This is the story of the night patrolman on the Tangi Bridge. Fans of "The Lottery" and "The Lady or the Tiger" may enjoy this one.
The Tangi Bridge
"He didn't always see them jump, but the sounds were unavoidable. Some screamed on the way down; some went in dignified silence. But their lives always ended the same - with a loud, sickening splash.
A few chose to go at it alone, but most were grateful for his presence in their final hours. Several talked at length of their lives, although many were content to simply sit quietly beside him until dawn. Then, after steadying their nerves, they launched themselves off the creaking, wooden bridge and into the water below.
He had been told never to watch, but he always did. How could he not? The least he could do, he felt, was to be with them in those final, fleeting moments so they knew that they hadn't been alone, that someone would remember them.
Those who accepted the calling - really accepted it - went without fear. They were the fortunate ones, their calmness and serenity helping them recall what they had long been taught in school - how to hit the water at the ideal obliquity required for the fastest and least painful death.
The screamers were much harder to watch.
They frequently flailed on the way down, hitting the water, hard as stone, at an odd angle, crushing most of their structural bones. Survival instincts always kicked in, and they would splash around in a panic - helpless, thrashing sacks of broken limbs.
Whether they succumbed to the cold water or invisible injuries, eventually, they stilled, often floating in pools of dissipating wine as the impartial river swept their bodies out to sea."
Comprehensive lesson plans are also available.
Jippa (a short horror story)
A longer short story, "The Executioner", is scheduled for May 2013.