Prelude: The Sensation of Falling
rating: +24+x

"…tellin' me I live inna world where silly fucks don't let their own children recieve medication because some asshat on a talk show told them not to, and you wanna know how my day is goin'? lemme tell ya, bea- no, thanks, I can't drink anymore, heart condition- lemme tell ya…"

The guy on my left keeps talking to the woman across from me as I order a can of ginger ale from a flight attendant with an enormous nose. It's the third hour of a seven hour flight, and I already want to just jump. The attendant gives me a can and cup of ice and moves on before I can ask for a napkin, which I suppose is just par for the course.

My name is Stephen, and I am a commercial writer bound for Shanghai from San Deigo. I'm writing all this down to keep myself amused on my journey- if it comes out entertaining, I may pass it on as a travelogue to some magazine and make a few bucks. So far, though, it looks like the chances of anything interesting happening ar

Adrift at sea on an airline life raft. This is the sort of shit you see in movies. I never expected it to happen to me. While it's fresh in my mind, I'll write out what happened.

I'd just gotten my drink when the front half of the plane disappeared. I know that sounds crazy. It is crazy. But that's what happened, I fucking saw it. I was in seat 23B. Everything beyond two rows ahead of me just vanished with a rush of exploding pressurized air, leaving a yawning view of empty blue sky that tilted all too fast into approaching clouds and the howling rush of free fall. From the looks of the spray of blood I glimpsed before I passed out, the whole row's legs went with it, like they'd been cut by God's own invisible scalpel. I instinctively rammed my notebook back into my briefcase and like a moron started to raise the tray table when the lack of oxygen and adrenalin put me to sleep.

I woke to impact, as what remained of the plane hit the water and threw me hard into the seat in front of me. I had just enough time to gulp for air before the water rushed over me to fill the cabin.

I dunno who thought to pull the raft and toss it out of the plane, but I hope that crazy bastard got a hero's welcome in heaven. It was floating there waiting when I surfaced, briefcase deathgripped in my hand. I flipped it right side up and clambered into it. That's when I blacked out for the second time.

Eventually, one of the other survivors woke me up. There are seven of us. The one who's at the front of the raft says there's a small island ahead and we're moving toward it, but it's going twilight now and we may miss it in the dark. I hope we don't miss it.

We've reached the island. There's a house here.

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