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Story Extract

On The Platform

   ...

Anna stepped close to him and took his hands.  “You all ready?”  She asked.

“Yeah, I think so,” Sam replied, lacing his fingers into hers.  “So this is really it.”

“It’s really it.”  She repeated, nodding.  She took a deep breath.  “Sam?”

“Yes?”

“Sam, I’m—”  Anna shut her eyes for a moment and swallowed.  “I’m going to miss you.”  She forced herself to look him in the eyes.

Sam filled his lungs with air and clenched his jaw, trying to smile steadily.  “I’ll miss you too,” he said.  “But Anna, I don’t want you waiting around for me.”  He reached into his breast pocket and pulled out a hair slide which he handed to her.  “You left this at my house the first time we met, remember?”

Anna nodded.  “You told me that fairies must have stolen it and I was so insulted that you thought I was young enough to believe in fairies that I hit you and didn’t speak to you for weeks.”

“You were what, eleven?  And you’re still as stubborn now,” Sam added.

“Hey!”  Exclaimed Anna, using the pin to poke him in the chest.  Sam grabbed her hand and held it there against him.  She looked up at him, serious once more.  She could feel his heart racing beneath her palm and her eyes started to prickle with the anticipation of tears.

“You are amazing, Anna,”  Sam smiled, his brown eyes staring deep into her green ones.  “But I don’t know how long I’ll be gone for.  You go find someone else – a guy who’ll be here for you… when I never could.”  He looked down, saddened.  He continued.  “I want you to be happy, okay?  So don’t wait for me, go and live a little.  You’ll finally be rid of me!”

“But Sam, I don’t want to be—” Anna began, tears starting to well dangerously.

“Shh,” interrupted Sam.  “It’s going to be fine, I promise.  It’s better this way.”

“No, you don’t understand, I’m—”

The train whistled and Sam looked up, alerted.  “I get it,” he said, wiping a stray tear from her cheek.  “I love you too.”  He leant down and kissed her at the place the tear no longer lay.  Anna wound her arms around him and they stood, eyes closed, until the next whistle rang out, cutting short the moment.  Sam sucked in air and pulled away, squeezing her hands once more before turning to go and board the train.

As the others moved to wave to Sam through the carriage window, Anna stood rooted to the ground.  Her lips were parted as if she was about to say something and silent tears ran to her chin. 

Quietly, Lauren moved behind her and laid her hands on her shoulders.  “Did you tell him?”  She whispered.

 

Anna just shook her head and turned around, letting her sister wrap her arms around her as she cried.

...

~ Effy x

 

 

 


Writer's Block: Earth Mk. II

If you could design your own planet, what would it look like and who would live there? Describe the colors, the creatures, and the culture.

Imagine a transparent egg-shaped mass, hollow, in which a God had poured planet-mix up to just over half way.  The surface is therefore relatively flat, but underneath it is just water, so if, theoretically, you could swim right to the bottom, you could watch the rest of the solar system float by.  Of course, you can't see this from the surface because all mass is repelled by the egg-shaped atmosphere as both have the same charge (omnatively charged, if you were wondering; it's a bit like positive and a bit like negative, but in the same sense, not really much like either).

This planet is called Quentin and on the surface are four continents, separated by water which normally looks quite purple as this is the colour of the sky.  If you were to look down on the land-masses, you would see that there are three large ones surrounding one smaller one covered in trees, known by all Quentings as The Wize Woods.  The three other continents were christened The Sun's Realm, The Star's Realm and The Moon's Realm.  Each realm has it's own history and indigenous people with a monarchy and government.  The realms were not, as is common belief, named after the foreign objects in the sky; in fact Quentings named them after their civilisations.

As can be expected, three seperate cultures means variations on language, fashion and customs in each realm.  Despite this, each culture has a close connection with Nature, who lives in the Wize Woods with her family.  Known as the Wize Woman or the Wize Witch, she is the unoffical adviser for the whole of Quentin; from the poor and needy to the powerful and responsible, all problems and decisions are sorted with her help.

