The bark bit into feet that were unused touching naked ground, but he grimaced and persevered on, not allowing the pain to distract him from his mission. Upon reaching the platform, his feet received a welcome respite from the smooth boards of timber beneath.
He paused for a moment, considering his next move.
He could feel the eyes of the children; hear the gossip of the parents standing by. Mr Baldwin closed his eyes and cleared his bare head, reaching out for the rope in front of him. One above the other, he placed his hands carefully on the woven threads in front of him, and wrapped his thumbs around as he gripped it firmly.
His hands were shaking slightly, and he felt a tightness in his chest. He took a step backwards, then shuffled back a little more; there, that’ll do it. Feeling like his life eas in his hands he jumped off the platform and was immediately thrust forward. His legs flailed around, unaccustomed to being airborne, and finally remembered to take their rightful place on the black rubber disc. With the rubber burning hot beneath the seat of his pants and the freeness of falling, Mr Baldwin felt like the family dog on the highway.