Claire had not ventured onto the balcony since Tom died. Heights scared her, and fear could trigger a panic attack. What would happen if the panic struck when she was out there? When she was standing near the edge? Nothing, she told herself, absolutely nothing. You’ve taken a pill. You’ll be fine. She shut the door behind her and shuffled forward, taking comfort from the roughness of cement beneath her bare feet. Almost there, she reached out to grab the railing and paused.
The pause was a mistake. Her concentration wavered, and she saw herself standing on a narrow ledge stuck to the side of a building seventeen stories above the pavement. Her grip became rigid and white-knuckle tight.
Even more than falling, she feared its allure. Another step and she would be at the edge. Would she be impelled to keep going, to press her hips against the rail and lean further and further forward until her feet left the floor and she tumbled into oblivion? Don’t look down. Think about something else.
What a mess this was. Housework. Yes, mindless cleaning--that would take her mind off everything.
Claire turned and stepped back over Tom's bloodied, lifeless body and headed to the kitchen to get a mop.
Opening: Pat Dusenbury.....Continuation: ril