Some animals found only on Quentin are:

  • Feathered Wolf: a wolf-like carnivore but with wings and feather-coated ears, paws and tails (of which it has two - no-one knows why).  Their bones are a lot less dense than Earth's wolves so that they can fly, so they are thinner and lighter.
  • Jackolope: a golden hare with dark red antlers.  It lives mostly off grass and berries.
  • Feekin: a squirrel with a bird's beak and small, flightless wings and feathered feet.  Feekins live off berries, nuts and small insects.
  • Hyetta: like a genet cat but with waterproof fur, a scaled underbelly, large webbed paws and gills.  Their diet mostly consists of fish, small mammals, eggs, frogs and some fruits.
  • Leomus: a leomus looks like a house mouse but with a speckled head like a lion cub and a lion's tail.  Adult males also have a small lion's mane.  With very sharp teeth, leomus eat insects, nuts, seeds and berries.
  • Vulderpes: a red fox with antlers and ears of a white-tailed deer, and a white underside, socks and tips of the ears and tail.  Vulderpesi eat rodents, leaves, shoots and grass.
  • Draigan: a draft horse bred to carry people or luggage long distances, meaning they are strong, with great stamina and endurance.  Normally red in colour (although sometimes light brown or golden) they have an auburn, wavy mane and tail, little legs and large golden eyes.
  • Gabe: a taller, faster horse, similar to an Arabian horse, often tamed because of their speed and intelligence.  Many gabe packs can be found in The Wild Woods, where they have evolved to be camouflaged; they have brown bodies and eyes, and mane and tail colours ranging from dark brown to mossy green.


~ Effy x
 


Broken Home - scene one

SCENE ONE

 

Upstage centre is the exterior of a rickety, typically working-class house on a hill with large fabric patches seemingly sewn into the roof and walls, tape holding some windows in place and a red X marked in graffiti on the brickwork.  In front, a lounge and kitchen are set out where MUM is slumped in a nightgown at the breakfast table.  AMBER, her 16-year old daughter, sits next to her in her school uniform with a bowl of porridge.  A young boy’s school bag is in a corner and there are bowls, glasses and plates waiting to be washed at the sink.

 

[BLACK OUT]

 

AMBER: (Mother-like) Come on, eat up.  It’ll get cold.  You need to eat something, now open wide.

 

MUM: Nnuuuhh.

 

[LIGHTS ON]

 

Please mum, just one more spoonful.

 

MUM: Nnnuuuhhh.

 

AMBER: You can’t take your tablets on an empty stomach.  (MUM opens mouth reluctantly and AMBER feeds her a few spoonfuls of porridge)  There, that wasn’t so difficult, was it?  (She walks to a cupboard and gets out a glass)

 

[ENTER HARRY, Amber’s eleven-year old brother, in a different school uniform]

 

            (Filling glass with water) Morning Harry.  Did you sleep well?

 

HARRY: (Shrugs) Have you seen my pencil case?

 

AMBER: (Getting out a combination of tablets) It’s on the coffee table.  Do you want cereal or toast?

 

HARRY: (Putting pencil case in school bag) Cereal. (AMBER pours him a bowl which he takes and sits at the other end of the table to MUM) Morning mummy.

 

MUM: (Lying head on hands) Mmmmmm.

 

AMBER: There you go. (Puts down four tablets and a glass of water in front of MUM, then gives a glass of juice to HARRY) Harry, hurry up, Tim and his mum will be here soon.

 

HARRY: Got five minutes yet.  Can you grab my shoes? 

 

AMBER: (Getting his shoes from by the door, tying them quickly for him)  Got everything? (Puts some bread in the toaster)

 

HARRY: One second, my maths book is still upstairs.  (Takes bowl and glass over to sink, then runs up stairs)

 

AMBER: (Taking Harry’s coat from its hook)

 

[FX car horn]

 

(Shouting) Tim’s mum is here!

 

MUM: (Groans at the noise) Some of us are trying to sleep.

 

HARRY: (Putting on winter coat and putting maths book in bag) Thanks. (AMBER opens door) Bye Amber.  (Quietly)  Bye mummy.

 

AMBER: (Hugs Harry) See you tonight.

