First Line: Edna Brewer walked with purpose, her sensible shoes marching dutifully along the pavement as she made her way up the slight incline of Fairfax Avenue.
Edna Brewer has worked for a lot of years, and if it weren't for her dedication, her boss's business would not have prospered the way it has. But it has finally come time for her to retire, and Edna knows it.
I've been reading quite a few short stories lately, and I have to say that Sue Ann Jaffarian's "Early Retirement" ranks right at the top of the heap. It's the type of story that can easily be read two different ways. In the first, you can read it straight through without paying attention to the oh-so-subtle clues that the author has carefully placed, and be blown away by the ending. In the second, you can pay attention to those clues, be rewarded by that Hitchcockian twist of an ending, and feel almost complicit (with a smile on your face no less). I'm dying to make a comment about the story, but I can't. I don't want to give anything away!
If you've got a Kindle, consider this story to be 99¢ very well spent.
"Early Retirement" by Sue Ann Jaffarian
Arakel Press © 2014
Digital short story, 22 pages
Source: Purchased from Amazon