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The Jumper

Standing on a window ledge of the tall building, the jumper looked down at the police below and cupped his hands to his mouth.

"I can fly!" he screamed much to the delight of the crowd gazing up at him, "I know why it didn't work last time... the drop wasn't high enough! But now I'll be able to do it. This time it'll work. This time I'll fly!"

Meanwhile, 15 stories below, Police Chief Marbles slurped the remains of his coffee and threw the empty styrofoam cup to the ground.

"Gimmi the megaphone, Lou," he muttered, grabbing the megaphone from the junior officer.

"You there, on the roof!" he yelled into the microphone, "Listen to me. Whatever the problem is, we can help! Suicide isn't the answer!"

Yet, above them the jumper once again declared his intentions to fly.

"Oh, I see, " said Chief Marbles, rubbing the bridge of his nose. Then, adressing the man in much the same way one addresses a child wearing a cape standing at the top of the stairs, he continued: "No, no. You cannot fly. If you jump, you will not survive--"

But it was too late; the man on the ledge had jumped into a swan dive. The spectators below gasped in a gleeful anticipation as he hurted toward the pavement.

And then they all suddenly went very quiet.

Much to the surprise of everyone on the street, about ten feet from the ground, the jumper slowed his rapid descent, stopped, and then preceded to rise above them.

He then did a little barrel role.

The only sound to break this new stunned silence came from the whoosh of the flying man sailing through the air, interspersed with his triumphant giggling. Indeed, now freed from the earthly shackles of gravity, the airborne man soared like a graceful bird above them all.

Back on the ground, Police Officer Lou stared in awe. "Chief, I think he really can fly!" he whispered.

Police Chief Marbles looked up and stroked an eyebrow with his little finger. The flying man was now doing loops and tumbles, with a look of shear unqualified joy across his wind-swept face.

"I see him Lou, " said the chief with a heavy sigh. "Well, that's pretty damn near the freakiest thing I've seen in a while."

Police Chief Marbles frowned, trying to decided what to do next. Then, in a lightning flash of inspiration, he knew what had to be done.

"Shoot him down, boys," he said.

The police officers raised their guns to the sky and fired.

Three seconds later, the flying man crashed to the ground with a reassuring thud.