The world’s first skyscraper was the 10-storey Chicago Home Insurance Building, 1885. A marvel of height and scale. The tallest building in the goddam world. The first man to jump off was Walt Lawrence, an insurance clerk. His future was untenable. Then skyscrapers sprang up everywhere; and the lonely would fall.
Shakespeare lifted his quill and pondered. A poem, a drama? He wasn’t certain. What would Mary like most?
He began tentatively, nervously eking out the inky words onto empty grey parchment.
Days later, finally content, he handed it in.
“Bravo, Wills”, said the schoolmaster, “You’re getting much better at this.”
The war raged for two more years. Still, he never returned. She stopped waiting.
She married a decent man from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and had four beautiful children.
Twenty-five years charged by.
She was out walking when she saw him.
Third row, fifth section. He was at peace; now she could be.
Franklin strode into town like a hungry dog. His pistol finger red raw, his eyes blood-swept. He booked into the first whorehouse on Main and had himself a feast. Six beautiful women in six hours. Fat Sheriff Anderson arrived and shot Franklin stone cold dead.
Jealousy is a miserable thing.