"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." Edgar Degas

Friday, November 29, 2013

Flash Fiction Friday - The Jumper




            I don’t know why anyone, let alone a beautiful young woman, would get it into their head to think that jumping off a bridge is a good idea. There’s no accounting for taste. If you want to kill yourself I imagine that’s as good a way as any. There’s the whole illusion of flight thing (at least for a moment or two) and also the water makes things less messy than landing on concrete.
            Beautiful young women are a valuable commodity, and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if that was part of what drove her to such desperate measures. I can’t help but think that there are quite a few old men like myself who’d do just about anything to keep her from following through with her plans. A few young men too, like the officer on duty.
            For all I know the officer’s happily married, or gay, or really hates the paperwork involved in a suicide. Or maybe, like me, he’s just too squeamish to watch such a horrifying incident unfold. Maybe he’s a little reckless himself. Whatever the reason, I was still shocked to see him handcuff himself to her.

            She jumped. That’s what jumpers do, right? I’m surprised the officer’s hand didn’t rip right off. You could tell he was in a lot of pain with her hanging from his wrist, kicking and screaming. You couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. All she wanted to do was end her own life and someone more powerful than her wouldn’t let her do it. That might be another of the things that drove her to desperation.
            The other cops all grabbed at her and handled her body pretty roughly, well beyond the bounds of propriety. I guess they were just trying to save their buddy and it was she that was causing all the trouble.
            The language coming out of her was also well beyond the bounds of propriety. She screamed and cursed until her face turned red and her mouth foamed. She spit at the cops and called them every name in the book, and a few that must be coming out in the next volume.
            So I was as surprised as anyone, including the intrepid officer, when they finally pulled her up and she threw her free arm around his neck and kept kissing his face until she passed out.