The door made no sound as she opened it, and she poked her head out into the hallway as aftershocks began to ripple through the house. Its walls were pale and quaint. The glow of artificial light wandered up the stairs. Training her cervine ears, Phoebe heard the clinking of dishes. She followed the noise down the steps, squeezing close to the railing.

Image: Phoebe is in the hallway, peering down the stairs. She has one hand on the wall. The walls are blue, and a blue runner covers the wooden floor. Two white doors are at the end of the hallway behind her, along with a window. End description.

Cliff diving is a linear process. You walk to the edge and then you jump. Edge, jump, hit the water, resurface. It’s easy- the walk is the most difficult part, when you look towards the horizon and the scale grips you. But, push past that and you won’t have a chance to be afraid anymore. Jumping is the climax. It’s the few moments where you hang in the feeling of doing something impossible, before you go under and everything gets overtaken by a single force. Figure streamlined, feet first. There’s no turning back once you jump. You have to go down with either the confidence or the faith that you’ll come up again.

Image: A figure is visible from the legs-down. They are swimming or treading water, with water flowing around their kicking feet. They are white and the background is black. End description.

Phoebe was resurfacing. In all the times she’d jumped, she’d never come up from water so deep. This was the chasm between thrill and mortal danger. The horror movie versus being cornered by a real murderer. Diving versus being slammed against the rocky shore. It was icy and numbing.

But she resurfaced all the same.



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