The Practice Run, Take 2

An update on the fiction piece I entered this week on the Yeah Write grid. I have added a bit to help me, and the reader, know a bit more about Mike, and what was going on in his head at the water park.

water

Former pilot Mike Mayes could see for miles from his vantage point at the top of the water slide. Leaning against the curved cockpit-like windows lining the enclosed platform, he was flying again, cutting through the sky, when the whistle of the ride attendant brought him back to earth, or at least to the platform 150 ft above earth.

“Hey, you! Get ready! You’re next.”

Mike shouted back, “OK! OK! I’m ready. Just give me a minute. OK?”

In a bored, I’ve heard this a million times voice, the attendant said, “Sure, dude, whatever. Sit down, cross your feet and cross your arms over your chest. When you’re ready lean forward, take a little jump and let gravity do its thing. Don’t wait too long or I’ll have to give you a  push.”

Mike’s eyes clamped shut. He wanted… no, he needed this ride to be all about the sensations and the darkness. Since being grounded 4 months ago he knew only darkness. This practice run would help him figure it all out. Could he make the jump into nothing, ending his pain? He chose this water slide due to its almost immediate vertical fall. So with the smallest of movements he leaned forward, jumped … and realized that his body was not making contact with the slide. As he fell, a kaleidoscope of images passed through his mind: abusive parents, cold and selfish wife, greedy and manipulative mistress, bottles and bottles of bourbon flashed by like the images Dorothy saw on her way over the rainbow. But scenes with his beautiful children, his desire to fly again, to be sober, a chance to right his own wrongs and missteps and there seemed to be so many; these transported him to a place of possibilities. He needed a do-over.

The misty water falling with him and the cool air soothed his tortured soul. His body finally smacked against the slide as the tube curved to horizontal. Briefly knocked out, he kept going through a series of ascents, spirals and descents before splatting hard into the pool.

The blazing sun greeted him when he opened his eyes and he felt prickly stinging sensations all over his body that began to itch something fierce. He couldn’t remember where he was until he felt someone dragging him out of the way of the next thrill seeker.

He crawled up the steps of the pool, flopped his body onto the hot pool deck and wept, relieved he had taken the practice run. The journey from platform to pool had blown away the darkness, replacing it with an exhilarating lightness and longing for life.

He limped to the stairway, ready to slide again. And again.

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2 thoughts on “The Practice Run, Take 2

  1. I loved how you got across so much information about the character in such a short amount of time. I found it inspiring, too. I am always both drawn to and repelled by thrill rides, but I love the idea that they could lead to this type of self-examination and breakthrough.

    Liked by 1 person

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