The Falling Man
I’ve been on the job as a Construction Worker going on ten years now and have done just about every task on the site you could think of. I’ve hung drywall, installed plumbing, put in flooring, and everything in between. Its hard work but I love it since you aren’t stuck sitting behind some desk and computer day in and day out. The best part of my day is waking up and having a cup of Joe before heading out to the newest building location and getting my hands dirty. There is no better feeling that knowing that I’m helping to put together something special or a place for someone to raise a family. And there’s nothing better than being one of the first guys out there in the morning. The Sun is just breaking over the horizon, the air is cold and damp, and the birds are singing. It’s my favorite time of the day and the best part of the job, I’d say.
But it was during that peaceful time of morning that I had the most terrifying event to ever happen to me in life. I was sitting on top of the frame to a three bedroom house we were putting together, relaxing with my coffee and the paper. This was before the age of everyone having cellphones, so my routine back then was to pick up the newspaper and find something interesting enough to read while I waited for the rest of the crew to get to the site. On that day in particular, I found myself focused on a story about a guy who had robbed his company of thousands of dollars and was going to end up on trial. That part isn’t important to what happened to me that morning, but I wanted to be sure that you understood how little I had been paying attention to anything around me. Even the sound of the birds chirping just kind of blended away into the background as I focused on the article. That’s part of the reason why I ended up with such a fright.
See, I heard it before anything else. Off somewhere in the distance a sound slowly started to build up in volume; a sound that as it got closer and closer began to resemble that of a man screaming. I didn’t break my eyes away from the paper when I first heard it, even though I knew it was something unusual to hear. It wasn’t long though that I had no choice but to break away my attention to look around me for whatever was getting louder and closer. I had never been the type to scare easy, but the sound of that terrified hollering growing was enough to turn my blood cold. Panic began to set in before I could even make a rational determination what it was that was screaming to loudly and that is about the same moment that I realized where the sound was coming from so quickly: from above.
I could make out the shape of what was very clearly a man tumbling down from the sky and he was the source of that awful sound that was now louder than ever. There was no indication that he had fallen out of a plane or was skydiving with a failed parachute, but what else could have caused him to be in that kind of predicament? That was the thought that I had as I watched the man fall and for some reason I couldn’t take my eyes off him even when I knew his landing was going to be a hard one and make a pretty big mess all over our worksite. I braced for his eventual impact, still unable to move due to the shock of what was happening and just how unusual it really was. But as he struck the ground, I wasn’t witness to the gore-filled mess at all; he had simply just…kept going. I could hear his cry just as I could while he was in the air, but the sound was now going away from me. It was like he had fallen into a hole in the ground and just kept going.
It was probably another ten minutes before I had the nerve and the strength in my legs to pull myself up and climb back down the frame of the house to investigate. I went to where he must have struck the ground, but there was no sign of him. The yelling was long gone, but there was no hole in the ground that he could have fallen in and even that made little sense. But what kind of sense is there to be found in a man falling out of the sky in the first place? By the time I had a good look around, some of the other guys were showing up for the day and I just wanted to put what happened past me and just count it as some kind of weird thing that you read about. Who was going to believe me even if I told them? I wouldn’t have believed it had it not happened to me. This was many years ago, but I still find myself keeping an eye on the sky in the mornings no matter where I’m at.
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