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The Elements of Death

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1/19/2009 18:38:36   

Comments: This lovely little thread.

The Fall

Shock overwhelms me for the first few milliseconds. What is happening? Whatís going on? Why is it going on? Confusion in those few milliseconds overwhelms me. I donít think of the how, but I realize the what. I am falling. Off of a very large cliff, hundreds of feet high. I have no means to stop myself. No parachutes, no cords, no magical powers to stop me dead in the air. I am falling. And I am about to die.

The wind rushes past my face. I can barely see. The deafening roar of the wind blocks out my ears, preventing them from hearing what I identify as my scream from my vocal chords vibrating. I spread my limbs out to slow my descent. It wonít stop the fall. Iíll inevitably plunge to my death. Even with the best padding in the world, I seriously doubt someone can survive a fall from this height. And what I see below is far from that. Itís paddingÖof sorts. Rocks, and lots of them. They will stop my fall. Itís just a matter of the condition Iíll be in.

I glance around me. On all four sides, Iím too far away to grab a ledge, if one exists. If I could, the jolt would probably kill me, anyway. My arm would be ripped of, or at least dislocated beyond repair. No matter what, it would not save me. And even if I wanted to, theyíd be too far away. I donít think that I can move mid-flight towards a cliff, anyway, and if I could, then thereís no noticeable handhold.

I keep on falling. Blood rushes to my brain, trying to keep it alive. I have a headache. My limbs are numb. And I can see the rocks rapidly approaching. The brown stone gets closer and closer. I estimate that I have less than a minute to liveÖor maybe that was the prediction at the beginning.

The ground gets closer and closer. What was just a blur before now becomes crystal clear, a close-up when there was just a wide shot before. I can feel the air changing. Instead of the icy cold air that had cut at me before, I feel the warm air signaling my approaching death. I can see the ground, no longer seconds, but milliseconds away. I am falling. And I am about to die.

< Message edited by mastin2 -- 1/23/2009 1:08:38 >
Post #: 1
1/23/2009 1:08:59   


I ski down the slope, like I have done hundreds of times before. Skiing is my favorite hobby. The mountains are less than an hourís drive away from my home and snow is plentiful at all times of the year. In fact, we had just gotten a near whiteout less than two weeks prior.

Through my skiing equipment, I can still feel the rush of pure joy coursing through my system as I race down the slope. The wind against my hair, the icy chill of the morning air stinging my lungs, the pounding of my feet as they hit the earth after going over a bump, the raw energy expelled through my arms as I lunge forward, going faster and faster; I love every moment of it. Years of skiing later, and it still has yet to get old.

The vibrations rock through my system like never before. Another thing I love about skiing: even though I have done it hundreds of times, there is always the occasional fluke, a strange sensation which I have not felt. Most of the time, these are pleasant. Even those that are not still do not hinder my skiing.

This is my favorite pastime. When all the troubles of my life catch up on me, when I have been having lousy luck, when things canít possibly seem to get worse, when it looks like Iíve got nothing to live forÖskiing is still there, allowing me to unwind. Even though I am not faring well in life, I can still relax here, in the one place I consider to be my sanctuary.

Now I can hear a roar. Wait, a roar? What happened to the rush of wind as I soar across this field? Itís there, but it is being overpowered. The vibrations match this strange roar. I can feel it getting louder and louder, closer and closer, faster and faster. Only too late do I realize what it is.

My heart races, now out of fear instead of excitement. I pour all of my muscle into going faster and faster. I wonít be able to outrun the incoming locomotive of icy death, but perhaps I can outlast it. The icy chill gets closer and closer to touching me. I can feel the lighter flakes of snow piling up on my back. Iím too late.

The ice hits the back of my skis, first. I stop dead in my tracks; I hear at least my right legís bones snap in half from the impact. The ice consumes my flesh and I feel truly cold, as cold as death itselfÖsuiting, all things considered. I can feel the pressure of five cars against every inch of my skin. I canít breathe. I feel my body tossing and turning for a few millisecondsÖand then, nothing. Darkness. A gap in my memory.

