Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ultimate Career Choice

Kristen was beginning to think the “suggestion” her supervisor had made for her to take a little time away from work might not have been such a bad idea after all. Sitting atop the narrow stone outcropping, the view below her blurred and became as indistinct as her uncertain vision for the future. 

She knew she could not return to the routine, the schedule, the responsibilities that were consuming her very essence…her soul...and supplanting them with expectations she could never truly meet.

She no longer felt the hunger, the need to drive herself to her limits and beyond. Dropping her backpack, she realized there was only one edge she now felt comfortable crossing and, with that realization, she stepped off that edge and embraced the peace she had so long desired.

This story was written for the weekly Five Sentence Fiction prompt: edge


  1. I can relate to this. My job isn't one of those nine to five social climbing hells that so many people get trapped in, but I do feel trapped and feel like I'm going nowhere but am to old to go anywhere. Bummer.
    Well written!

  2. You are NEVER too old to affect substantive, positive change in your life. Your only limitation is your own determination ;)

  3. I understand Lily's frustration, but I also agree with you, Jeffrey - it's never too late. I'm still working up the courage to make the jump to a better life, but not one off the edge of a precipice. Your story ending made me wince. Nice work.

  4. When I was younger, I thought that way. There is something seductive about an irrevocable choice. Now that I am old, I see it for the foolish hubris that it is.

    While your tale is very well written for its type, the message (as I interpret it) is ... wrong. My core philosophical difference with the message makes it difficult to appreciate more than the wordcraft of the tale.

    1. You make the assumption that Jeffrey's story has a message. It may or it may not - I don't know Jeffrey's intent. Sometimes a tale is just a tale, a description of an event. We may think about what happened and try to imagine what we would do in this situation, but we're not Kristen. We don't know (in detail) what she faced or what she'd been through. I see nothing that suggests we should all jump off a cliff, only that that is what Kristen felt compelled to do. I thought the story was quite good, but I'm not jumping off of any cliffs.

      Who knows? Maybe she was a BASE jumper and had a parachute in addition to the backpack. She landed safely, had dinner with her in-laws at a near-by restaurant, found a new job, and lived happily ever after.

  5. I interpreted the story as being that this character jumped without a parachute (dropped backpack), because she was filled with ennui and saw no way to break out of it except by the dramatic gesture of a spectacular suicide.

    I'm 33 years old and working on finishing my degree so that I can break out of my ennui, make a life for myself. No way I'm jumping without a parachute :)

    Great story though.