Jake tightened the straps that bound his feet to the small red and white surfboard. As he scooted closer to the back of the plane to hit the ramp release, the pilot called out to him.
“Are you sure you wanna do this, mate?”
“Yeah, I’m good. Just circle the area one more time,” Jake said.
“You’re crazy, kid. You know that?”
Jake grinned as he punched the release with his fist, “I might’ve heard that once or twice.”
“Your funeral. Just don’t forget to deploy!”
“Now what would be the fun in that?” Jake yelled over the sudden roar of whipping wind.
With a salute to the pilot, he threw himself out of the plane.
As the world spread out below him, wide and immeasurable, he closed his eyes and reveled in the rushing gale that pitched him spiraling through the air. Like a coin, he flipped and spun effortlessly, before righting himself in a standing position. He surfed the sky for another moment or two, watching the calm turquoise waters sparkle and dance under the glaring summer sun. While balancing on the board, he checked the GPS display on his wristwatch before flicking to a different screen. He tapped in the numbers 1428, activating the world coordinates, and then pressed two small blue buttons on either side of the watch. Taking several deep breaths, he braced himself.
Like liquid glass, a shimmering stasis sphere enveloped Jake, immobilizing him. Suspending time and space, the globe pulsed rapidly into a blinding white ball of heat. Abruptly the sphere collapsed in on itself and disappeared; taking Jake and the board with it.
High above in the circling plane, the pilot looked on in astonishment as the skysurfing teen blinked out of sight.
Jake’s stasis sphere reappeared over the North Atlantic Ocean of world 1428, just off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal. The world of 1428 was only one of possibly millions of variants of Earth. A reflection of what once was, or might have been. No one really knew anymore. What Jake did know, was that at exactly 9:52am, the effects of Cyclone Christian would be hitting the coast. Hard.
As the bubble terminated, a volley of rain hit him full in the face, and high storm winds knocked him off balance. Struggling to regain his position, Jake threw himself upward, recovering 75 feet above the violent swells. Crouching low to the surfboard, his stomach flopped as he counted down the seconds to his chosen stunt. He couldn’t distinguish between the roar of the waves, and the blood rushing to his brain. His veins burned with expectation, and he felt the momentary hesitation that always hit him when it was too late to change his mind. Tensed for impact, he angled the toe of his board to slice through the back of the wave that was rising to meet him. Hitting heights of at least 60 feet, these waves would be a massive personal record. When Jake finally hit the water, the reverberation flooded his body, and nausea enveloped him. The middle of a rising swell was no time to be sick. Swallowing bile, he began to stand back up on the board just after the crest, waiting for the face of the wave to build beneath him. The crest broke faster than he’d expected, closing in on itself. As he fell backwards, he pressed his heel to the quick release and kicked the board off his feet just as the wave swallowed him whole. Sucked back into the swirling violence he tumbled and rolled, the raging ocean tossing him over and over like a rag doll into the pounding surf.
Acutely aware that he was in danger of drowning, Jake fumbled for the home button on his wrist device. The stasis sphere encompassed him in a ball of swirling water, and within moments, he was jumped back to his home world, Andira – planet zero.
The stasis withdrawal spit him out into warm, calm seas. Flailing to reach the gently lapping surface for that first breath, Jake gulped air like a man parched for water. Coughing against the salt, he laughed at the irony. With an exhaled gust, his body fell limp and he lay back and stared up into the cloudless crystal skies.
© 2015 Taryn King All Rights Reserved