Posted in Short Stories

Kim Edwards: The Way It Felt To Be Falling

Deal Me In 2020 – Week 27

All summer I had felt myself slipping in the quick rush of the world, but here, in clear and steady descent, nothing seemed to move…the only sound was the whisper of my parachute.

If for no other reason, Kim Edwards’ short story “The Way It Felt To Be Falling” is worth reading because it describes, in first person, a first sky-diving experience. One reason I love to read fiction is that I can come close to experiencing things that I never actually will in real life – and I’m fairly certain I won’t be experiencing sky diving in real life and I can’t think of any other story I’ve read that includes this type of narration of this activity.

Of course there are other reasons to read this story, too. One is the juxtaposition of Kate’s sky-diving event against her world in which her father has slipped into severe mental illness, her mother is trying to hold herself (and Kate) together while decorating wedding cakes, and her relationship with Stephen is less than healthy. In some respects, Stephen cheats on her but it’s not in the manner one might think.

A paragraph about Kate’s father’s illness matches beautifully with her later description of sky-diving:

He did not speak, then or later, not even when the ambulance came and took him away. He did not sigh or protest. He had slid away from us with apparent ease. I had watched him go, and this was what I knew: madness was a graceless descent, the abyss beneath a careless step.

I’m so happy to have read this story – another great one in Home and Beyond: An Anthology of Kentucky Short Stories edited by Morris Allen Grubbs. I read it when I selected the Nine of Clubs for Week 27 of my Deal Me In 2020 short story project. Check out my Deal Me In 2020 list here. Deal Me In is hosted by Jay at Bibliophilopolis.

2 thoughts on “Kim Edwards: The Way It Felt To Be Falling

  1. “The abyss beneath a careless step” What a great way to describe madness. Sounds like you got your money’s worth with this story!

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