The wind yanked strands of Heather’s hair from its clasp and whipped them back and forth across her face. She tucked them behind her ear as she leaned forward to take another look over the ledge.

He said I could do this, didn’t he?

Her legs quivered and she felt a chill run through her entire body. She leaned back against the wall.

He said to just lean forward into the wind.

Heather took a deep breath and looked out at the skyline. Light twinkled at her from all directions. The lights and the wind had been what first drew her to this spot over a year ago. It was her place to relax and clear her head. But tonight they seemed terrifying and her mind raced.

Was he even real?

She groped along the wall for something to hold on to. Her resolve was quickly fading as she looked back at the way she had come. It was only about four cautious steps and she could be back to her favorite spot. There she could sit safely and enjoy the view of the city she had known.

But he said I could do this. He said there was more to see.

Another quick gust of wind yanked at her hair and clothes.

But where is he right now? Why isn’t he here?

Heather thought back over the past three months since she had met Sal. He was unlike anyone else she knew. He made her feel special and loved. She would talk for hours and he would listen. When he spoke, she soaked in every word. He spoke of doing things other thought impossible – of living life outside of the norm. And, yes, he was definitely real.

He said this was possible. That I only needed the courage and faith. Didn’t he?

Her mind bounced between resolve to act quickly and a paralyzing fear that kept her clinging to the wall.

What if he was wrong?

She closed her eyes and drew in a deep breath.

What if he was right?

Opening her eyes, she looked out at the skyline again and leaned forward. It was time to decide.


12 thoughts on “Exordium”
  1. At least she’s dithering over something momentous! How many times do we spend as much nervous energy and time trying to decide to do something trivial?

    Good to see you flashing again, Chuck!

  2. Having looked up ‘exordium’, your story takes on a different meaning and makes her situation more hopeful and interesting. I have no idea who ‘Sal’ might be, good or bad, friend or foe, but my overall impression is that he is a force for good. Intriguing story.

    1. Thanks, Justin. I wanted the story to read in a way that the reader’s mind could take it any direction it wanted to. I figured the title could be my hint as to what I was thinking when I wrote it.

    1. I think it’s great if you wanted him to be imaginary or otherwordly. When I first wrote this I had planned for it to only be a parable about stepping out. After I wrote it my mind kept going, so I may end up adding a second part to this. Thanks for commenting!

  3. I must be a cynic. My immediate thoughts aren’t good, otherwise Sal would be there. But then again, I’m only the reader set up by the master! Nice job, Chuck. This could spin a multitude of ways.

  4. I find the concept of “A leap of faith” rather frightening, there is just no way you are going to know unless you do it, and then there is no turning back.

    Nicely written Chuck.

  5. Dammnit, Chuck! You can’t leave us hanging. 🙂

    Personally, I’d like to think that she was courageous enough to jump, regardless of the outcome. Being beholden to fear is an awful way to live.

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