“The Climber” / A Memorable Fancy #118

Mark climbed the outside of the building. Yes, it was illegal, but he’d be famous and the penalty wouldn’t amount to much. Up, up. Rest. Up, up. By the time Mark got to the 25th floor the newshounds had noticed him, were gawking and long-lensing. Up, up. Rest. Up, up. By the 35th floor there were news-copters. Police below were bellowing something he couldn’t hear. Up, up. Rest. Up, up. By the 65th floor he was beginning to doubt that he could go all the way. But it would be a record anyway, something no one had done before. He would go on.

Up, up. Rest. Up, up. At the 80th floor (he thought it was the 80th – they weren’t marked on the outside) he rested again. All but one of the news-copters had left; the others had gone to more interesting places like the BQE, he supposed, where dramatic smashups could be expected, not a huffandpuffing man where minutes at a time could pass without breaking news. Up, up. Rest. Up, up.

Now, Mark had achieved a new world record: 79 floors. But someone could beat it. Someone might beat his record the very next day, leaving Mark as an asterisk. So Mark would have to go on. Mark went on. Up. Up. Rest. Up. Rest. Up.

At the 85th floor he heard a sound. Not the last news-copter; it had left long ago. An airplane. He looked around, careful not to look down. An airplane, approaching.

In Mark’s last instant he knew, now, that his record would not be surpassed; not on this building, anyway. He reached out his arms to gather in the airliner, its shouting pilot, its screaming passengers.

<END> … Terence Kuch’s books may be purchased or previewed through his Author Page at Amazon.com.

 

Comments

  1. Excellent ending

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