A gasp. Red spots hide behind closed eyes, black pixels float across your vision, and pupils dilate.
Society tells you not to look at the sun because they are afraid that you will be blinded by its beauty, causing the world to lose just one more drone.
I hate the sound of cicadas and crickets. The air is full of them.
Their constant whir whirring and chirp chirping is enough to make my brain explode in supernovas.
It does not matter where I go, the humming is always there. It will always be there.
All that is left to do is run.
Footsteps thump a rhythm against the dirt floor. Run to escape the sound of cicadas and thoughts. Run until you reach the edge.
You thought it would be scarier. They told you it would be scarier. But there is nothing.
Nothing but rock.
Gun metal greys and sharp angles. Angles that want you to jump. Angles that will cut your feet up until they reach your core. Reach blood and bone and sinew.
They hurt in order to motivate you to jump. You feel the pressure of leaning forward, the bracing of the muscles, and the soft sensuous inhale that precedes the act of jumping. Time slows.
One jump lasts an eternity when you are in the air.
The wind whips against you as you lunge swiftly to the surface. Trees blur by. Your body makes an arc and then all that exists is water, and hair, billowing out in cobwebs.
All girls look like mermaids underwater.
Everything is blurry, muffled. If it wasn’t for the fact that you knew you jumped, you could be waking up from a dream. Maybe you are still in a dream.
Except you’re not because it is possible to feel burning even as you are floating in a body of ice cold water.
Burning in the lungs.
There is beauty above but there is also beauty below, in depths where scaled beasts do not need to breathe.
Depths where just a touch can make goose bumps erupt all over your skin,
where shapes are lost, and lines are blurred.
Jumpers battle more than beasts and air. They battle the fangs of indecision, the whispers of doubt.
How do you know what the right choice is when everything around you is blurry and undefined?
You can choose to not move your legs, opt to die by drowning, or you can choose to swim back into the world, let its edges and curves welcome you home again.
Return to the living, we have missed you, the world cries in delight.
You made your choice.
A gasp of air as you
Author: Rebecca Berezin
Editors: Erin Lawson; Catherine Monkman