At the end of that second rotationhe was pretty sure it
was only twoBrownlaw felt the big hands lock around his arms and fling him
out the window.
The air was cool and he felt absolutely alone. His first
thought was that he could stop his fall using pure willpower.
And it seemed to be true. He focused all of his will on
staying up. Up! Up! Up! Raising his arms, Robbie clawed the sky and felt his
body suspended in the great liberty of air. He wasn't falling at all, but moving
forward with good speed, and for an instant he wondered if he might collide with
the building across the street. Or maybe even crash through a window, land on
his feet and get back to the Sorrento before the waitress took away his lunch.
Then Brownlaw came to the end of his outward momentum. There
was no hesitation, no moment of suspension. Just a heavy pivot of weight and
down he went.
Fast, then faster. He had never felt such speed before,
nothing close to this. Faster still. Robbie Brownlaw, on his back now with his
arms spread and his hands reaching for nothing, watched the top of the Las
Palmas rise up into the gray clouds and felt his ears bend forward in the
awesome velocity of descent. He understood that he was now in the hands of
something much larger than himself if he was in any kind of hands at all.
He thought of his young wife, Gina, with whom he was
ferociously in love. He understood that the power of their love would be a
factor in the outcome here. It seemed impossible that their days together were
about to come to an end. Something like relief flowed through Robbie and as the
clouds rose away from him he tried to figure his estimated time of arrival.
Sixteen feet per second? But is that only at first? Surely you accelerate. How
high is a story in an old hotel? The phrase "two more seconds" came
into his mind.
But in spite of Robbie's belief that he would live to love
Gina for years to come, a more convincing idea now flashed into his brain: this
He suddenly believed in the God he had doubted for all his
life, his conversion completed in a fraction of a second.
Then, he let go. He felt insight and understanding: he saw
that his first five years of life had been happy, that his childhood had been
filled with wonder, his teenage years were a search for freedom, his young
adulthood had been a storm of confusion and yearning for love, his twenties a
happy grind of Gina and friends and Gina and friends and Gina and Gina and Gina
and Robbie plummeted through the screams of sirens and alarms and onlookers and
crashed through the faded red awning over the entrance to Las Palmas Hotel like
an anvil through a bed sheet and hit the sidewalk with a cracking echoless thud.
Research shows that 90% of Americans value public libraries(Dec 11 2013) According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, about 90% of Americans aged 16 and older said that the closing of their local public library would have an...