 

[HARRY exits]

 

            Mum, you can’t go back to sleep.  You haven’t even taken your tablets yet.  (Sits her up and hands her the glass from the table) Come on, I want to see you take them before I leave.  (Watches as she does, slowly)  Thank you. (Gets toast) Do you need anything else? (Mum shakes head) Right, well I’ve got to be off then.  (Pause)  I’ll just clear up the table before I leave though.  I’ve got time.

 

MUM:  (Head on arms)  Shhhhhh.

 

AMBER:  (Not paying attention, tidying up)  Harry’s got a part in the school play, did he tell you?  It’s not a major role, just one of the shepherds and in the chorus, but he seems dead excited all the same.  Tim’s mum says Tim’s been cast as ‘Head Alien.’  “What’s the world coming to?”  She said.

 

MUM:  (Louder)  Shhhhhhh!

 

AMBER:  Oh, I’d better just hang those towels on the radiator.  Otherwise they’ll never dry.  (Gets towels from wash basket and does so) Gran was on the phone last week, said there was no heating in her house because of the cold weather.  It’s always worse in the north though, isn’t it?  Mind you, I’ve taken to wearing two pairs of socks and --

 

MUM:  (Slamming hands on table)  SHUT UP!

 

AMBER:  (Shocked pause, then, quietly)  I’ll be off to school now then, mum.  If there’s nothing else you need - ?

 

MUM:  Sofa.  (When Amber looks confused, points)  SOFA!

 

AMBER: Okay, alright. Come here then. (Takes Mum’s arm and leads her to the sofa.  Mum lies down and Amber drapes a blanket over her)  I’m going now.  See you in a bit.  (Leans down to kiss Mum, who moves away.  She pats Mum’s shoulder instead then puts on scarf and coat, picks up school bag)  Bye.  (Waits for reply – there’s none)

 

[AMBER EXITS]

 

MUM:  (Sitting up) Bloody nuisance. I need a fag.  (Gets out a cigarette and sits on sofa smoking)

 

-    CURTAIN -

 


~ by Effy, (c) 2011 x

A Bus Journey


The bus finally rounds the corner and pulls up in front of you.  The doors open.  A mother’s pushchair rolls over your foot as you fumble in your bag.  Of course, it had started to rain as you were waiting so there is a horrid damp smell and the bus floor is wet.  The plump and whiskered driver looks at you unsympathetically through the smudge-covered glass as you dig in your purse for the correct change.   A fountain of pennies cascade onto the floor and all promptly manage to hide from view.  Your ears start to blaze but still you shiver; it is a quiet protest to the typical British weather.  When you finally pay your fare you make your way slowly, slipping, to a spare seat at the back, certain that all eyes are on you.

You flop down onto a suspicious-looking leather seat and lean your head against the steamed-up window.  The bus hisses into life and your head hits the glass.  Moaning, monotonous music drifts over from the adjacent isle.  Looking over you see a scruffy student with ear-phones, glasses and a hat you were sure were only popular in the 60’s.  However he is quickly obscured from view as a hooded youth huffs down next to you.  Smoke fills your nostrils.  You try to turn away but your foot refuses to move.  Gum.  Well that’s just great.

At last, you start to recognize things through the window.  You move to the edge of your seat; a subtle signal to your neighbour that you’ll soon need to get out.  It doesn’t work.   He slurps his chewing gum unattractively as you lean over to ring the bell.  Your hands are clammy as you get out of your seat.   The chav swivels his legs round into the isle to let you out.  You mutter a thanks and grip tightly to the headrest as you stumble past, all eyes on you once more.  Will she fall?  You can almost hear their anticipation as you alternate between poles, gradually moving towards the door.  Why did I choose a seat so far back?”  You ponder in exasperation.  The bus stops.  You slip forwards.  A man grabs your arm before you can fall to your humiliation.  “Thank you,” you say shakily as the sliding doors skate open.  Cold air whips your face.  You take a deep breath.  It’s over.  You survived.

This was for my English coursework but, yeah, this is how bus journeys are for me!  ~ Effy x


The Devil's Crucifix - part 2


Part two of two.

