‘You see that peak over there?’ Get to the top of that and it’s all yours.’

‘That’s quite a climb. How close can the boat get to the shore?’

A pause. ‘You misunderstand. You start from here. Sink or swim.’

Was it worth it? To reach the top of the mountain. The promised land. It all comes down to this.

‘You are hesitating. You have to be certain before you take that leap.’

The choppy water looked unwelcoming. Icy cold and storm-tossed. That was what lay ahead. Or I could stay on the boat. It was safe here.

A deep breath. Time to decide.

Copyright Ted Strutz

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

Excuse the heavy metaphor this week. I’m currently weighing up a new job offer against the wrench of leaving my current position, where I’ve been quite happy for the last 15 years… It’s obviously weighing on my mind!

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

48 responses to “SINK OR SWIM”

  1. Some life decisions are just plain hard. 15 yrs with the same company is impressive in today’s world of rapid turnovers. Yet, i do totally understand the weight of your decision. Hubby has made that decision twice recently the only thing holding us back, though was the lack of affordable housing. Sigh…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘Who dares, wins.’ But do you want to be a member of the SAS?
    Remember that your current employer will have no loyalty when deciding on whether to retain your services or otherwise. Which is not to say you shouldn’t stay with him if you want to keep putting your family first.
    Your story is a super metaphor, Iain. We all admire the person who will take the challenge, but are they right to do so?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good advice Penny – I agree – we all like to think we are valued, but in reality we know we are expendable in our jobs, and will be treated as such if it comes to the crunch!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, good luck! I had a similar decision 21 years ago when my employers retired and I decided to start my own business and work from home. Never regretted it. Similar issue now with trying to get my craft business going. Personally though, with that picture, I think I’d stay on the boat. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Decisions are always challenging, myself I was like a arrow with a broken flight, changing career path every few years. Good luck with whatever you decide

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The arctic version of between a rock and a hard place! Sounds like his choices are barely so! Let us wish he doesn’t freeze before he gets to the other side!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great story, Iain, very thought-provoking.
    Metaphorically speaking: no risk no gain. In this actual situation: don’t. If stormy weather is ahead and this is a part of the sea you don’t know, you’ll freeze to death, or drown. If you stay on the boat and live, there may be other chances. If that is the one and only chance though… difficult and depends on the kind of gains.
    About your job… I’ve been in my current, not so superbly but decently paid, job for more than 20 years now but will leave next year before retirement for personal reasons. It all depends on what you really want and need. Family is always first, employers may value you but only as long as you are carefree.


  7. Nope! I be staying right here thank you very much!! I would definitely stay on the boat….
    Very thought provoking though. I like the fact that someone has to think of priorities. Good job!


  8. I want to say “I’d stay on the boat” for sure but in the “real world” I’ve definitely jumped at least as often I’ve stayed and while I can’t say I regret it, the road not taken, you know? Sending positive energy that you make the right choice for you at this time! Job choices can be the worst.


  9. Good story. I wonder what the protagonist picked?
    Hope you figured out the job choice and it’s going well.

    I’m enjoying #WRiTECLUB2021 over at DL Hammons blog. The entries are fun to read and vote on with feedback.
    Plus, I’m currently reading Patricia Lynne’s Being Human.
    And I’m scheduling debut author interviews at Operation Awesome.
    I hope you have some fun plans for the rest of 2021. 🎄🎆⛸🥁✉🥂⛄ May your days ahead be merry and filled with positive experiences.


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