one point two

In her clarity-ified state, she still failed to notice the TV cord. Her foot caught in it, it resisted just enough to cause her to trip, flailing, toward the open windows and the just-letting-go fingers. The cord kindly pulled loose from the wall to allow her to fall even faster, and she hit the ledge with her stomach, a tight little “oof” being forced out of her as her belly fat decided to punch the window ledge back. Her own fingers hit the sides of the window casing on her way out, not bothering to even attempt to scrabble for purchase. They were that dumbfounded.

She fell. Toward the ice covered pavement below. In the alley. Time did indeed slow down, as she closed her eyes to avoid noticing the broken glass she was definitely hurtling toward. Then time slowed even more. And again.

Sara Juneau opened one eye; just a squint. Yep, the broken glass was still there. About a foot away from her squinted eye, in fact. Time really must have shut down, packed up shop, and left, because she wasn’t falling.

Cautiously twisting her neck to see the blurry figure of the burglar running off away from the complex and onto the side street that adjoined the alley, Sarah had another one of those moments:

Time wasn’t standing still. She wasn’t in an episode of Star Trek. The cars and buses drove by on that very same street adjoining the alley. little eddies of wind pushed the paper wrappers across her squinty field of vision. She opened the other eye.

She opened them both fully. Really, really wide.

“the hell?” she thought AND said.

One foot below her, the ground looked back impassively.

“I’m…floating?” she said, quite clearly and out loud.

“Shit. Now how do I get down?”

A stray cat chose that moment to stroll by, look up at her, and do that impassive cat shrug thing. Like it’s no big deal. Like the cat had seen his share of floating humans every damn day, thank you very much. And then it walked on, nonplussed.

Sarah began to be aware of her own body, floating almost perfectly horizontal in the air a foot above the ground. She moved her left foot toward the ground as an experiment. It felt like overbalancing, so she slowed it down. Then the right foot moved as if it had a choice, slowly and deliberately to the ground. She moved her hands, still flung out to protect her if she had fallen (or, more likely, to be smashed into the broken glass as they covered her face in a vain attempt to keep said glass out of her eyes), toward the sides of her body.

She slowly touched ground, swiveled a bit to get her hips under her (how the hell?), and stood up from the resulting crouch. Because she couldn’t do anything else, she glanced up behind her at the third floor window that she had fallen through. it looked like it always looked from this alley: dirty and old. No broken glass, which was a blessing since it was damn November already, and the snow was sticking.

Sarah brushed her hands together, as if they had gravel from the alley road on them. She brushed at her carharts and her jacket. She looked around, saw no one, and walked, tentatively, around to the front of the building. She punched in the security (hah!) code, walked up the stairs, through her door, and firmly but gently closed the door behind her.

(1343 words)

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