Fall From Grace

“I’m so glad we finally made it out here.”
“I know what you mean,” I reply, stretching out next to Annie. The late afternoon light streaks across the rippling clouds, turning them pink and gold before they are lost to the inky darkness of the coming night. From our high, rocky perch, the lake reflects the stunning lightshow. The dying sun has turned Annie’s skin golden too.
“Good riddance, senior education!” yells Mark, his voice echoing out into the expanse that surrounds us. “Goodbye classes, hello freedom!”
“That might be the case for you,” taunts Annie, “but some of us are going straight back in. I’m heading off to Melbourne for uni, remember.” She smiles, a big one so you can see all her teeth.
“Yep, our science whiz is going off to the big smoke,” I add proudly, giving her a light punch on the shoulder.
“Hey Mark,” croons Annie, looking up with big doe eyes, “will you to miss me? I’ll be so far away.”
Sauntering over, he purrs, “Of course I will, darling,” lying down and giving her a peck on the cheek.
Coming to camp up here had been our plan since primary school. We even made a pact to finish off senior year here, our own rite of passage.
Suddenly, Mark lurched up from his sprawl. “Now you don’t have much excitement coming up, so let’s have one night of fun before the rest of our lives.”
And with that our party began. The sun sank behind the horizon and the moon shone silver over our revelry. We danced and sang and cried bloody murder. The firelight spread a glow around our circle, sparks spinning lazily up into the sky and winking out, like they’d never existed. As the silver disk climbed higher, the bottles got lighter, and piled high trying to reach it. We collapsed around the campfire, and began a game from our childhood, one of truth or dare. For a while it was simple things, silly things, like who was your first crush or drink a whole bottle of beer in ten seconds. But then, Mark tipped the balance. He asked me, “Truth or dare,” and I foolishly took the latter, feeling confident, wanting to impress Annie.
“I triple-dog-dare you to jump off this rock,” he said smugly.
“You realize that means all of us, right?” asks Annie, looking at him sideways.
“Yeah, but it’ll be symbolic, all of us flying right out of here.”
“That would not be flying, Mark,” I splutter, “That would be falling.”
“With style,” he counters.
He then grabs my hand and Annie grasps the other. Together they count down.
“One!”
“Guys, I don’t think we should…”
“Two!”
“This is crazy…”
“Three!”
We break out into a mad sprint, charging headlong at the edge of the precipice before us. Over the edge and over again, we tumble out into the moonlit oblivion. Screaming, we fly, clutching each other, until the water rushes up and consumes us.

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