So, this is how my life will end. I make myself as ball-like as possible, face jammed between bent knees, arms wrapped tight about my head. A human hedgehog.
The gas burners hiss desperately, trying to steer us clear, but there’s no time. It’ll happen any moment now, probably in three, two, one… The impact comes with a violent confusion of creaking, snapping and splitting — the sounds of wood under the utmost strain, like a sailing ship battling a storm. Branches drag sharply across the outside of the basket, and we’re drenched in a stinging shower of bark and lichen. All around is the mighty heave and whoosh of displaced boughs whipping back into place. Someone gives a little scream.
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