The creature popped into existence. There was noise, a rush of air, and a rapidly-increasing pressure.

“There, there,” murmurred the voice, “there, there. It’s OK.”

“Where am I?” the creature wondered fuzzily. With frustrating slowness, reality faded in, and the creature’s confusion gave way to terror.

The creature was in mid-air. It was falling. It was falling through the air.

“Help!” the creature shouted.

“Now listen carefully,” the voice murmurred, “and I’ll tell you the way to stop falling.”

“Well hurry up then!” the creature cried. It couldn’t see anything past the blur of tears in its eyes, but the ground must surely be rushing up fast.

“The way to stop falling,” the creature said ponderously, as though revealing some deep secret, “is to stop falling.”

“What?” the creature shouted. “That doesn’t even make sense!”

“No,” the voice replied, “it doesn’t make sense. But it’ll work.”

And it did.