Alex was stuck on one side of a canyon and had to get to the other side, but the only way across was over a loose-knit bridge of slippery black metal. Through the trusses he could look down, down, way down past clouds and towering trees to the ground below where the bright silver ribbon of a river caught the sun and flashed at him. He took a moment to admire the view then started across.

He was about two hundred feet out from the edge when a pair of gulls flew by underneath him; suddenly the thousand feet of air underneath his feet was horribly real and horribly powerful. Alex threw his arms around a girder and sobbed in terror. The tighter he clung the more slippery the bridge became. He was just coming around to the idea of his own death when a hand grabbed his arm and pulled him onto a floating platform the size of a dining room table.

“Thanks,” gasped Alex. “I thought I was a goner.”

“Hey, no problem,” said Neko Case. “It’s what I do.”