Falling Backwards by Anna Baptiste

November 26, 2012 Comments Off on Falling Backwards by Anna Baptiste

A small group of people had congregated around the pit, craning their necks trying to get a peek down inside. They stood a safe ten feet away from it, all but one of them, who stood with his toes curled over the edge. The others whispered in the background, but all he could hear was the soft whooshing of the abyss.

He knew only one thing of the pit: those who entered never returned. This should have been enough to keep him away. But it wasn’t.

At first, he’d been like the others — curious, cautious. But something about it called out to him, and so he’d inched closer. He wanted to see the bottom; that was all. If he could see the bottom, then he would be satisfied. He could go home, tell the tale of his great adventure, and never return.

But he couldn’t see the bottom. It was too dark, or too deep, or perhaps it had no bottom at all, but instead lasted forever. He should have turned around then, but the whooshing had only grown louder. He no longer wanted to know what waited for him there, but he needed to, more than he needed to breathe.

Sweat dripped down his forehead, falling from his nose into the darkness. He watched it go with growing anxiety. Then a call rang out behind him. Friend or stranger, he knew not which. It might not have been intended for him at all, but it was the excuse he needed to turn away.

As he turned around, his pupils constricting in the suddenly bright light, he saw a blurry figure waving to him in the distance. He waved back but didn’t move, instead, looking to the sun glimmering just over the horizon. He felt his heartbeat slow, his muscles relax, and so he exhaled, falling backwards into nothingness.

© 2012 Anna Baptiste

Anna Baptiste lives in a small town in Pennsylvania, where she writes as often as possible. This is her publishing debut.

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