Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2208679-The-Swaying-Cord
Rated: E · Fiction · Contest · #2208679
The man hangs from his car's door, which itself hangs from the edge of a bridge.
614 words

Desperately, he grabbed at the rope. It dangled just out of his reach as sweat ran down his face like angry rivers. He once again pushed himself to stretch out and try to get hold of the life-saving cord. It swayed there, challenging him to dare to extend beyond his limit, to further endanger himself.

It seemed now as if ages had passed since he ended up in this predicament. Hanging from the edge of this bridge was certainly no choice of his. The accident that had resulted in his present circumstances was just that, an accident. At least, that is what he had told himself it was. He could remember driving down this rain covered road many times and he never even had the slightest problem. This time was no different… yet, that was not true. This time was different because he was here hanging precariously from the ledge and in danger of falling far into the dark deep river below.

The sounds of the water as it sped far below were as crystal clear to his heightened, frightened senses. He knew the river; He had swum in this part of the river; He knew there were rocks in the area just below where he now hangs. He knew he would, at the very least, be seriously injured if he fell. So, the only answer was to force himself to reach again for the rope that swayed there before him, just outside his reach. That is exactly what he had to do.

Holding tightly to the open car door that seemed barely holding him, he stretched his left arm out one more time. As his fingers pointed to the dangling twine, he stared hard at the rope willing it to move toward him, to give him a chance to save his life. To have a chance to live another day and see his wife once more. To tell her how sorry he was for the argument they had just had a few hours ago. To try to save his dying marriage. He now wished with all his heart that he had not had that affair.

Tears welled up in his eyes as he stretched his hand, forcing him to blink hard and fast to clear his vision. Even so, he had to reach back with his left hand and wipe his eyes. Having done so, he reached out again, praying within himself that somehow he may be able to reach the swaying cord and pull himself to safety. This cord that, for the life of him, reminded him of the wreath on the door of his home. The door his wife slammed in his face. Leaving him face to face with the wreath she had placed there to celebrate what was supposed to be a happy time of the year. A wreath he wanted to see one more time.

As if things were not bad enough, the drizzle that had besieged the night turned into a soul dampening rain. As it grew in intensity, he knew that it could add to the danger he already faced. It could threaten the hazardous grip he barely had on the car door. As it was, he still could not fathom why the car did not just fall over the side of the bridge. From his vantage point, he could not see what was holding the car, but he was so grateful that it was being held. Nevertheless, the rain was beginning to make his fingers start to slip.

His heart began beating faster as he turned away from his painful grip of the car door and turned to the rope once again. He knew that he was at an even more desperate point. His grip of the door would eventually loosen, plunging him into the dark waters below. He would have to let go of the car door and jump to the rope or face the certainty to death. He stared at the cord for what seemed an eternity to him, released his grip of the car door, and jumped.
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