Joe’s View by Heather Taylor

The first time he climbed out on the window ledge at work, no one had seen him. He had waited until the cleaner left. Then Joe forced open a window and squirmed out onto the granite ledge in the dark. He worried that someone would look up from the honking streets, maybe some crazy kid. The kid might see the white dazzle of his shirt, might scream. Nothing happened and Joe stood outside enjoying the salty floral stench of the sea breeze as it rushed past his sweating face. It was a hot summer.

Joe got addicted to the ledge. The cleaner never worried why Joe was the only one who worked late. His boss never worried either. Anything after 5 was unpaid anyway; that was the contract Joe had signed up to.

When autumn came the wind washing in from the sea changed. It smelled of funky dead things. High above the tiny yellow cabs things got colder and Joe had to wear his jacket which was black. He was more comfortable in black.

That winter there was freezing rain. The last time Joe stepped out onto his ledge, he had just ended a call with his ex-wife so the fall didn’t seem so bad. He landed on top of a yellow cab and squashed the roof. The ice on the ledge didn’t count in his favour; the city newspaper described the 34th suicide of the year in a small column on page D4, the Metro section.

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6 Comments

Filed under Heather Taylor

6 responses to “Joe’s View by Heather Taylor

  1. Inevitable ending and yet we’re left to consider the real cause. Nicely done, Heather.

  2. My reaction to his stepping out the ledge was visceral; I literally shuttered (yeah, I don’t like heights). I keep reading because I’m fasinated by irresistible potentially destructive behaviors. And I so want there to be a last time that he walked away from. Really excellent.

  3. I think he saw it coming. It was suicide by chosen carelessness. Wonderfully written.

  4. Powerful stuff. As someone said above, very visceral, involving all the senses. Peace…

  5. I didn’t see the end coming. I just thought he was playing with danger. This is very original, and you could expand the sections leading up to his demise. Very nice work!

  6. Pingback: Week #19 – The Last Time « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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