He wasn’t sure if he would be able to make it. The well was deep, and he felt exhausted.
Even if he managed to make it to the top, he might have to use all the energy he had left and would probably just fall back to the bottom, this time to his death.
But he really had nothing left to lose, and even that slim chance of escape was better than simply waiting here to die.
He started the long climb, trying his best to keep a steady pace. He couldn’t let himself stop, he knew he wouldn’t be able to keep going if he did.
The well tried to pull him back, his whole body ached under the strain of its own weight. He kept climbing, his eyes fixed on a single star above.
The effort was draining him fast, but it was too late to turn back, the bottom of the well was just too far.
One last push, that’s all he had left. He would either make it or go tumbling to his death.
He put his whole heart into that last desperate effort… then everything went dark.
Was he dead? His senses struggled to understand what he was feeling. He opened his eyes slowly, and found himself finally outside the well.
The stars were shining all around him as he floated weightless over the gas giant. The red spot on its cloudy atmosphere looking like the eye of an angry beast.
He spread his wings to catch the warm rays from the nearby yellow star, its glorious light slowly replenishing his strength.
It was so good to feel this free again, no longer burdened by the unfamiliar prison of his own weight.
He gave one final look at the huge gravity well below, and turned to fly away among the stars.