The fall is so long I seem to cease to fall and the vertiginous feeling
of speed vanishes to be replaced by one of drifting. It makes no
sense at all as the sensation of plummeting had made my stomach lurch and heave and my soul seemed to curl round itself like a spider whose thread has been cut and instinctively wraps its legs round its soft body to protect it before it hits the ground.
I can feel the air whipping past me but the fear I felt seems to have
passed. I am not comfortable but I am not racked by terror any more
and I allow my limbs to uncurl from the foetal position, prepped for
crash landing and find that far from being midway in an endless fall,
I am lying on the ground, cushioned by soft grass. I know it is grass
because of the sweet fresh smell and I run my hands across it, and my hands come back moist with dew. It’s dark, still, but when I roll
onto my back, I see that above me are stars as bright as if the
universe were a billion years newer, set in sky of such rich velvety
darkness that it’s hard to believe it is not a jeweller’s cloth laid
out to show gems at their best. The stars indeed look polished and
newborn, glittering with white iciness you normally only see on a few
winter nights when the air is freezing and even the sounds of voices
become brittle as icicles.
And yet it is not cold but warm, as if the day before had been sunny.
I sit up, aware that I have no injuries. I can hardly take it in. I
fell for so long that I must have fallen an unimaginable height. To
land without harm, or even actually notice the moment I landed
baffles me and I wonder for a short moment what is happening to me.
A cricket strikes up nearby, much as a musician recommencing after a short break and around me, pinpoints of greenish light begin
appearing, low to the ground, and I rise to my feet and investigate.
Tiny phosphorescent creatures wait on the leaf-tips of low growing
plants; I touch one very gently with the very end of my finger and a
spot of glowing light appears there. They’re glow-worms, and they are all around me, in a circle, and their light seems to pulsate softly
in time to the song of the cricket.
I am breathless with wonder but I am also a little scared. Where am I and what am I here for?
I sit down, cross legged on the moist soft grass and I wait, though for what I cannot tell.