Author : Nathan Andrew Blaisdell
Jae fingered the seams of her spacesuit nervously. She was having second thoughts, but it was too late to go back now.
The other jumpers started moving, getting in line. The countdown timer on the wall got closer to zero. Was it just her or was time speeding up? Is that something that happens this close to a black hole? No, she thought, that can’t be, it’s just my imagination. She got in place.
Suddenly the air was sucked out of the room. Half a second later, the holes in the floor opened and the jumpers were sucked into space, hurtling towards the black hole feet first.
Jae was afraid. Very afraid. Heart stopping, adrenaline rushing, pants staining afraid.
She chanced a glance down at the gaping abyss that was the black hole, but the creepy beauty that it was looked like nothing she had imagined. There was a star situated directly behind the black hole which somehow looked like a fiery and foreboding doughnut. The light from other stars bent around the event horizon in a halo as if the light itself had become a glass orb encasing the gravitational singularity. The black hole itself however was simply that, a perfect circle that seemed blacker than anything she had ever seen. Slowly at first, and than with more and more speed it got bigger and bigger as she rushed toward it. Now it was so big she could no longer see the large star behind it. The hole had engulfed its doughnut.
The black hole continued to get bigger, engulfing even more of the starry backdrop. She began to feel a sensation of being pulled from her feet. It would have been a nice stretch, but she also felt as if whatever was pulling on her feet was squeezing the bottom half of her body as if she was a tube of toothpaste, and her head was the cap. She was passing the event horizon now, stars around her contorted, and then…
And then they were teleported back inside the ship, safe once again. Some of the other jumpers started taking their suits off and giving woots of joy, as well as a number of jubilant high-fives. Adrenaline coursed through her body.
A loud speaker on the wall blared out “Thank you for choosing SpaceXtreme for your high adventure needs. If you liked black hole jumping, you’ll love our special offer of…” and it droned on, but people didn’t really pay attention.
“That was totally awesome,” Jae said to no one in particular.
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows