A short, short story, aka flash fiction. Enjoy!
I can’t believe I let myself be talked into doing this.
It had seemed like a simple, and safe, bit of fun. A challenge from my colleagues. But now I’m up here I’m not so sure. Okay, so I have a rope attached to me, but what if I fall and it doesn’t hold?
Splat. That’s what.
The boards quiver and seem to sway as I shuffle out a few more centimetres. The muscles have constricted in my throat and around my lungs, my gasps for air amusing my colleagues on safe ground.
“Get moving! You’ll still be there this time tomorrow at that rate!”
A deep breath and I move a few more centimetres. You can do this.
Sweat trickles down my face as I shuffle forward again.
“Are you chicken? I thought you said you weren’t afraid!”
“All talk and no action!”
The city moves beneath my feet—it’s a long way down. I’m going to chuck.
“Just do it!”
I swallow—no mean feat when your throat is clenched as tight as your butt—and look up.
Slide your feet…one at a time…ignore the tremble…you’ll be fine…
The far side didn’t seem to be getting much closer.
Another bead of sweat follows the first. The strain of keeping balanced burns in my thighs. I have to finish this.
I can hear the shouts from behind, but can’t make out the words. My heart pounds, drumming in my ears.
Okay, you’re steady. Breathe…slide…slide…
Hang on; the end is only a metre away!
Breathe…slide…breathe…slide…wobble…to heck with it…
A quick step and I reach solid ground. Or concrete. I don’t care—I’m safe. I untie the rope and send it swinging.
“Now you have to come back,” someone called.
I don’t think so. There is a door on this side, and it’s ajar.
“Nah, I’m heading down the stairs. I’ll see you at the bar. Unless you want to join me over here?”
They laugh. Until they see me hold up the key
I’ve locked the door on their side. They can’t get off the roof unless…
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