He stood there, rocking slightly as he braced himself against the wind that was blowing hard into his face. A stone loosened itself from beneath his foot and fell….down, down, down the cliff face, on the precipice of which he stood. He watched it, the stone, as it fell and continued to watch it as it plummeted towards the rocky river bed hundreds of feet below. He counted the seconds until its size rendered it invisible from such a height, though he thought he could hear a faint click a few seconds later, as it landed with a clash on the rocks below.
We stand upon the brink of a precipice. We peer into the abyss — we grow sick and dizzy. Our first impulse is to shrink from the danger. Unaccountably we remain. By slow degrees our sickness, and dizziness, and horror, become merged in a cloud of unnameable feeling. By gradations, still more imperceptible, this cloud assumes shape, as did the vapor from the bottle out of which arose the genius in the Arabian Nights. But out of this our cloud upon the precipice’s edge, there grows into palpability, a shape, far more terrible than any genius, or any demon of a tale, and yet it is but a thought, although a fearful one, and one which chills the very marrow of our bones with the fierceness of the delight of its horror. It is merely the idea of what would be our sensations during the sweeping precipitancy of a fall from such a height. ~ Edgar Allen Poe
He wondered, as he stood there balancing on the brittle edge between life and death, how it would feel to take that fateful step forward. He imagined it. Imagined closing his eyes and allowing himself to sail through the air, not watching the end as it came towards him as fast as it surely would. He imagined enjoying the sensation of flight in his descent and it continuing for an eternity, for at such a height there would almost certainly be no feeling. One would simply transition from this life into the next.
…The next? He contemplated, even though he didn’t believe in heaven or hell, if there was indeed a life beyond this one. He thought about the words of religious people promising damnation upon those who end their own life, an eternity burning in the fires of hell. He didn’t believe all that.
He opened his eyes once more and took in the scenery that surrounded him. The mountains, proud and majestic as they stood bathed in the warm golden glow cast upon them by the setting sun. The great river below snaking its way through the valley, transforming itself from the epitome of serenity into a wild raging animal frothing at the mouth as it tore over the rapids below. Even from such a height he could hear her mighty roar as it carried on the wind. He inhaled all of it, the sights, the smells, the sounds, and with a smile he closed his eyes for the last time as he let himself fall.
Time slowed as he fell. The seconds seemingly lasting an eternity as he plummeted through the air in free fall, with his arms spread wide about him. Finally opening his eyes, he reached across his chest, pulled the cord and howled with ecstatic joy as he revelled in the adrenaline filled high which only B.A.S.E jumping could provide him.