Micro Stories > Freefall


There were three of them in the car. They were all young men, just out of school.
The idea had been to drive up into the mountains and see the dam. The dam was in a gorge high up in the mountains, which provided the three young men with an exciting winding road to drive up. The excitement of the winding road was actually more important than seeing the dam. The dam was just an excuse, an operational hypothesis. The focus was on the process. The getting there was everything.

Well that was the theory in any case. It came out of the fact that it was becoming increasingly difficult to experience a sense of real adventure in these tame times. The whole man against nature thing. The routines of modern life tended to dull ones sense of really being. There was nothing new about these ideas, but in young minds they were fresh and important.

This was what was on the minds of two of them. The driver and the young man in the passenger seat were both entranced by the metaphysics of driving into the mountains. They were healthy, popular young men. They were adventurous in the sense that they were open to new experiences. They read books dealing with exotic mystic philosophies, and talked about quantum mechanics and other "difficult" but interesting topics. They generally felt that the people around them did not perceive the world as it "really" was. The true nature of existence was very different. This is what these two young men thought.
The young man in the back seat was a little different. He was a little overweight and a bit of a social bumbler. He was not stupid but he was clumsy and he often felt a little out of place. He would often do things and say things in order to be liked and accepted, rather than out of any personal motivation. He was a bit of a waffler. He did not like this but what could he do.
We will call him "Fatty".

As the car wound it's way up the mountain the two young new-age studs in the front of the car were experiencing a very strange phenomenon. They were going through the exact same sensations at the exact same time. Without discussing it they were both feeling an alarmingly clear sense of the unity of all existence. The yin and yang of life and death etc....

The road that they were on was winding it's way up a very deep gorge. There was a drop off the edge of the road that was absolutely mind-numbing. A sheer wall of rock and little clumps of vegetation dropping for hundreds of meters to the boulders of the river below. On the other side of the road, the wall shot up into the air and disappeared into the mist. It was beautiful and exhilarating. On the frequent and fairly sharp turns, the only thing between the car and the drop into the gorge was an ambitious looking but woefully inadequate guard-rail. It was the highway department's way of saying "be careful".

As the synchronized metaphysical high of the two young men progressed the car moved faster and faster, in what they saw as a delicate dance with reality. The tenuous bonds of gravity and momentum seemed trivial in comparison to the sheer beauty of this flight through the stratosphere of their imaginations. They were flitting weightlessly through the clouds, in a growing sense of ecstasy and euphoria. The laws of physics no longer applied as they neared a point of break-through... a point of ultimate transcendence... satori... nirvana...

The car thrust through the guard rail with a brief "whop" sound. The impact killed the engine and the car continued to gain altitude for a couple of seconds before slowly turning it's nose down and beginning to fall. It plunged into the gorge.

The two young men in the front of the car reached a supreme level of elation. They were beyond all experience. The driver whispered "...beautiful..."

It would have been perfect except that Fatty in the back seat was really really car-sick and started to barf like crazy.


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