Story Go Round 11/17/2007, at Orycon 29, #1

It Was Worse

(post-titled by Amber)

Five miles up, Lila did not want to look down, so instead she closed her eyes. Colors swam in the darkness haunting and daunting her. She knew that she must eventually face the crowd beneath her tightrope, but, for now, the colors were too comforting. Then she remembered what her grandmother had once said, on a night like this with so much at stake: "It could be worse."

Hearing the words again after so many years, Lila could still smell her and it brought tears to her eyes, which, in the process of wiping away, got her to look down and in her head her grandma kept repeating the words like a chant, like a mantra. Below, spectators in masks looked up at her shouting, "Jump! Jump, jump!" all salivating at the thought of something new to entertain them. She did not want to obey and concentrated more on her grandmother's words, but the sway was so great that she started to wobble.

The crowd roared with anticipation, sending Lila into fits of nervous giggles which did absolutely nothing to help keep her from falling off.

Gyrating and flailing over the arena now, Lila cried out in her mind: "Grandma! Save me!"

As her foot slipped off the rope, her grandmother's angelic face and that grandma smell flashed before her, and kept flashing as she fell.

Landing on some of her fiendish audience broke her fall, and only one leg, and she was carried off to the ambulance ranting something that sounded a lot like 'It could have been much worse'.