The High Dive

The high dive ia an unflinching leap made off the lip The Yak'koli Oculus to land on The Fallen Chandelier at the bottom of the ventricle. Cold crosswinds from the river below and the blazing sun above can cause unexpected turbulence, and while deaths are rare, they're still common enough for everyone to recall the recent ones.

As far as a skydive, yet entirely enclosed within Yak'koli. You can live here your entire life without ever realizing how truly vast the ventricle is. Plummeting through it at terminal velocity for several unending minutes is truly humbling.


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At first is the exhilirating palpitations that follow the leap. Whether you rode a slide, make a leap from the lip, or leapt off of the side of an airship, that first moment is the heart-lurching 'Oh, shit, I've really done it.'

Even in free fall, you feel the blistering heat of the sun glaring at your back. Just as alarming is the sudden chill that follows once you fall beyond the lip and beyond the sun's heat. A chill ripples through your body, a ripple of gooseflesh that will repeat as you fall through the thermoclimes of the massive structure—through the chilly mist which congregates below the sunline, through the patter of droplets descending alongside you from it, through spiraling turbulence and finally into the freefall of what feels like total void.

For most of the drop, the distance fails to be fearful. The ground is so horrendously far away that the mind fails to comprehend it as something approaching and dangerous. As the glinting island of crystal and steel at the center of the river approaches, however, urgency dawns in your gut, and you start to get ready for your landing, all the while hoping that you manage to land on the 2km wide target of the island without getting swept out into the river by tricky crossbreezes towards the bottom.

You deploy your smallest parasail, slowing yourself, then releasing it to glide on your wingsuit, before switching off to your primary chute.

It's just a few minutes but it's the most breathtaking few minutes of your life. You feel the power of wind no greater than at that moment.

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27 Aug, 2022 18:33

I really hope you know how much I love your prose, Ade. Though I'd love a little more history on why the skydive happens, this was one of my favourites for this prompt just because it's incredibly evocative, beautifully laid out, and because you've managed to tuck so much into such a small amount of space.

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