SINK OR SWIM

‘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. Sometimes you just have to take that leap of faith!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Good luck. To you and to your protagonist.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. But of course, he’s not safe there. He has to keep moving. Nicely written, Iain

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a conundrum. I’d need to know what awaits on the mountain before I could decide too. Nice one, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 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

    1. It’s the not knowing which is for the best that makes it tricky. Fingers crossed I make the right choice!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Prayers raised, for sure, Lain.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Jump! But grab some shark repellant, an energy bar , and a life ring before you go!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sink or swim, sometimes life gives us these two choices only.. good one Iain

    Liked by 1 person

  7. forestbathing hermit Avatar
    forestbathing hermit

    Very good, the fundamental question..stay in the comfort zone or not..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the dilemma. Thank you.

      Like

  8. ‘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

    1. 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

  9. 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

    1. Fortunately I have no such physical trials in my decision! Thanks Janet.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What’s life without taking a chance or two? Mind you, that is a bit of a challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You could do it Keith, I have no doubt!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Dear Iain,

    Perhaps it’s safer in the boat, but is it going anywhere? Well written quandary and best wishes on your own.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  14. i always abide by the saying, when in doubt, follow your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A decisive answer! Thanks Danny

      Like

  15. Ooh, stay or go? Do or don’t? Left or right? Decisions we all have to make sometimes.

    Like

  16. Excellent, Iain! Leaving us in suspense, like “The Lady or the Tiger.” Either way, there could be much to gain, or much to lose .

    Like

  17. 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.

    Like

  18. 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!

    Like

  19. Oh what a choice. A heroes journey indeed, I imagine all sorts of adventures… many not good. Great piece.

    Like

  20. I dunnow, given that ominous bet, perhaps it is NOT safer on the boat after all … 😉
    Well done!
    Na’ama

    Like

  21. Time to decide, indeed Iain. Chillingly dramatic.

    Like

  22. I can feel the weight of the dilemma, both the one in the story and your real-life one. Good luck, Iain.

    Like

  23. I guess it all depends on how good a swimmer he is.

    Like

  24. Love the build up to the person’s choice, and what a choice, between the devil and the deep blue sea.

    Like

  25. 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.

    Like

  26. 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.

    Like

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