He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began. ~Leo Tolstoy

Friday, February 27, 2015

Excerpt Book III

I know the ink has hardly dried on Book II but this just came busting out of me for Book III. Thought I'd share. :)

I race down the Grand Couloir, in Courchevel, France. The icy wind slaps my cheeks as I slalom between jagged rocks, kicking up sprays of snow, faster and faster, down and down, until I’m nearly vertical. My heart pounds, my breath in my mask bellows like a charging boar. Adrenaline pumps in my veins instead of blood. 
The slope angles up. A cliff. I don’t turn, I hunch down and then there’s nothing beneath my skis and I’m flying…
…I’m flying, gliding, the nylon flaps above me. I grip the bar in a white-knuckled vise. The air is warm and the sky is gold and blue—twilight has fallen over Kahului. My glider dips and soars, and I feel the wind’s changes. I move with it, flying higher and higher, until the islands are puddles of sand wreathed in green.
I swoop low, curve up, nearly flip. I let loose a cry of triumph, and ride the edge of the current, higher still, until I can almost touch the sun, like Icarus, only I don’t burn. Not me. I soar.
And when I’m high enough, I drop the glider down into a nosedive, my harness straining until it breaks apart, the nylon tearing away, and it’s just me playing chicken with the ocean, and I will not blink first. I streak down, hands ready to cut the water like a knife. I’m diving…
…I’m diving off La Quebrada, Acapulco, one hundred and thirty-six feet high with five seconds of safe depth before the waves recede again. A three second journey, and I crow my triumph even as my heart plummets with me. My nerves are electric fear—that perfect sizzle that is nearly orgasmic, nearly unbearable.
The water rushes to meet me and I cut it perfectly, an arrow into the cool green-blue, down, down, where gold motes dance in the viridian infusion. I don’t stop, I don’t even slow. I can’t. Down deeper, and I begin to choke on my victory. My lungs constrict, my eardrums explode, and still I go down. The water is now dark green, now dark, now black. So deep. I can’t breathe. I can’t see. My head strikes the jagged teeth of the sea and all I know is pain…
…A scream tears out of my throat, one last scream, I think, before I drown in the black abyss. But no, I can’t breathe and then I can. I can scream, so I can breathe. I’m not submerged. I’m not lost in the deep. I’m in a bed, in New York City, my body covered in sweat, my hands clutching the sheets.
Relief sweeps through me like the adrenaline once did, and I open my eyes. But my eyes are already open. I’m no longer in the black deep but I’m just as blinded. Blind.
I’m blind.

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