's why poor Fazie's calling 'Jilli!' First person POV she wouldn't have heard him otherwise I'm thinking.

    After 11 hours in the air I've gotta get me some grub. Catch you all later. Thanks for reading.

    Denise<3

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  10. What a fast paced and gripping tale. Leaves you wondering if she made it until you left the answer in your comment. :-D Great write. Enjoy your hols!

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  11. Brilliant read! Enjoy your holiday!

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  12. Great story - wonderful conflict in the first part, exciting action in the second. Bravo!

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  13. Hi,

    Hee hee; classic piece of free-fall fiction! ;)

    best
    F

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  14. So glad she made it! I'd be way to scared to try a sky dive...
    Have a great trip Denise! Soooo jealous that you're going to Spain. Will you be near Palos or Barcelona or Toledo? All the places in my novel...

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  16. Very nice! Great ending with just the right kind of edge-of-your-seat expectancy. I like it that we don't know what happens in the end. That's what makes it a great story!

    ♥ Mary Mary

    (Sorry, I had to delete the last comment because I forgot to add which one of us stopped by!)

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  17. Great tension and suspense.... WELL DONE! I can see why it was published.

    HAVE A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY!

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  18. That was scary!! My head is spinning and hope all worked out OK with the landing. Have a great vacation.

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  19. That was a quick thrill Denise, I didn't think she was going to make it. Have fun on your travels, you lucky lady!

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  20. Oh my gosh, you scared me witless. I loath the thought of jumping out of a plane. Can't understand why anyone but soldiers would find it necessary and that's why I'll never be a soldier.

    Have fun globe trotting! I'm so excited for you.

    Jai

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  21. Hope you're having a good globe trot. Sounds wonderful! Can't wait to hear all about it.

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  22. Oh wow I loved the description of the falling, the blur of colours at the end it kept me hooked throughout! Have you ever been sky diving perchance? :O)

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  23. Had to stop and read this again, go thing too, my first comment wasn't here. Hope this one makes it. Love the suspense in this story. I was wondering if she made it, or at least if she made it in one piece.
    Now I know.

    Have fun on your trip. Take lots of pictures and notes.

    Pamela Jo

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  24. Intense!! Is that the end? What happens!

    Congrats on the publication!

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  25. Oh gosh...I need to know what happens next, Denise!!!! Please? :)

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