VIEW FROM THE TOP

ETHAN FROME    by Edith Wharton

I had the story, bit by bit, from various people,
and, as generally happens in such cases,
each time it was a different story.
~Excerpt from Ethan Frome
by Edith Wharton

***

From this perspective, it becomes much clearer. And I can’t fault the officer for pulling the trigger, although I was innocent AND unarmed. After all, he was just a rookie with nerves of silly putty and a will to prevent anything tragic from happening. I guess that with a little more experience and he’ll be a fine officer.

Out of body experiences are hard to explain. The journey to mine started out as an innocent question.

“How’s it going, Jack?” asked my friend Adam when we met near the market waiting for the bus uptown.

“Eh, been better” I started. “I’ve been sick for a few days and haven’t gotten much sleep, so I’m tired too. I think it was food poisoning… something left a bitter taste in my mouth.”

“And work’s been good?” Adam continued.

“Yeah, you know me, always shooting for the top! I had some ideas on the table, but it looks like the boss is offering some major resistance, so I’m sure there’ll be a confrontation between us.” was my reply.

“Well, you’re looking fit! Have you been working out?”

“I try to hit the gym three or four times a week, but yeah it’s starting to pay off. Thanks for asking.” I told my friend.

“It wasn’t hard to notice. You’ve got a couple of “guns” there!” Adam said as we bid each other good day and went on our ways.

Joanne from Marketing overheard our exchange, and told the guy in Human Resources what she gathered.

“I heard Jack Miller in sales telling a friend that he is sick and tired of his boss, Ken Jenkins, and he’s suddenly become very bitter. He plans on confronting Mr. Jenkins. And he’s got a couple guns to shoot the “guy at the top” Joanne relayed.
“I better call security and 911. This is serious” thought Mr. “HR”

“Hurry, there’s a guy with a couple of high-powered rifles planning on taking out everyone at Halper and Stern Manufacturing.” He began.

What did I know? I reached for my ringing cell phone during the commotion of six squad cars and the swat team arriving on the scene. I just wanted my wife to know I would be late. Talk about your self-fulfilling prophecies.

“He’s going for his gun!” the officer yelled. “EVERYBODY DOWN!!!”

Three shots were fired. An honest mistake, I’m sure.

Now, I am late; the late Jack Miller. Go figure!

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