Whenever she had balked at doing her homework in high school, her mother had always turned to her and asked, "Nadine, would you rather be a big fish in a little pond, or a big fish in a big pond?"

Nadine was pretty sure her mother was misquoting that aphorism.

Not entirely sure, of course. She hadn't been entirely sure of anything in years; she didn't feel entitled to feelings of certainty without a diploma or GED under her belt.

These days, Nadine was definitely just a small fish, little more than a fry. She was the fish that all the other bookstore employees would have eaten alive, if given half a chance.

A bookstore, she had thought, would give her an air of intelligence, the illusion that she was a thinker. That was before she had worked at one.

Now she knew better; she knew that everyone she worked with was undereducated, underpaid, and overly impressed with their own backstories.

She slid her fingers down the spine of the latest bestsellers as she stacked them on the display. She had hoped, one day, to write a book like this.

Now, all she hoped for was a chance to get the hell out of this minor city.


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Galen almost 13 years ago

It's the most inescapable jail: our own cowardice.

Great story.

Gone Awry almost 13 years ago

Yes. Society today isn't exactly "free" when you think about it, is it? Trapped by others expectations, not being able to be who really are, for you risk judgement by your peers. It's not the best way to run things, now, is it?

Tucker Cummings (joined about 13 years ago)
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Tucker created "The Strange Adventures of Margery Jones", a 365-part microfiction serial. New chapters are posted daily. Check it out at MargeryJones.com

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literary coming of age female


school crossroads coming of age


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