Friday Fiction – Schrodinger’s Hesitation

The writing Gods are demanding this month – NaNoWriMo, Voice Week, a collab project I’m involved in culminates on 30th, and I’m still trying to keep up with my regular posting schedule. So please forgive me if it takes a while to read your comments, or any of the other FF stories. Mine’s below. The prompt is from Al Forbes and – as ever – Rochelle is our lead scientist. you can find the other stories through her blog.

By the way, this is what happens when you look at the picture for a second, then go off to get the baby up. By the time you get back, the story idea in your head is so far from the prompt as to be largely irrelevant (I now realize it’s probably not even a door but a window!). Anyway, too late – inspiration not illustration, right???


Schrodinger’s Hesitation

At the threshold to a new doorway, anything’s possible. Sandy knew that, and it gave her hope. Like that cat in a box that might be dead or alive, and you didn’t know until you opened the box. Not just didn’t know, it was both. Infinite possibilities.

But, she thought, if she were the scientist, she might leave the box closed. Leave the cat at least partly definitely alive.

That’s how she felt now, holding Ben’s jacket in one hand and the mysterious hotel bill in the other. If she didn’t confront him, she could remain at least partly happy.



Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

40 responses to “Friday Fiction – Schrodinger’s Hesitation

  1. Very clever little tale of a wife’s dilemma. And probably true about a lot of boxes we would have better left shut.

  2. Nice use of the Schrodinger’s Cat experiment — the dilemma – is ignorance really bliss? Nice job.

  3. Pingback: The Queen is Dead – A Friday Fictioneers Lament | Being the Memoirs of Helena Hann-Basquiat, Dilettante.

  4. ignorance is never bliss. Even if we try to convince ourselves as we float down denial. Partly happy won’t do. I personally need the truth. Hope she confronts him. Great story!

  5. I’ll have to admit I never heard of Schrodinger’s Experiment until now. I relied on the comments. It seems like a great use as a metaphor. And don’t worry about the baby … you to wrote a terrifically rich story. But, then again, aren’t they ALL? I certainly think so. Wonderful, Jen.

    • Thank you for your kinds words, WMQ. I can’t believe you didn’t know the experiment. Look it up, the place where science and philosophy meet in a crazy mind-blowing piece of illogic.

  6. I took it for a fireplace mantel… but I think I got it entirely wrong. Worked for my story. Admittedly, I had to look this up too. But, your writing is so clean, so wonderful, I love that it pushed me to dig deeper. Really terrific!

  7. Dear Jennifer,

    If you haven’t noticed yet, let me lay it out for you, because it is important that you get it. You ready? Here goes…. When I am thoroughly impressed by a story I usually just say it in one or two words because to say more takes away from the story and also taxes my brain, which seems only to be able to do one thing at once, such as enjoy re-reading your story… anyway. (the above, preceding words do not count. They are there simply to make sure you understand what I’m about to say.)

    Brilliant, Outstanding, Superb. After a story like this, I am in awe.



  8. Dear Jennifer,

    Who cares if it’s a door or a window? You definitely wrote outside (or was it inside) the box this week. Perhaps Sebastian knew you had a wonderful story to write. 😉
    I certainly felt the wife’s hesitation in the pit of her stomach. She knows, but doesn’t want to believe it. To confront him cements the deal. Stellar writing.



    • She knows, I’m afraid. But I wanted you to feel her desperation to hold onto the shred of doubt. And yes, who cares if it’s a door or a window (or a fireplace), I just thought I ought to explain how I’d reached new heights in irrelevance!

  9. Partly happy and partly married. I’d prefer one extreme or the other but that’s just me. Very original take on the prompt and I never for one moment entertained the thought it was a window… Well done.

  10. kz

    a great standout story. i like where you took the prompt 🙂

  11. Excellent piece of writing.
    AnElephant’s favourite so far.

  12. Brilliant take on the prompt!Sometimes it is really difficult to choose-some questions are better left unanswered-we tend to make peace with the harsh truth,hating confrontation-choosing pretense over heart break-specially when one has more at stake 🙂

  13. Nope, she’s going to have to go through the pain of finding out but, better than letting things fester. Great story.

  14. The old Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t situation. I love the way you constructed this story. Well done, Jen.

  15. I say let the cat out of the box…
    This one is full of possibilities (any of them good?)
    Best to you with your busy month

  16. Very good. Is it better not to know for sure, to remain in blissful (?) ignorance.
    A choice faced by many in the same situation I guess.

  17. Great story–even a great title! But I hope she doesn’t settle for not knowing….

  18. I love the philosophical dilemma you’ve set up here, Jen. I could feel her pain and indecision. Good one!

  19. This is so good – what an excellent analogy. The thing is, I know that for me, I would rather know, than wonder about it. I’d have been a terrible Schrodinger!

  20. Thanks for stopping by…
    I think it could be a transom – a window above a door.
    Some mysteries have happy endings…
    Though it doesn’t sound like it.

  21. CherryPickens

    The end of the story was a *wow* moment, preceded by an excellent lead up. I enjoyed this story very much.

  22. This is excellent writing.. and the paralell between the cat and the fidelity is an excelent one. But unfortunately she already knows the cat is dead. She has peeked into the box… opening it will not change anything.

  23. That’s a great tie-in with the whole Schrodinger thought experiment. Self-deception is a very powerful force.

  24. Ben’s an idiot. Good metaphor.

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