Life Abridged

willie-fineberg-unsplash 10th st bridge Pittsburgh PA

Photo: Willie Fineberg via Upsplash, 10th St. Bridge, Pittsburgh, PA


She waited.

One more step and she’d have gone more than half-way across, but she found herself unable to move further. She sat on the asphalt, frozen by cemented legs.

So she waited. It was early, but sooner or later something will come by and she’d find out the price of her betrayal.

All her life she’s been bordered by this bridge, the yellow metal rising like a sun in her horizon: untouchable, unapproachable, dangerous.

They were raised to never cross it.

“Evil lives beyond this bridge,” her father had preached in daily sermons in their basement, the family huddled on aching knees and wreathed by incense, fear, and smoking wicks. “Leave here and your soul will be eternally forsaken. Abandon my teachings and you will not be saved.”

Well, she’d had enough. She could tolerate no more of his invasive ‘instruction.’

And she was ready.

To not be saved.




For What Pegman Saw: Pittsburgh, PA


8 thoughts on “Life Abridged

  1. Wow. Chilling story. Having walked across that bridge, I can make a pretty good prediction that jumping off would likely kill you. Not a certainty (like the Golden Gate), but pretty likely. Thanks for stopping by and contributing such a great Pegman story this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you … I don’t know if she’d jump off, but it seems that all bets are off about what would or would not take place … Brainwashing and indoctrination have a cost that goes beyond words-said and into words-internalized and perceptions-solidified.
      I am rooting for her to find her way beyond the half-way point …


  2. I could not help but think of the book “Educated” by Tara Westover… she had to escape her parents’ clutches to find out the world was not as small as they were teaching…

    Beautifully done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Dale. I hadn’t read that book (it’s on my list …) though I realize it could resonate with experiences like hers as well as that of many who grow up in ‘cult-like’ indoctrination of many kinds, where isolation and limiting access to information and experiences is a form of achieving compliance and maintaining control. Alas this happens in too many households and communities, some less outwardly isolated than others. Thank you for the comment, my friend! I hope she found her way – safely – to the other side of the bridge, and realized a better life wherever she’d made it!

      Liked by 1 person

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