Angel in the Wind

Empire State building

© Jill Wisoff

“They’ll be better off without me.”

Anne McCoy kept telling herself that looking at the view from the 86th floor observatory deck of the Empire State Building. As far as the despondent woman was concerned, this would be the last thing she’d see this side of eternity.

As she launched herself into thin air, she heard a voice.

“Your life is worth more than you can imagine, my daughter.”

Then a sudden gust of wind blew her up and back, and in a moment she had returned to the observation deck, with a broken hip and a new, grand destiny.

I authored this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.

The photo is unmistakably the Empire State Building, and looking up specific incidents on that site, I discovered that on December 2, 1979, Elvita Adams jumped from the 86th floor, only to be blown back onto a ledge on the 85th floor by a gust of wind and was left with a broken hip. I changed the name of the person and a few of the circumstances to create my wee tale of survival and redemption.

Oh, in Genesis 32:22-31, Jacob wrestled with an angel, and among the other consequences, had his hip injured and walked with a limp for the rest of his life. Somehow, it seemed to fit here as well.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit

49 thoughts on “Angel in the Wind

    • I didn’t get much past her being blown (carried?) back to the observation deck, but in my thoughts, the voice was a message that she had a much better future than she imagined.


      • Decades ago, I worked at a Suicide Prevention center in Berkeley. Since I obviously had an interest in the subject, I did some research and found that if a suicidal person can be kept from committing the act for just a short period of time, they often choose to live, so no, she didn’t want to jump again.

        Liked by 4 people

  1. I head a joke like this where a fellow tells people that the winds will allow him to be blown back to safety. He collects several bets and then jumps off, flying back up to land safely. Others try it and die. It turns out he’s Superman and that he hates tourists. Good story.


  2. Excellent story, and it would seem to be a happy ending. In my understanding, suicides who are prevented from completing the act rarely try again. I believe that gust of wind was her guardian angel 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have reminded me about when I watched a line of men walking forward, yet they where moving backwards, the wind was that strong. One can be intent one course – even as fate changes that course. Interesting just like your story this week.


  4. You are right about that few seconds being crucial to a suicidal person, James. A dear friend of mine was rescued i.e. stopped from jumping from a motorway bridge. A policeman saw her from his car. He stopped, got out and asked her “Are you thinking what I think you’re thinking?” She said yes and they talked and he took her home. She still had obstacles to overcome (her marriage had ended in a truly shocking way) but she took a different direction and joined the Samaritans as a volunteer and has helped many other people.


  5. It’s amazing the wind could literally carry her. I hope Elvita continued to have a beautiful life. Sadly, a lot of suicides are successful with no gust of wind to save them.


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