Prompt for September 7, 2016

Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:

The first time he saw a man die it had been at a construction site.

He had been ten years old and was visiting his father, the general contractor, on the thirty-five story Robertson building. Steel and glass were supposed to wrap a concrete core as it climbed into the sky rivalling nearby buildings for height, but emphasizing uniqueness and freedom through the design. The glass, specially prepared shatterproof glass with a bluish tinge, was going to look more ‘natural’ as it reflected warmer colours. Instead of just a straight column of steel, the tower contained layers, gradually shrinking until the roof appeared to end in a dome-like structure.

At least from the ground. From the sky, the dome was only partial as it was only large enough to give the impression of a complete dome. On the actual roof, the edges curled in and then ended, leaving the roof open to the sky to install additional antennae, heat exchange systems, water tanks, and other building essential pieces.

His father had let him visit when construction on the outside was virtually complete. All of the glass had been installed, sealing the building in and the HVAC system was being tested. The danger was supposed to be minimal. No one told the crew on the twenty-third floor when a power lift slammed into one of the windows with such force that the entire window ejected itself. The glass was supposed to shatter into small pieces of glass as it fell to the ground.

But it didn’t. A shard of glass, fully four feet long and two feet fell from the sky, tumbling as the winds picked it up and pushed it around. Tumbling as it fell towards the lot still being used by the construction company to manage the entire project. The lot where he was visiting his father after the afternoon graduation ceremony from elementary school.

No one saw it coming, no one heard it coming, no one behaved any differently. One moment his father was talking to a group of investors, discussing how they were ahead of schedule and under budget, and the next moment on the investors was cut in two, the glass having severed him in two at the hip.

He experienced everything at the same time, the fear of narrowly escaping death, the sound of screams and shouting as people tried to figure out what to do, the explosion of colour as the blood sprayed everywhere in the dull brown lot, the adrenaline as it pumped through his body in a flight-or-fight instinct. He saw it all. He remembered it all.

The second time he saw a man die he planned out the entire event and recorded it.

Post a link to the story in the comments.


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