By the time I reached her side she was standing on a ledge so narrow that I could hardly believe she had not already plunged, due to her very large feet, into the mad Monday morning melee of cars hurtling their passengers to work, to the gym, or to their clandestine lovers.
The call had come less than five minutes before, and I had sprinted from the coffee shop where I had been enjoying a quiet morning of endless caffeine while writing, or at least pretending to write, the next chapter in my frustrating but insistent novel, to the eight-story building where she teetered on her last nerve. It took every ounce of courage I possessed, despite my love for her, to crawl through the uppermost window and stand, sweat pouring from every conceivable gland, next to her and begin the speech I wished I had practiced during my desperate lung-bursting run to save my best friend.
I went for the kind of straight talk I thought might work: “I know things have been tough lately, but geez Carmen, this is extreme even for you.”
Carmen suddenly moved from her unstable perch, causing my heart to lurch so powerfully that I nearly lost my balance and only managed to re-gain my footing a moment before she leapt through the next window with a maniacal laugh and the fading words, “NOW did I inspire you to finally write your next chapter?”
Lillie McFerrin provides weekly prompts for her “Five Sentence Fiction” challenge. This week’s word: inspire