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It played into her hands like a peaceful bird, tame and
serene. But she knew it could turn like a hoist of flags,
unfurled and flaunting in the wind. Like a hovering
hedgehop suddenly swooping off.

The sky was furrowed with whispy clouds of pearl-pink,
while her hands, at the controls, were as white as milk.
Easy does it. She eased forward.

Then a change of color. The scene became edged in black
when her control stick wouldn't budge. Bolting skyward,
her blood froze in her veins. Then, pitching, barrelling
upside down toward the ground. She was stuck by gravity
to the seat. Too late to eject. No way.

As she skimmed the land she cried to no one, "I'm dying,
I'm dying." Her throat constricted and she sniffed fear,
and hope died.

Suddenly the flipping plane righted itself and screamed
across the grassy field, nose bobbing, wings rocking,
and landed with a bounce on its side. White faced and
trembling, she opened her spinning eyes.

The engine had died, but not her.Trembling beyond control,
she climbed down to the ground. She lay across the soft
damp earth, spread-eagle on her belly. Her arms outstretched,
palms down, fingers splayed.

She knew it could turn. The colors could change. Life and
death were interchangeable - except for a split second of

Copyright 1998 cmstewart
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