She stuck one foot over the edge, her small leather slip-on dangling precariously from her foot. One twitch and the shoe would fall into the deep, twinkling unknown.
She had heard whispers of this mystical place her whole life. Her mother had spoken of it in hushed whispers, "a talking lion guards the entrance," she would often say to her daughter. Her father once told the girl that on the hallowed ground, birds swam like fish in the river, and the fish flew like birds in the sky.
The little girl surveyed her surroundings, her brown hair gently tickling her back as she turned her head side to side, up and down. There was no lion, no birds, and no fish. In fact, she thought to herself, the place where the world stopped was not so strange at all. It was a bluff like any other, the only distinction being that this particular bluff dropped into nothingness; the end of the world as far as anyone knew.
The girl peered over the edge, noting once again how ordinary the end of the world was, though the vertigo was overwhelming. She could not decide if jumping was wise or not. No one knew what lay at the bottom of the inky blackness, if anything lay there at all. If she jumped maybe she would fall, fall, fall forever. Maybe she would jump and emerge in a new world – an alternate world where That Day didn't happen. But maybe, if she jumped, that would be it. Maybe this place was like any other bluff and she would hit the end of the nothingness - the ground at the end of the world, and blink out of existence.
The little girl sighed, trying to steady herself. The pros and cons swirling around in her mind mixed with memories of That Day.
That Day. She didn't talk about it to anyone. She didn't talk about her parents saying goodnight. She didn't talk about the blue and red lights flashing through the blinds only hours after the front door had echoed shut. She didn't acknowledge the two empty chairs at the dining room table. The girl simply left. She put on her shoes and her coat and made the trek to the bluff of the nothingness, she marched to the unknown.
Stirring once again, she stuck her foot over the edge. This time, she was not quick enough and the slip-on slipped off, falling out of sight. She drew her foot back, the lush green grass curling in between her toes.
It had to be now. The girl – trembling– didn't wait to hear if the shoe would land somewhere. She drew in a breath and let her body slip over the edge. She felt herself becoming enfolded in the inky blackness as her body plummeted, and then felt nothing at all.
Suddenly she found herself resting on the ground. In front of her was a door, enormous in size, that seemed to call to her. She looked at her hands contemplating whether she had been brought to a new world or was simply dead. There was light seeping through underneath the door and on the other side she could hear quiet murmuring, and suddenly she didn't care if she was alive her not. She knew those voices. The girl stood, moving slowly toward the door. She reached for the handle and pushed the door open. Immediately, she was hit by a familiar smell, sweet like apples and she felt her small frame being encased by two larger ones. She knew these bodies, the bluff to nowhere had brought her home.