“Don’t look down,” Sarah says helpfully. But of course I do.
The sheer drop was a surprise: an easy walk, the National Trust leaflet assured us. The cliff has weathered during the harsh winter; perhaps they don’t know how lethal it is now.
Don’t look down, I tell myself. But, even so, I shuffle a little closer to the edge, step after step. The anticipation of the ground disappearing is concentrated. I hold my breath; I feel a little sick.
Like a siren, it draws me closer, pulls me forward. Just a step, just one step. I see the sea swirling and bashing against the rocks.
What would it be like to stand with one foot in the air, to lean forward with my arms held out? How would it feel to hover over the edge? I could be completely weightless. Maybe I would fly. My heart races, adrenalin surges; I am impervious to gravity, to death. I am invincible.
But now I don’t want to fly. I want to plummet. I want to feel the wind rushing through my hair as I’m sucked towards the ground. I want to see what will happen in that instant before I reach the rocks.
Staring down, moving closer and closer to the edge. What will happen if just take one more step? The waves swell beneath me, contrasting with the static cliff path; I am disorientated. My body sways back and forth, mirroring the tide.
The ground isn’t solid any more, it’s undulating; the sky is falling in on top of me. Clouds rushing past. I need to jump; I need to fall.
“Don’t look down,” Sarah reminds me, pulling gently on my arm.
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