Nora: Below (Fiction)

Nora felt the Earth beneath her feet crumbling. It was unlike dreams she had had in the past. She felt her hair dripping past her cheeks, free floating in front of her eyes. She looked around, seeing land below her, leagues away, far enough that only the large details could be made out–a mountain range with a river through its middle, trees to either side, a lake of monumental size shrouded by clouds right below her feet.

It was the sky crumbling.

She tried to move, and it made the sound of shifting and crackling louder, more widespread. It was as if she were on a frozen body of water, trying to escape its icy clutches at the expense of falling through to the cold depths below.

Now though, “below” wasn’t so clear.

She wondered idly what would be better: an eternity, held tightly within the embrace of the cold, crackling sky, waiting for the final and inevitable break that would lead to her quick demise…or to decide for herself, here and now, that she would not be held prisoner by anything, no matter how big, how powerful.

Perhaps looking over the preceding of the world below would suffice, as an existence. Maybe it would be altogether better than sheer nothingness, or whatever resulted from one’s departure from the world of the living.

She breathed. Her exhaled breath formed a cloud. It began to shape itself. To Nora, it seemed a fox, orange and playful in the light of the rising sun.

Or was it setting?

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