The wind rushed past Oscar's face at an alarming rate. It was cold and whistled in his ears. He closed his eyes to stop them watering. This also had the benefit of shielding him from the view, something he wasn't accustomed to seeing in this manner.
They were falling through the air for longer than Oscar expected. He kept his eyes tightly shut and tried to pretend he was on a fairground ride. That didn't help much as he had little experience of fairground rides other than being told as a child that he'd be sick if he went on one after eating. The most exciting thing that happened in his life now was... well, up to this point it had been when next door's cat had appeared at his backdoor meowing for milk.
“Lift your feet up, we're going to land!” Delta suddenly yelled in Oscar's ear. “Legs out in front of you like you're sitting up in bed!” His eyes snapped open and he stuck his legs out as instructed. He felt Delta pull a little to the left, the ground rushed towards them and suddenly he was sliding along on his backside with Delta screaming “Wahoo!” behind him.
Oscar was grateful to sit for a minute to get his breath back. He felt disorientated, shaky and full of adrenaline. He looked about him. All he could see were trees and grass. His hearing felt muffled. Delta unclipped him and stood up. He steadied himself just in time, then sat leaning back on his hands.
“You can stay there while I fold up the parachute,” Delta said kindly. Oscar watched the sun set behind the trees.
Once the parachute and all its paraphernalia were packed up, Oscar followed Delta to the edge of the field, over a stile, up a lane and past some houses. They came out on a dual carriageway next to a cinema and retail park. Oscar was still too dazed to be very aware of this, though.
“Come on, there's a taxi rank up here.” Delta led the way. “You'll be home in no time.”
Oscar was aware of following Delta along the road and into a car park that had a taxi rank, near a bus stop. He got into the first taxi while the driver put his suitcase in the boot. Delta joined him in the back of the taxi.
“Where to?” the driver asked.
“Oscar, where do you live?” Delta asked. Oscar heard himself reel off his whole address, then the taxi started to move.
Oscar spent the whole journey looking out of the window at the passing cars and buildings, at the streetlights and the stars. As they got closer to his home, he began to get his senses back, and to recognise where he was. Soon they were turning into his street. He felt glad to be getting home. He was still trying to fit together the pieces of what had happened today, but the 15-minute taxi ride hadn't been long enough for that. He squinted out of the taxi window in the direction of his house.
“Why are there policemen outside my house?”