Article: 288608 of talk.bizarre
From: (Ranjit Bhatnagar)
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: (report) October 18
Date: 1 Dec 1996 19:18:22 GMT
Organization: University of Pennsylvania
Lines: 117
Message-ID: <57sllu$>

Walking north towards the train corridor.  It's dark and the
streets are abandoned: Probably around 2 or 3 AM.  OH MY,
three kids-teenagers?  are climbing on to the high tension
wires about 70 or 80 feet up.  I can hardly bear to watch; I
know they're doomed, but it's cruelly fascinating.  One by
one they swing hand-over-hand out on the coppery green wire.
Somehow they are still alive, and I can barely hear their
shouts of glee.  My heart is racing.

Now they're standing on the wire, using another as a
handrail, walking quickly towards the next pole 100 yard
away.  Near the next pole a girl is-- running-- leaping from
wire to wire!-- and off the wires 80 feet headfirst to the
ground.  She lands soundlessly in a heap 2 blocks from me.
I run panicked towards her, uncertain of what to do when I
get there, certain she is dead.  Is there a phone?  I have
to call 911.  Why are there no damn phones?  Some sort of
white phone on a pole that says "apartment services."
Around the corner, a huge red-painted metal box with
ONLY."  Can I use this?  I try the white phone with shaking
hands, keeping an eye on the heap of girl.  911.

--What service are you calling from?
--There's a girl, she-- she fell from a telephone pole [I
  realize I'm getting the facts wrong but it doesn't matter]--
  I think she's dead...
--Are you calling from Ganz services?
--I have no idea!  It's... a white phone.  38th and
  Chestnut. She's...
--Where you at?
--[sarcastically, slowly] I, IS, at, 38th, and, Chestnut.

I don't hear what the operator says next because the girl is
walking towards me in her bare feet and red and white dress.
I scream, confused, into the phone.  Would you PLEASE send
an ambulance?  Utter silence on the phone as she approaches
me and I want to faint.  Still clutching the phone to my
ear, I grab her arm.  She's about my height, straight blond
hair, and no sign of blood or so much of a bruise, and my
mind is swirling as I babble.

--Please!  Stay still.  Can you talk?  You shouldn't move
  around.  The ambulance is on the way [I can see a mile down
  the street but there are no vehicles at all].
--I wouldn't have done it if I couldn't...
--How did you...
--Who are you talking to?
--Um, the ambulance is coming.

Realizing the phone has been dead for several minutes, I
hang it up.  She takes my hands, and kisses me, lightly.
I'm thrilled and confused.  Her skin is cold and dry, and
she smells like a just-mowed lawn.

--Please, don't move, just, just be careful.
--I feel ok, I guess.

We're still holding hands.  Ben is lying in a heap in the
gutter, clutching a rumpled paper bag.

--Ben!  BEN!  [No response.  I nudge him a few times with my feet.]  Ben!
--Wha?  [He rolls over to face me.]
--Am I with anybody?
--I mean, is there someone else here?  Am I holding someone's hand?
--Nope.  I don't see anybody.  You...
--Because I'm standing here with somebody who I'm afraid doesn't exist.
--Ahhh.  [Rolls over again.]

We end up walking west without really knowing where we're
going, talking about miscellany.  I'm ashamed of the
thoughts that keep going through my head: "She's so
beautiful... she kissed me... her smell... why does
she have to be dead?"

--You heard what Ben said.
--He couldn't see you.  You're not here.  You're dead and
  we're the only ones who won't admit it.
--[Laughing, playfully as if humoring me.]  And at any
  moment I'll fall to bones, right?  How do I know you're not
  the one who's dead?

I think again of her running leap from the tangle of
overhead wires, the slow fall, the immobile heap on the

She is attracted by a spot of light in an otherwise dark
window.  It's just a hole in the reflective sunshade, but
she's fascinated.

--What's that light?
--Let's see...

I hop up onto the ledge between the window and the sidewalk,
and immediately think it a mistake, because if she follows
my example...

--Don't jump!  Take it easy... [I give her my hand and help
  her up gently onto the ledge.]
--You thought, if I jumped, my head would fall off or
  something, didn't you?

That was exactly what I was thinking.

"Trespassers w"                       
        The surface of the water where they move swiftly about in curves.