Mark A Morris is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. This week there was a tie, so the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules. Without further ado, here’s the winning story:
by Mark A Morris
The edge of the world beckoned. I had visited it three times this week, each time venturing a little closer to where the land’s solidity ended; the warmth of the gritty, red soil replaced by gravity, air and my imminent destruction. There were always birds there, circling above. Many of them were predators, their eyes missing nothing, watching for fools such as me, animals that had decided life was too long and cruel to be tolerated any more. There were always fresh bones below to be stripped of their flesh, broken animals that were too weak to resist. I wondered which birds I would feed when I fell.
Today would be a good day to die. The weather had been hot and dry for months, baking the moisture from the soil. A determined man could reach twenty miles an hour upon a track; although the path to the edge of the cliff was potholed, it had the advantage of a downwards slope. With the wind in the right direction, I could probably better thirty miles an hour if I tried. And after that, it would get easier when the effects of gravity played their part. A hundred and twenty miles an hour could be possible, the scientists said.
And then I’d be free: as free as one of those condors that were watching, willing me to leap. I wonder if it would dive as I fell, stooping alongside me, winking as I surrendered myself to my fate.
Maybe it would.