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Falling. He got the sense that he was falling. He wasn’t really sure how. There was no wind, no lurch in the pit of his stomach,no pressure under his feet or back either, so he knew he was unsupported. Floating, he thought, like he was under water in the bay. But there was no water. And though he couldn’t say how, he knew that he was falling anyway. He just wished he could see where.

He searched in the blackness to see if there was any break in it, but there was nothing. He turned around and then wondered how he had done so without anything to move against. He didn’t have long to wonder, though. The nothing opened up into a something, a dot of light in the distance, below him but rising. He held his eye on it, afraid he would lose it in the dark.

Time passed; he couldn’t say how much. Either the light had stopped rising, or he had stopped falling. He really couldn’t tell. Tentatively, he tried stepping forward. He still felt nothing under his feet, nothing moving around him, but he believed he was closer, and that had to be something.

Step by step, he watched as the light grew. Occasionally it would move, as if he had turned accidentally, gone off course, and he would have to correct his path. Each time he lost his way, the light seemed to become more distant. But he hadn’t strayed for a while now, and it was growing larger with each passing minute.

Slowly, he became aware of more sensations. He began to feel the weight of his body again, and a cool breeze across the back of his neck. It was the first feeling he had had since he began to fall, bringing contrast to the sudden warmth he now felt against his face as the light shined on him. It was brighter now, radiant. He could hear faint noises, the distant clang of the hammers that he knew so well. It was startling at first after the den of quiet. And then a far away voice, echoing. “Holden..”

His name repeated, and the light began to pulse blue and red, then back to white, growing brighter, hotter. He could feel the sweat pour from his brow as the light became painfully bright. “Holden!” the voice cried out again,closer, clearer, and more urgently than before.

“Holden wake up!”


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