I work as a roof cleaner. It’s not fancy, but it pays the bills. There’s a company that owns several warehouses in this place, and I’m in charge of their roofs. Getting out the leaves, clearing the drains, plugging leaks so nothing gets in and damages whatever they’ve got in there. They never told me what exactly they have in there. Something to do with space. It’s a secret, apparently, and very expensive.
So anyway, I was doing my job one night after all the scientists have gone home, when the roof collapses under my feet and I fall into the warehouse.
It was scary for the first thirty seconds.
Stomach turning. Disorientation. Realising that I was going to die.
I fell. I screamed. I pissed my pants, I’ll admit. But I didn’t die. It was rather surreal. One moment, fear is all you feel, trying to find a handhold or rope or anything, really, to grab at. Then slowly, you realise that you’re not dead. And in each passing second you’re still not dead. The fear fades away, replaced by confusion. It’s like watching a bad magic show. The magician lies in the box. The guillotine comes down and splits him in half. And then nothing happens. The magician doesn’t move. The audience is silent. What happened? What’s going on? You don’t know.
Even then, I was sure that I was going to die. Hell, as bad as my math is, even I know that at some point you run out of height. And I was going pretty fast. The wind was dragging up my arms and legs, so I was basically falling backward. My hair was being swept forward, going into my eyes. I probably looked a lot like Bieber. But anyway I resigned myself to my fate; I was going to die, no matter what I did, so I figured there was no use crying about it. I closed my eyes and thought about my life, my work, my children, my family, my loving wife.
For a while, I was at peace. Zen.
…I was still falling.
How long had it been? An hour? My pants were dry already. A little crispy, even. What’s going on? What has a guy got to do to fall to his death around here?
I looked around. Couldn’t see much, to be honest. Everything was dark. I got the sense that there were large cliffs rushing past me in the blackness. Could have just been the wind, though. I tried to change my direction, float off in one direction to see if there was any place to land there. But without any visual feedback, there was no way of telling if I was successful.
Pretty soon, I got bored. There weren’t any butterflies in my stomach now. I guess if you’ve been at it for hours, nothing much is scary anymore.
I was BORED.
There was literally nothing to do. Maybe you’ve been stuck at home before, on a weekend or something. You think that’s bad. You still have things to do. You have TV. You have the internet. You can listen to music or something. Heck, even if you’re homeless on a park bench you can look at a bird or something. I had nothing to do. I had nothing to see. I heard nothing but the wind in my face. I was floating in the middle of nowhere. This was hell.
Maybe I was actually dead. Maybe this was really hell. Hell wasn’t fire or brimstone. It was nothingness. It was non-existence. It was an eternity in which you would be forced to reflect on your sins. Alone.
The lights came on.
I was in some sort of machine. It looked like an incubator. There was a completely flabbergasted scientist staring at me.
“Who what fuck?”
He stood frozen for a few more seconds, then ran to the control panel of the wind tunnel and shut it off.
“I’m really sorry someone left it running overnight how did you get oh damn the ceiling is I’M GOING TO KILL STEVE-“