I wake up to total darkness. Am I dead? No; there is no way that Iíd be in such pain, such miserable conditions, and still be alive. It takes me a few seconds to remember what happened, why Iíd be in such a place. My body temperature seems dangerously low. I imagine snow poured into every crevice, every gap in my clothing and froze me.

An avalanche had claimed at least one victim. But I sure am not dead yet. I feel a slight burning in my right leg: that would be the worst of the broken bones, where the ice canít remove the warmth of pain. I can barely breathe. My body feels numb. Yet I still can move.

I reach my right hand for my left, touching my watchís built-in light. The blue glow instantly reveals my tomb: ice on all sides. I had been buried alive by natureís icy fury. But at least I am alive. I see a green branch at the edge of my frozen coffin: either I am at tree level, or the trees have come to the ground level. Either way, the avalanche had damaged the shrubbery, and I think that the tree is what is responsible for my little pocket, for my breathing space.

Then I realize that the air is warm. Shouldnít the air be just as cold as the ice around it? I realize to my horror what that means: my cavern is running out of oxygen. If I run out of air to breathe, Iíd have just survived, only to die again. I panic. My breaths become shorter and shorter, my heartbeat increasing.

Then my survival training kicks in. I remember how slower breathes consume less oxygen, that I need to calm down. I do what I can, close my eyes, and begin to hibernate, barely staying awake, breathing as little as I possibly can while still living. Search and rescue would find me. They knew I was here, had not yet returned, and that there was an avalanche. Putting two and two together in that situation is a no-brainer. I just have to wait for them a little longer.
I force myself out of my deathly slumber. I look around briefly; the setup is the same as before. I can tell that it canít have been ten minutes. Iím running out of air, for sure. One or two breaths are all Iíll have left. The pressure on my chest reminds me of when the avalanche struck.

Then, I feel a rush of cold air against my face. I see a light above me. The ordeal is over. That much I am certain of. I can tell that I have, in fact, been saved. ButÖwhat exactly is the result? The question is, have I been saved from the pain of death, or freed from my suffering in life?

< Message edited by mastin2 -- 2/14/2009 2:46:44 >
Post #: 2
2/14/2009 2:42:47   

Tidal Wave

I canít breathe. I am running out of air. I am having the life squeezed out of me. I feel a constant pounding from above, cascading hundreds of pounds of pressure over me every second. The power rips at my back, forcing air out of my lungs with ever increasing fury.

My body is cold, yet my chest is on fire. I try to go up, yet am forced back down by my own weight. I try to go down, yet I am pulled back up. I try to go back, yet feel a surface colder and even harder than what torments me, signaling the rock which I cannot pass through. I try to go forward, yet am sucked back under.

I am drowning. I canít see a thing, and my lungs are on fire. Every time I struggle, I use up more precious air. Every second I wait, I lose two seconds of air to the power of the water above me. I try to go down again, to avoid the crushing force tormenting me. And yet again, I am pulled back up, having wasted ten secondsí air in only three.

I am cold. My clothing is drenched, and I am soaked to the bone. The freezing temperatures around me would be relaxing, under any other circumstances. If I were to be in this situation for only a few seconds, it would be fun, thrilling, an adrenaline rush, exciting, and something to never forget.

Whatís different now is that my life is in danger. Adrenaline is coursing through my body, desperately fueling it in an attempt to live. My life hangs by a thread, a penny balancing on a needle. One slight push and it is over. I suppose one thing besides the adrenaline remains the same: if I were to live, then I would never forget this.

Yet things arenít exactly looking positive for me. This is my fault. I underestimated nature. I thought that I could take whatever was thrown at me. I ignored warnings that others have given about her power, about her wrath. And now, I am paying for it. I thought that I would conquer this river, like I had done dozens of times before. Instead, I am the conquered, have faced defeat, and now await the gallows.

I canít breathe. My chest burns with the fire in my lungs, desperate for even a single life-saving breath of air. The adrenaline fades and the strength in my limbs fails. I feel tired. I surrender. I am defeated. I see her full power, now. I recognize your power, nature, and respect it. Will you punish me for my arrogance, or let me repent?
Post #: 3
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