Flash Fiction: Suspended Fear

Suspended Fear

By Susan Sage

Stacy clung to the wood railing, her knuckles turning white.

“Come on hon, you can do this.” Her husband, Grady, called from the far side of the rope and wooden bridge. Her youngest son, Avery, stood watching with his dad.

“We’re across, Mom, come on.”

“N-n-no. I can’t. I can’t let go. We’re too high and the bridge is swaying. I’ll fall.”

Porter, Stacy’s oldest son, started walking down the bridge’s metal steps.

Porter turned to look up at the bridge. “Mom, you’ve got to see these colors in the growth over here.”

Grady tried again. He took a step onto the shifting bridge.

“No. Stop. You’re making it swing again.”

“Okay. Look at me, Stacy.”

“I can’t, Grady. Go on without me.”

“I’m sorry. We should have let you cross first when the bridge wasn’t moving much.”

“Just go.”

Suddenly, Stacy felt pressure on her hand and against her leg.

“Avery. What are you … how did you … I didn’t feel the bridge sway. I thought you crossed with Porter and your dad.”

“I did but I wasn’t going on without you. I’ll stay with you.”

“No, you go, too. I know how much you want to see the waterfalls.”

“Mom,” her six-year-old said, “remember last year when I climbed the big oak at Grandma’s and I cried cause the breeze started blowing the branches? Remember what you told me?”

Stacy swallowed the disgusting taste in her mouth. She didn’t want her own words coming back at her, especially right now. “I told you God was rocking you like I did when you were a baby.”

“You told me something else, too.”

“Oh Avery …”

“Remember the verse, Mom?”

Stacy glanced to her boy she realized was growing up too fast, then moved her gaze back to her gripping hands. Would he ever trust what she said after this?

“You told me I could trust God when I was afraid. Are you afraid, Mom?”

“Y-y-yes, son, I am.”

“Then do what you told me to do. I’ll even do it with you.”

Stacy looked into Avery’s eyes. Her stomach churned. She felt moisture at her hairline. Releasing the rope, her hand trembled.

“See how pretty the fluffy clouds are, Mom?”

Stacy lifted her chin and looked at marshmallow-puffed clouds and sapphire-blue sky.

“We can do this. God’s got us. Ready?” Her young son slipped his hand into hers.

Together they said Avery’s favorite Bible verse. “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.”

He took one small step, then another until she followed. He walked with her across the suspension bridge. The whole time they quoted the verse together.

When they stepped on the landing Stacy bent enough to wrap her arms around him. Her husband stooped putting his arms over both of them. She allowed her tears to flow. She pulled back from Avery and he wiped her cheeks. “When did you get so big and brave, son?”

“I’m not brave,” Avery said. “I just believed what you said about God. You were telling me the truth, weren’t you, Mom?”

Stacy looked up at Grady.

He smiled and kissed her forehead. “We do have to get back across you know.”

With her hand in his and the other in Avery’s she said, “We will. With God. One step at a time. And slowly.” She lifted the edge of her mouth.

They walked down the steps to join her Porter. As she stepped into the clearing she took a quick, deep breath. Water crashed against rocks as it fell from the mountain-top. She watched the roiling and felt the spray against her face. The noise built as the family stepped closer to the rock’s edge.

Stacy whispered, “Thank you, God. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss this.”

“What’d you say, Mom?” Avery asked.

“Just talking to God, son, just talking to God.”

Verse-Psalm 56:3 Holman Christian Standard Bible

Meet the Author

New to north Idaho, Susan Sage and her husband are enjoying getting to know the new area. She continues to work on her craft writing about God’s purpose and sovereignty in all aspects of life. She enjoys writing devotionals and flash fiction. She enjoys mentoring other writers who are new to the craft.

She is currently working on revising her website, which should be up in the next few months.

You can find her on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

You can read Susan's flash fiction here at Pandora's Box Gazette the 2nd Thursday each month.

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