As her ears filled with white noise, Naomi stared at the ocean 30,000 feet beneath her and wished she had packed a parachute. Around her, clouds tumbled past in a blur of wind and white ozone. Far, far below, she could see the shimmering surface of the water – if she were to hit it at terminal velocity, she knew it would break every bone in her body. Of course, she would have passed out long before then, her vision narrowing to a bright dot, then shutting off completely as the blood rushed to her brain.
The roar of white noise grew louder. She had been in danger plenty of times over the last few months and near-death experiences had become a way of life, but nothing terrified her more than the prospect of plunging to her certain death in the unknowable emptiness of the mid-Pacific, thousands of miles from home.
Phew, she thought, removing her faulty headphones. It’s a good job I’m on a plane.