The air sucked from my lungs as I fell. My screams were cut off by the gust of wind. I tried to spread out my arms like I was told to, but the wind was too strong.

Down I fell.

Through the plastic goggles, I saw the ground as if I were looking out a window on an airplane. But then it changed. I fell through a cloud of mist and saw the ground was rushing up faster than ever. Vaugly, I heard someone screaming for me to pull the cord, or perhaps I was imagining things.

I reached behind me and found the cord and pulled.

Nothing happened.

I screamed, forgetting completely about my emergency cord. I tried to scream for help, as if that would have done anything, but suddenly my face hit a bird.

Feathers and blood and claws exploded onto my face, and, in horror, I wailed and tore my fingers across my face. Pulling feathers from my mouth and nose, and choking on hot bird blood, I was blinded by the blood as it smeared across my goggles.

The ground came much faster than expected. And I didn't even see it coming.

Then nothing.