The Last Rung on the Ladder

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skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,683
92,168
USA
That's one of my very favorites, and has been since I was 13 or so :). It was sobering to read it then, the realization that memories of good times as a kid could eventually come back to shank you as an adult. I think I grew up a little right then. Reading it now, it's with such understanding... It was just such a pitch perfect story, for all ages.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
87,651
358,754
59
Cambridge, Ohio
..."sentimental and touching"?....interesting take....and welcome bye the bye...I've never thought suicide as sentimental, but my life has been touched by multiple suicides, hence my bittersweet at best-feelings about the story...well-crafted and with his deft touch, but makes me immeasurably sad....
 

Two Flutes

Member
Dec 30, 2013
5
34
44
Dublin, Ireland
Yes and thanks. I guess I meant the story of the kids was the sentimental and touching as they were the mans predominant memories of his sister.
Obviously there is nothing touching about suicide
..."sentimental and touching"?....interesting take....and welcome bye the bye...I've never thought suicide as sentimental, but my life has been touched by multiple suicides, hence my bittersweet at best-feelings about the story...well-crafted and with his deft touch, but makes me immeasurably sad....
 
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doowopgirl

very avid fan
Aug 7, 2009
6,946
25,119
62
dublin ireland
I recently picked up Night Shift for the first time in years. I remembered most of the stories but it seemed I hadnt read The Last Rung on the Ladder. What a great little story this is ! It builds suspense and is also sentimental and touching. One of his best
I only picked up Night Shift after a looong absence and found some forgotten gems and that one falls into that category.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
87,651
358,754
59
Cambridge, Ohio
Yes and thanks. I guess I meant the story of the kids was the sentimental and touching as they were the mans predominant memories of his sister.
Obviously there is nothing touching about suicide
...I wasn't being harsh, and please don't think so...it's just a nerve ending that's always raw...you stated your feelings well...
 

bryras

Well-Known Member
Dec 3, 2008
1,334
1,606
Boise Idaho
This has to be one of my favorite short stories. I too have had to deal with
Suicide
multiple times in my life, but to me this story just makes me want to be sure that I keep in contact with the people that I care for the most. Time goes by and you get busy (you don't realize you haven't spoken to someone in quite some time). Make Time!

I also read this story to a dear friend over the phone and that makes it all the more special to me.
 

krwhiting

Well-Known Member
Jan 5, 2015
258
1,081
54
I think it was exceptionally well-done. It's difficult to get much emotional investment from a reader in a short bit of writing. And I say that as a huge fan of the short story form. This one really grabbed me that way. A bit Hemingway-esque in its spare form and wording. And in the punch of its "reveal." And I agree with "bryras" above that it makes me want to contact people I was friends with as a kid. Like "The Body" does to me.

GNTLGNT, I'm sad to hear that. My family has also been through that terrible thing. Suicide. And so has the family of my best friend. Even in the circumstances where outside observers understand why it happened, and can even commiserate (the pain of a terrible illness for example), some forget the enormous pain and guilt that remaining family members feel and struggle with. It has really affected the emotional stability of my friends family. And it blew up the relationships in my Cousin's nuclear family when it happened there. Sometimes it's not possible for a person in a very dark place to remember that there are many people that love him and will be devastated if he takes that final step.

Kelly
 

skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,683
92,168
USA
..."sentimental and touching"?....interesting take....and welcome bye the bye...I've never thought suicide as sentimental, but my life has been touched by multiple suicides, hence my bittersweet at best-feelings about the story...well-crafted and with his deft touch, but makes me immeasurably sad....
I know what you mean, Giant. My brother was in a terrible accident when he was 15--he nearly died, and ended up struggling with drug addiction (probably traceable to the accident) for the rest of his life. In one of the worst times, he said that he wished he'd just died then. Flashback to this story was inevitable. It's lovely and terrible to me.