Here, as promised (threatened) is the first installment of a very short story, Quickies. Even the installments are very short. There are thirteen sections. The thirteenth is the longest, and the last.
1. Proctor Puckett, whose passions were opera and spiders, was at the Met’s production of Verdi’s Otello the night a man threw himself from the Family Circle to his death in the orchestra. The opera stopped just after the Moor killed Desdemona but before he realized the wicked deception foisted upon him by Iago.
Earlier that week, Proctor, on his way back from a therapist’s appointment in Nyack, was halfway across the Tappan Zee Bridge when a man jumped off. Even though there are an average of thirty successful suicides off the TZB every year, and Proctor had been seeing his therapist for five years, with mixed results, depending on whom you asked, he had never before been on the bridge when someone jumped. The traffic was stalled for hours.
Things come in threes. Proctor knew that. The trinity, of course. The branches of government, the ages of man, the children in his family. (He was the middle child). That was why World War 3 was inevitable, and why he would most likely be the next jumper.