The Falling Man

There was already a fresh body lying on the GB News forecourt as Brewster made his way into work Monday morning. The area was cordoned off with yellow tape as the clean up crew waited for the all clear to hose the mess away. 

He didn’t join the gawpers who lingered by the pile of blood, bone and grue. He’d seen the remains of too many jumpers already, and knew such morbidity only served to taint the rest of the week. 

His horoscope predicted a good one; the Libran scales would be pruning baggage and setting themselves free this week. Brewster preferred to follow the stars than allow the minutaie of external uncontrollable events spoil his flow.

“Look out below!” The yell turned heads as panicked cleaners ran from the drop zone. He heard the sickening crunch and splatter of a body hitting the target, enlarging the existing mound. There were screams, but Brewster didn’t turn or slow, continuing his steady path to the main entrance.

They had been falling from the 12th floor for weeks now, throwing themselves off with certainty the drop was terminal, as established so many times before. He couldn’t even remember who the first was, the clockwork deaths swiftly became part of the office routine.

IT WAS GETTING HARDER TO KEEP TABS ON THE REVOLVING EMPLOYEE DOOR

In a crowded space, silence helped ensure a calm journey. Brewster practically meditated in his daily commute up and down GBN floors, avoiding eye contact with his fellow passengers, lest they pry uncomfortable conversation. The lift was already to the brim when Mel squeezed through the doors as they were closing.

She was shaking. Her cheek was splattered with blood and there were drops on the collar of her blouse. She was an Account Junior on Brewster’s floor; this was her first month, so still virginal to GBN ways. She looked wide eyed at her fellow passengers and those innocent pupils locked with his. Damn.

“It… it was Harris,” she stammered. “I saw him fall. He was looking right at me, before he hit the ground.” Her eyes began to fill. “He… he was smiling.”

Harris had gone up the floors two weeks before, straight from Account Manager to Content. Brewster had silently cursed him, despite his stars advising to control envy and be patient.

Brewster handed her a clean handkerchief from his pocket; he kept spares for such occasions. He couldn’t remember Mel’s sign, it was getting harder to keep tabs on the revolving employee door, so he fell back on his stockpile of generic platitudes.

“It’s okay,” he said. “Harris had problems. Life is filled with bad moments as well as good, its how we deal with them that define us.”

Thankfully, the doors opened before he could elaborate. He guided the frazzled junior out into the Monday morning hubbub of the 10th Floor selling spree, advising a chat with Curtis, their office manager. 

Mentally, he was already planning his application for a recently opened position. Brewster thought about checking Harris’ ‘scope, then realised it didn’t really matter anymore. 

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