The Inevitable Ride : : a short story
The last thing to enter Gunner Thompson’s mind was how unexpectedly fast the ground rose up to meet him.
It was the middle of June and the Nevada air seemed hot as hell. A few hours earlier, the thirty-year-old hedge fund manager had entered the cool lobby of the Stratosphere, made a bee-line across the casino floor, and rode the escalator to the second level. Removing his wallet from his trousers, he carefully counted his remaining bills. Stuffing the cash into his front pocket with all the small change, he tossed his wallet into the trash can.
“Nineteen hundred and forty-seven dollars,” he said to himself, and got in line at Nunzio’s. He ordered pasta and house wine, carried his tray to an empty seat, and ate his meal like a wolf. Leaving his trash on the table for someone else to clean up, he sauntered up the spiraling walk, and browsed through the first-rate shops.
Gunner splurged at several expensive stores, unloading most of his cash, before stopping, finally, at the Hat Company. He picked out a “Gambler’s Fedora.” It fit him perfectly. He paid for it, and continued his trek up. When he arrived at the elevator for the Top of the World, he paid the man who sold the tickets, then counted his money again.
One hundred nine dollars and six cents—the exact amount he needed for the Sky Jump. At the Top of the World he gave his last for the ticket, walked past a family eating ice cream, and got in line for the ride he’d been anticipating his entire life.
He had barely stepped out on the jump pad from the observation deck, when an unexpected blast of wind stole his hat from his head. He knew it was futile to even reach for it, so he just watched it fall, tumbling and fluttering, until it was a dirty speck on the pavement below.
About Scott Postma
Scott lives in North Idaho collecting more books than he'll ever read in a lifetime. He helps people cultivate their capacity to perceive and appreciate the good, the true, and the beautiful by sharing rich insights into the arts and humanities, meaningful perspective on faith and culture, and valuable tips on writing and teaching. You can subscribe to the tribe and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.