The wind whipped into the compartment. Passengers screamed as papers ripped themselves out of their hands and briefcases and bags and hats tumbled along with the rushing air, joining tumbling books and empty cups and expensive fur stoles in a whirling dance. I shattered the remains of the window and heaved half my body through. An attendant grabbed me by the foot, but I kicked him in the face. The momentum propelled me out the window and I plunged downward through the sky.
I slung the parachute over my back, fumbling with the harness while struggling to keep it from flying out of my grip. It worked itself free of one shoulder and I barely caught it before it absconded into the blue yonder. It probably would have been smarter to put this on before I had jumped through the window, but I might not have fit that way. Besides, I like to work on the fly. Or rather, on the fall.
I managed to strap on the pack and pull the ripcord. As soon as I was descending at a safe speed and my heart rate had a chance to slow, the view of the city strangling the Seine was actually quite beautiful.
I was right on course to land in a lovely little park, but the wind had other ideas and I descended on a church spire instead. I guess it was a spiritually uplifting experience.
Apparently I had attracted a lot of attention, because a large crowd of people were pointing and shouting, but I couldn’t be sure because they shouted in French and pointed in French too, of course, and they might just have been admiring the architecture for all I knew.
Pretty soon I started hearing sirens. I was surprised the sirens didn’t siren in French, but I guess you can’t have everything. Wait, is siren a verb?
After the fire department got me down from the spire, the police started asking me questions. I tried to communicate yo no hablo francés by gesture, but that got us nowhere. I tried to translate his French—something, I thought, about passing harbors or possibly wine, and maybe something about a crazy, stupid derriere—but one year in high school Francais didn’t cut it.
I was taken downtown, talked to someone who spoke English, I was asked if I had a passport, I said No, and all said and done I ended up in a cell.
And as the French say, voilà! A holiday in Paris without having to pay for reservations.