I'm dead. Really dead. Not in the "there'll be a twist at the end and I'll be saved" kind of way. Just dead. And it's absolutely nothing like I expected.

In all of the near-death experience stories I was told they talked about the light. So much so that I thought that I should walk into it, if only to see what was on the other side. Only there was nothing there, not as far as I've seen anyway. There's just the light.

I keep thinking that if I keep walking, maybe something will appear. But I've been walking and...

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The spotlight travelled the circumference of the room in search of a victim, looking to curb its own discomfort by persuading the unwanted attention on to another. Beneath its bright glare the chosen individual trebled and froze, as if caught in headlights. Then, becoming aware of the line of eyes, the press of bodies – waiting, watching, for her to spring into action, to move, to come alive – she lifted her arms, stretching them out, inhaling deeply.

Her performance opened with a slow dance, the words of a song low and soft on her breath, barely above a whisper....

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Fault. Whose was it? Lying on the ground like that. Cracks spreading out, damaging everything it touched. No one wanted it. It had to be dumped somewhere, though.

Suddenly, it seemed like the world shifted. The fault shifted, heading towards me. It opened up, and swallowed me whole. I fell into the abyss. Doubt and shame fell on me. I could have avoided it. Easily, too.

I fell and fell. The further I got, the more afraid I grew. The light above me shrank. I thought I could see people above, shaking their heads at me.

I spent so much...

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"She was the most delicate girl in town,"

I put down my glass.


"You know, delicate" and he moved his hands as if to express the shape "Like a flower is or a painting. She had a softness. And it was hot down there all year pretty much so she was like all the other girls and wore the cotton dresses but she wore them differently. Just by herself, you know, I mean she wasn't trying."

"So you mean she was pretty."

"I mean delicate."

"And you never worked it out with her? This very...delicate girl?"

"Well I got...

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In the clouds. That was the place to be when it was high summer. Three young angels danced through the morning mist, white linen gowns making no sound as they moved. "Dahlia, when will the mist clear so we can collect the first morning light?" asked one. "When it clears, Opal." Dahlia said patiently, looking at her empty jar. "Be patient, you two. The mist will clear soon, i can just see the sun." said the last, sitting on a rock. Suddenly, the morning sun burst through the mist, lighting the world. The three angels were quick. They scooped up...

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Bob hit the switch again.

I'm not too surprised because he's the biggest klutz I've ever had the misfortune to know. It had to happen the one day I forgot my tethers.

I took a quick look around. No nearby trees to grab. The neighbour's dog was starting to lift. That *was* surprising. That bitch was huge.

The dog, I mean.

I was about 10 fet off the ground now and slowly accelerating. 'Bob, you wanker. Can you hear me?'

He stuck his unshaven face out the window. 'Wot?'

'You hit the switch again, right?'

'Wot switch?' He stuffed...

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