Literati! Jack Horne, from the other side of the pond, reminds us that stiff upper lips can’t keep us aloft forever, especially when applied to the lips of another!
Billy side-eyed Jo. She had a good profile; he loved the way her nose turned up. The breeze whipped her wispy blonde hair and she brushed it back with her hand. Then she turned her big green eyes on him.
He felt himself flush. His pulse always raced when he looked into those eyes.
‘Lovely view,’ he said, looking down her low-cut top.
She nodded and stared straight ahead. ‘I wonder how it feels to fly, like one of those seagulls.’
‘Dunno.’ Billy squinted up at a large gull. He shuddered and remembered the one that had snatched his chips when he was five. And another had shit on his glasses. Horrid things. At least this one seemed content to just glide on the air currents. ‘I s’pose it’s like hang gliding. Sort of.’
Her eyes shone as she looked at him again. ‘Have you ever done that? What’s it like?’
He shook his head. ‘I always puke on aeroplanes. Hang gliding must be like flying.’
‘But you work at an airport.’
‘Yeah, but I don’t fly. I just clean the planes.’
She turned away with a shrug. ‘I never tire of this view. If I was a gull, I’d look down on the sea and this beach all day.’ She stretched out her arms. ‘And I’d glide over this cliff.’
‘My granddad thought he could glide from cliffs.’ His nails bit into his palms. ‘They said he’d committed suicide but he didn’t jump.’
‘Yes, I heard he was dressed in a feathery onesie.’ She folded her arms. ‘I was sorry. He was a nice man.’
‘No, he wasn’t.’ Billy studied the rocks far below. ‘He didn’t jump. I pushed him.’
As Jo’s mouth opened to scream, Billy kissed her. Ignoring her slaps and kicks, he stepped over the edge, his lips still locked to hers…
(Editor in chief, right, on most recent trip to Europe with anonymous intern)