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ZER0 by M. TREVELEAN

As Jonathan plunged through the air, storey by storey rushing past like a flick book of shiny reflective images, he could see his life unravel before him. Bubbles of precious oxygen, trapped in amniotic fluid, became the terrible miracle of birth; emerging from the cavernous dark into a cold world of fingers and scissors. Childhood seamlessly became adolescence in a blur of ice cream and party balloons, tantrums and ageing cartoons. The unpleasantness of puberty awkwardly passed in a blink of the secretary's eye, on-looking from the fortieth floor's accountancy firm; a company he had never cared for and who coincidentally had never cared for him.

Exams and GAPS linger longer but never more than an afterthought. University days are lost, as memories can only be recalled where memory exists. His working life stretched out before him, miles of blank road with grey featureless terrain trickling onwards in slow motion. Jon could feel tears in his wind-stung eyes, tears driven by gravity into his ears, intermingling with the screaming rush of suicidal gale. He catches a glimpse through the reflection of his thrashing-limbed body, of a man, bespectacled and be-suited, standing dumbstruck, hot palms against glass watching the end. That was my job and that was me, he thinks as the kiss of concrete looms larger.

Ten seconds from inception to interception, by the pavement outside Starbucks, there less than a month, usurpers of thirty years of previous cafe culture, disingenuous to the last. Ten seconds, enough time for reflection and regret. Chances missed, chances snatched away and chances invisible to the naked eye. Jonathan never took a chance in his life. The world grows larger in the twin windows and he feels the brunt of the fall from grace. Hero to.

Distant sirens fade, as someone hands him a voucher for free chilled coffee. Fingers find no grip now and the flimsy slip, slips down the pavement's cracks of impact. People make a fuss and turn away. They shouldn't, he thinks his last. I got what was coming to me.

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