Snakes and Pills

131 - term ride

Another gust of wind blew, and once again, the cabin perilously swung from side to side. Nathan sat near the center, where he felt the safest, though in actuality he knew that there was nothing safe at all about his present location.

If any part of the small room he was enclosed in failed, certain death awaited him. At least being in the middle kept the wind from shaking the cabin too much on either side. Stability was Nathan's friend.

The downside of his chosen spot was that he could no longer see out out the windows. That was fine to him, though. Looking down, getting a sense of how high up he was, the whole notion terrified him so much that even thinking about it made his stomach churn.

The sky outside had gone dark, anyway. There was nothing to see, Nathan had convinced himself. Nobody was coming. No rescue mission was being mounted. No, he was going to die here, he was quite certain.

What a fool he had been, he thought to himself. He had known that this was a bad idea from the start. But that was why he had chosen to do it, in a way. He wanted to conquer his fears. Fear, he now decided, can be a very useful thing. Listening to it would have prevented him from being here. Trying to beat it was going to now be his downfall.

Going it alone, though, that was a whole other level of stupidity that Nathan now regretted. He had even gotten some weird looks as he boarded, as if the operator were asking, "only you?" Nathan had wanted to be brave, to beat this on his own.

Now, he was going to die alone.

Death is death, and he wasn't really sure that it would be better if one of his loved ones were with him, but at least he would have someone to talk to right now. Maybe they could give him some hope or courage, to make him not quite so sure that this was the end.

Nathan had lost track of time since this ordeal began, and he briefly considered that perhaps he had already plummeted to his death, or starved to death. Another quick rattle of his cabin reassured him that he was still alive. Not yet in purgatory, or worse.

His small room shook once again. Could this all just be wind? At this height, gusts could be stronger than back down on the ground. Back down in safety. For a moment, Nathan let his mind imagine the sweet embrace of the Earth. If, somehow, he made it back down alive, he knew he would never leave the ground again. Conquering of fears be damned!

No, this wasn't the wind. There was something different in this movement. The difference was slight, but Nathan could sense it. The winds had been random, but there was now something mechanical and rhythmic to his motions.

Nathan braced himself, for surely this meant he was now accelerating towards him doom. Just then, the lights suddenly flickered back on, not only inside his little cabin but all around him as well. Nervously, he looked around, while getting the slightest sense in his body that he was descending.

A little black speaker in the corner of the room, which Nathan had not previously noticed, crackled with some noise. "Sorry for the brief stoppage, folks. There was a small electrical hiccup, but rest assured that everything is fine and back to normal. We'll be getting you all down and off the ferris wheel right away," the voice from the speaker said.

Nathan did not move from his spot.


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