Earth's Beauty - Untouchable

Our navy, nylon suits slid across the grass when we landed and rejoined the world. My instructor unclasped the belts that tethered me to his chest, allowing me to stand on uneasy legs. He also climbed to his feet and asked me what I had thought. I looked up into his expectant, smiling eyes above his short, graying beard and said:
“Until this moment, I had no idea what true beauty was.”
“What do you mean?” He asked, as he unbuckled the pack, which secured the parachute to his back.
“I’ve been to mountain tops,” I explained, while watching him roll the chute. “I’ve snorkeled a reef surrounded by schools of beautiful fish, swam with dolphins, I’ve even been in love, but they all pale in comparison. When we leaped from that plane at twelve-thousand feet, I thought my heart exploded. My head was absolutely spinning, but when we leveled off, and I could see the expanse of the green earth rushing up at me and the clouds typhooning around me, it was serene. I could taste the crispness of the untainted air cocooned around me, feel it kissing my cheeks. For that moment, time was lost and eternity was now. Adrenaline at its purest…simply…beautiful.”
He was silent the last few seconds it took him to roll the chute. “You know kid?” He stood, tucked the parachute under his arm, and grinned down at me. “I usually just get, ‘Scary as Hell!’”
I smiled impishly as he slung an arm around my shoulders and walked us over to the day’s other jumpers.

Earth's Beauty - Untouchable

Allison Fletcher

Wise, United States

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Artist's Description

The pure high of skydiving!

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short story

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