I love writing stories, I am, however, awful at finishing them, truly terrible. So it is with considerable relief and a whole lot of smiling that I present my first piece of flash fiction.
I owe a huge amount of gratitude to Rachel Woe (rachelwoe.com) , not only for suggesting I try flash fiction (you did suggest it, right?) and providing her talents as an editor and dealing with my cluelessness, but also as a constant inspiration and a dear friend. So thank you, Rachel, this is for you.
Wet worn soles on old stolen shoes trip and slip on the slick cobbles, my out-thrust hand catches on the flint wall and temporarily I am airborne, down stone steps, feet kicking at the shredded mist. Making a second attempt at landing my feet find purchase and I accelerate along the alley.
This is good, this beat, I’ve missed this, while we’ve been away, ha, while we’ve been inside. She’s here too, so it’s definitely all good, for now, this flight. And I’ve missed running, yeah this feels good.
The promenade and green sea are in view. We are fledglings, just finding our wings, and it feels really fucking good.
Out of our cages we finally get a salt-lick, that sea air that I’d love to say tastes like freedom but it’s nothing so poetic, it tastes like salt. But I love it, this morning I love everything.
At the end of the alley we pause, my arms bent and my hands clutched behind my head, reminding me of our arrest. She bends double, hands on her knees, bloodied knuckles and nails bit to the quick.
“Up, straight,” I tell her, “lungs, room to breathe.”
I have no idea if this is true, but she straightens up. Blonde hair lank in the morning mist and salt, framing her blood-splattered face as she glares at me, like this is somehow my fault, well, maybe it is, but so’s the escape, so I say we’re even now. She has that exhausted look, that look I’ve missed, and she knows, she smiles through it and we both know what we want. Not yet though.
We need to keep moving. It won’t be long before the shift change, before the night-watch is found, bound and bruised. So naive to trust her pretty face as she convulsed and choked on corn syrup and red food dye.
“They’re fine,” she smirks, guessing my thoughts, hands up in innocence.
Those scars on her palms like a five-bar gate.
We peer out, in opposite directions, checking our corners like we used to. Taking my sleeve she pulls me across the road to the promenade. Running here we could just be some health-junkie couple out for a morning jog, and we do pace ourselves. There’s no cover on the short shallow curve of the bay. If we’re going to be seen there’s nothing we can do about it, but this is the quickest route to the foot of the cliffs, and really, who’d be up this early?
A towering flight of stone steps switchback and forth up the cliff, up to the higher, affluent half of the town. We jostle, forearms and shoulders catching on flint until I drop back and push her on ahead, arse still perfect in unflattering prison greys. At the summit she turns and pulls me over the final few steps. This high the sunrise is burning through the mist, the moors are visible ahead, there’s freedom.
“Shit,” she breathes, exhaling hope at the sight of blue lights in a string along the grey snake tongue of tarmac.
Hotels are lined up along the edge of the cliff, monopolising the sea-view. Four-storey and white, names like ‘The Monarch’ and ‘The Grand’ in faintly tarnished brass letters.
We can hear the sirens. Hotel staff out having a smoke are stepping in to the road to look towards the moors, then they turn their bloodshot eyes to us, the two strangers running.
I pull her off the road and along an alley, finding a service bay wide open and deserted. The sirens pass behind us and cars stop as I push her up and follow her inside. We walk, never run, not somewhere like this, we walk briskly, with intent, hastily retreating as we open a door in to a lobby and see suited men full of purpose marching in. Back the other way.
It’s then we see the blood smeared from torn forearms on the clean white walls.
“Up,” she suggests.
Stairs taken two at a time and it’s somewhere near the third floor that we hear a door burst open below us. Beyond the fourth we take the last turn and pour out in to the sunlight, hearts pounding like furious fists inside our ribs, lungs burning and legs threatening to buckle.
We pull off our grey, numbered sweats and stand, dawn marking white t-shirts yellow, hers with a stain where that fake blood soaked through. With her hands on her knees and me with mine behind my head, she shares that look that says this is still all my fault, and we laugh.
