Trading Futures (Postcard Shorts, December 2011)

The ledge is a thousand or more feet above the city street and the wind is plucking viciously at his trousers. He doesn’t look down; no need to. He knows exactly where he’s going.

Any minute now.

The hedge fund has gone belly up. The investors will shortly be baying for his blood, not to mention his bosses. His position is unrecoverable and he’s let so many people down.

Worse still, he’s comprehensively feathered his nest during the good times, taken on commitments that a job-less future simply can’t support. What will she say when they can no longer afford the mortgage payments. How will the kids cope with changing school? He doesn’t want to be there to see that, to see himself a failure in the eyes of his family. He’s out of this.

Any minute now.

He shakes his head, feeling tears stinging his cheeks in the biting wind. It was all so easy, he’d said, just like shelling peas. Until the last few weeks.

Well, it will all be over soon enough.

His Blackberry vibrates, switching almost immediately to messaging. Curiosity prevails. Pulling it from his pocket, he glances at the screen.

The traffic noise below seems to fade away.

A glimmer of a smile broadens into a wide grin.

Stuffing the Blackberry into his jacket pocket, he inches his way cautiously along the ledge back to the open window.

‘There’s always a buck to be made somewhere. And if anyone can make it, I can.’

About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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