I Am Falling
by Dean Fazzino
I am falling. From what I don’t know, nor do I know where I am falling to, but I know that I am falling. I didn’t trip; at least I don’t think so. The stairs? I would have hit them already. Hit my head. No this is higher than just the stairs.
Everything is clear, everything. An implant records my fall and all that I see, hear taste, feel, and smell. But it is odd that it doesn’t know where I am falling from.
Jay, my son convinced me to get it. The implant, that is. Said it would ‘help me.’ I didn’t think I was that old yet. But I got it anyway and it did help, despite the frequent headaches after the surgery, it was wonderful. A computer in my brain.
My fall continues and I think I might be dreaming but the implant says I am not. It is too real anyway.
I know now that I am outside and falling from the sky. A steel-grey, humid, cloud-filled sky, budding droplets of water in small, clear bulbs that I can see, no, that my implant can see through, distortedly.
I can’t see my own hand through the milky, grey clouds but I think it is clearing. For a second before I fall through the clouds completely, I catch myself on one and slow my descent but I'm going too fast for it to hold me for long.
The ground is approaching fast. Where my implant could previously notice the curve of the planet, leafy, green, and lush as it is, it can no longer. Panic fills my chest because I know I will land hard. Adrenaline races through my veins, pulsing. My face goes warm and then hot and my fingers become numb with flickering nerves.
My toes too. I notice I'm barefoot and wearing loose, drab clothes that blossom and billow around my. The computer could easily calculate the volume beneath such an undulating surface, simple calculus, but it doesn’t. It just records.
Trees are puffs of green that hold clusters of leaves and I believe I know exactly where I will land.
No. My implant does.
It pumps more adrenaline into my body and hopes for a fight or flight response that doesn’t occur.
Closer to the ground.
I think of my family. Jay, Sarah-my kids. My wife Jennifer.
Jay. Athletic, musically talented. “Fun”
Sarah. Introverted, aspiring artist, member National Honor Society.
Jen. Dark hair, middle aged, owner of small gardening company.
But it is not me recalling these basic facts, it’s the implant. I wonder where they are now. All that I can think is that they must be falling too.
The trees have gotten close enough to see the individual leaves, veins in the leaves, and the chemicals coursing through them. I know now there is no getting out of this and that soon I will feel those leaves thwaping against my exposed my arms, face, and feet painfully, before I tumble briefly through a group of branches and complete the act with a final free-fall and resounding thud on the forest floor, coated in a dry layer of leaves and loamy soil.
I still lay there on the forest floor where I landed. It is loamy and comfortable. A place where I have seen countless winter-summer cycles, leaves falling, and animals.
All that remains of me are my bones which have been bleached white by the sun and bacteria that have consumed all remaining flesh. They’ve been hollowed out by numerous species of insect and even serve as a residence for a few.
A cage remains of my ribs, a singular irregularity on the endless forest floor on which a bird may sometimes perch. My femur is long gone, perhaps taken by a dog providing endless hours of play. I can’t be sure though because my sight is gone along with my hearing, my taste, feeling, and smell. All of my bones will rot eventually, as did my flesh, even my skull, into which a small hole was drilled and in it placed a tiny, rice-sized chip, years ago.
A computer. A rattle in my skull now.