Seagulls wheedle far below, and further still the green sea foams about the rocks. She pulls me back from the edge to her lips, fingers in my wet hair and my hands lifting her off her feet. My tongue runs a riot up her throat to bite and suck below her ear and that’s enough, for her heels kick where they’re crossed on my spine, and we descend to lie on the roof.
Our limbs interlock, hands touching everywhere to remember what the other feels like. More clothes are shed, knees grind in to rough roof but have nothing on the sweet sink of teeth in collar bones. My hand in her hair, pulling there, to present throat and jaw to tongue-torment and gnaw, to press my mouth to her ear, to breathe and demand. Words fail as her grip finds me swollen and ready, those scars catching and scratching.
“So, you miss me?” Her bloody smile broad.
She lands me flat on my back without an answer. I’m straddled, and savour that perfect pressing push and slide of easing inside. Eyes meeting like this is our first moment together since we got out. I rise, mouth open to taste sweat on her breast as her t-shirt is removed, tongue swirls slow as fingers pinch and pull gentle. But she signals no such desire, forcing me back, sweeping hair away from her face and stretching her arms high above her head, relishing her control.
She smirks, still breathless, rising on her knees, granting a slow hot slide out, then thumping back down, grinding as she bottoms out atop me. My hands on her hips, holding her for a moment until she squirms loose. Another rise and another thump. Teeth gritted as she falls, arms out, hands on the roof, breasts delivered and immediately suckled as she begins her heavy hard elliptic dance.
This is animal and anarchic, all snarl and bark, rutting, fucking. She grunts with her hip thrusts, and takes leverage as I hold her. Gripping those wrists, wound around with black ink inches above the cuff.
Up she rises, body back, a distance between us yet still held tight in touch and thought. Body curved, my fingers up flanks, feeling ribs up to firm breasts to rest thumbs over erect tips. Her hands reach behind, elbows locked rigid as she takes her weight, fingertips in grit. Her passion ascends quick, tension oil-thick, lapping up and down, swelling, its tide comes at me, pushed higher with every whole-body thrust.
Knees bent I raise my hips, lifting her, pressure on my arms and feet, present new perspective to hear guttural groan and animal anguish as beasts fly frantic with wet slap of skin on skin and the sodden suck and release of our plundered sin. Torrents of obscene love filth spew from her mouth demands that I never again leave, that we’ll die on this rooftop before being parted.
My hand on her heart makes vows. Her hand on mine pushes it lower, rough fingertips on sweat-wet skin down to our coupling, where my sandpaper thumb finds and glides through slick to graze over her clit. I’ve longed for the way she whimpers, and I press and grind with grin.
Teeth grit as she flings forward, nails in shoulders. Messy kiss all tongues and breathless. Lips between teeth, eyes as mirrors, wet and intent. Her body squat on me. I hold her short blunt thrusts on to me. Impossibly close. Every touch, every move perfect and exquisite agony until bodies freeze. A millpond calm about the roof while all around gulls call, waves wait, build, mount and rise, frothing, foaming, furious with threat, white crests to those terrible endless prison walls of grey, sucking every scrap of air, every breath until all we can do is whisper.
Breathless her voice comes direct from her heart, cracked and ageless as her grip fails, words collapse, waves crash and body flies back. Thundering footsteps up stairs. Spasm about me. Caress up and down around and around. Coaxing me close. Urging release.
She grins, chest heaving, body subject to shudders. Sudden waves of pleasure peaking once more, each conveyed to me so indiscreet and complete. Every new peak raises my heat, swelling my need, making the next tighter, firmer, more insistent. She knows where I am, she knows what I want, but eager to tease she refuses to please, grinning as she stretches arms high above her head, worships the breeze. But the look, the sly smile, the eye glint and the touch of tongue behind teeth, the silent promise that we’re not done, continues to stroke. We’d stay here for days, without reservation. The laugh caught in my throat as every muscle tensed, releases, and surges me forward, flooding her happy and content, and airborne and free.