Jack Horne lifts us up where we belong with a First Kiss

First Kiss


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…

The White Cliffs of Dover (1944) Poster(Editor in chief, right, on most recent trip to Europe with anonymous intern)



15 thoughts on “Jack Horne lifts us up where we belong with a First Kiss

  1. Jon Tobias says:

    I did not see that coming. I like the interesting background information with Billy’s grandfather. It opens itself up for a whole other story. Great write.

  2. Mike Casper says:

    sheesh. all the way down…what a way to die. great read, I really enjoyed it, but I hated it…maybe because I make my living in the sky.
    pity they didn’t soar with the gulls…
    but maybe they did! I smell alternate ending on it’s way!

  3. Michael Stang says:

    Methodical, creative, English in that comfortable way I so admire. Super twist ending, dark and final. Classic Jack. Thanks for picking up the pen.

  4. Mac Eagan says:

    The final two paragraphs caught me completely off guard. As a surprise ending followed by a more surprising ending, it was excellent.
    But as a story ending, I am dissatisfied. Had the story ended with Billy’s confession, I would have been OK, assuming Billy felt he had his justification for killing his grandfather. Had the story ended with Billy pushing Jo, I would have been OK, assuming Billy was a serial killer.
    But the murder-suicide does not resolve for me, as there is no motive. Especially when combined with the murder of the grandfather.
    Billy certainly had something under the surface, but in this story I think it was unfortunately left there.

  5. Tiffany V says:

    I was completely tripped and knocked over the cliff with Billy and Jo. I was unsure of the trajectory and despite the horror (loosely termed) of the end, you kept my interest with the right amount of action and the right amount of description. I found myself saying, “oh!” when I read the last paragraph.

  6. Stef says:

    On the edge of glory, my dear Jack? Kissing always felt like falling into something for me, but I’ll watch my step the next it happens.

  7. Parisianne Modert says:

    Having once lived near the White Cliffs of Dover in the middle on 18th century and fallen to my death from a castle wall thinking my husband had pushed me, this gave me past life flash backs to when George III was a real arse of a party king. This isn’t completely germaine, but nonetheless royally flighty. Wings on humans don’t work it seems, but I am a fan of romantic kisses, so smashing Jack, simply smashing.

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