The assignment for this week's prompt is to write a piece that begins with the line, "I could never have imagined" and ends with the line, "Then the whole world shifted." We're going to stick with the 600-word limit this week.
I could never have imagined that I, The Queen Chicken of the World, me...the one who doesn't even like to stand on a chair...would be standing at the open door of an airplane with a parachute strapped to my back. Me. Getting ready to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Oh. My. God.
Well, OK. There was a very fine looking "instructor" between me and the parachute. Good-looking, rugged young guy. I figured the powers that be were giving a little eye candy to a middle-aged Queen Chicken as a reward for my bravery. He tried to be reassuring and confident. I'm sure he felt my panic rising, because he finally just repeated the word, "Breathe."
The engine noise was deafening, so the instructor leaned close to my ear and said it again, "Breathe." I tried. I really did. I tried to breathe. I gasped and I panted and I hyperventilated, but I'm not sure I ever managed to breathe. The instructor repeated his other directions, put my hand over the cord, and counted down.
"Ready? We jump on three! One.....two......three.......!"
And out we went. Into the clear blue nothingness of an Arizona autumn sky.
The world became silent. Except for the scream, but that was just inside my chicken brain. The instructor leaned in again and quietly repeated his new mantra and mine: "breathe".
I breathed. I realized that I was actually doing this ridiculously stupid and brave thing, and I was still alive. I conquered the fear. I had done it! I pulled the cord and the chute opened like a perfect (and very LOUD) flower. I would live through this experience.
I had done it. In the moments floating earthward, the many things I had never done flashed before my eyes. I threw my fear to the wind along with my caution and with no grace at all, my tired, old, out-of-shape ass lit on the grassy landing field.
I stood up, fully conscious of the fact that I had let my life be orchestrated by my fears. I had conquered the first of those many fears. Then, in that moment, for me, the whole world shifted.
Always, feel free to comment!
(I bet you thought my parachute wouldn't open, huh? And yes, this is a work of complete fiction because you will NEVER see my tired, old, out-of-shape ass jumping willingly out of any airplanes!)
Trish in AZ