After finding out that his mother had indeed promised all her money to David in her will, the Jury found Paul-the-Vicar guilty of all charges.  He’s got a life sentence for man-slaughter, as well as burning down the church and it didn’t help that he pleaded non-guilty.  The guys in special ops traced the petrol from the fire back to his car, and there were no witnesses to prove otherwise.  They had sentenced him before they even had a chance to disprove his alibi.

“Well done.”  Lewis smiled to me over the table.  We’re sitting in a café, celebrating our solved case with a couple of cappuccinos and a flapjack.  Yup, it’s a grand life we detectives lead.

“What for?”  I ask.  It was always weird when Lewis congratulated me on anything; he was the one who normally got all the answers - not to mention the praise.

“You solved the case!”  He raises his stained mug and nods in my direction.  I only look up from staring at my hands when his phone starts beeping annoyingly.  Lewis flips it open and looks at the screen.  His face slowly falls from a grin to a frown.

“Damn.”  He mutters.   He looks up at me.  “We were wrong.”  He says, disappointedly.  “Paul-the-Vicar’s alibi has come back.  It’s real.  We got the wrong guy.”

“We can’t have!  Who else could it be?”   I ask urgently.

Three seconds pass:  One.  Two.  Three.

We both get there at the same time.

 “The wife!”

 

* * * *

 

It’s two hours after our simultaneous brainwave in the café, and Lewis and I are standing in the cold of the Vicarage doorway.   I glance at Lewis next to me.  He’s jumping up and down on the spot, rubbing his bare hands together.  He insisted I wore his gloves, even though I told him I wasn’t cold.  I was really, but I was never going to admit it.

The door eventually opens, and a small, distant-looking woman appears from behind it.  “Yes?”  She asks, raising her eyebrows enquiringly.

“Hello, I’m Lewis Parker and this is my colleague, Erin Black.”  He sticks out his hand, and then lowers it again slowly when she ignores it.  He continues as if it didn’t happen.  “We’re Private Detectives, here about the unfortunate incident which took place last week.  Can we come in?  Thanks.”  He doesn’t wait for a reply, and strides in without a second glance.  I follow close behind, with just a fleeting look behind me on the way.

Inside the house, we go into the living room.

“Sit.”  Mrs Blake barks, gesturing to the old-fashioned furniture reluctantly.

I perch myself on the edge of the sofa, and cough loudly and deliberately.  Lewis stops comically, legs still hanging in the air, about to be flung over the side of the armchair.  He swivels round to face forward, puts his feet firmly on the floor, and grins guiltily at me.  I raise one eyebrow and turn to the widow standing in the doorway.

“Mrs Blake,” I start, putting on my most ‘detective-y’ voice.  “My colleague and I believe that your husband is innocent and were wondering if you knew anything about the occurrences of the night in question.”

“I’ve already given a statement to the police.”  She said in defiance.  They all say that.  It’s about the only thing those swanky cop TV shows get right.  Well, apart from the response:

 “We’re not the police.”

The woman sighed and shook her head, but began.  “Twelve days ago, my late husband’s brother came down from Yorkshire to visit.  His children were staying with his mother, and all the while he couldn’t stop gloating about the money she was going to leave him.  I could see how upset my husband was getting over it – he thought that we should get some of the inheritance.  Though,” she paused, her head slightly tilted to one side.  “I know he never him dead.  They were flesh and blood after all.”

There was something in the way she said it.  I swallow.  “So he didn’t kill David?  And, if he didn’t kill him, then…”  I look sideways at Lewis.  He’s still staring at the widow but seems to sense me staring at him.  He nods.

“Who killed the Vicar, Mrs Blake?”  He asks quietly.

“Oh, I did.” She answers pleasantly.  It would have been easier if she looked guilty.  She doesn’t – she doesn’t even blink.  She just stares past us both, eyes glazed.  I doubt she even knows what she just owned up to, but it makes my heart feel very heavy. 

Lewis asks the - the murderer -  for a glass of water, and turns to face me as she potters off to the kitchen, humming quietly.  He shakes his head in slight disbelief and stands up.  He pulls on his coat and places his hat on his head.  “I think it’s time to get Paul-the-Vicar out of prison, don’t you?”

 

* * * *

In the end, we did prove that Mrs Blake was guilty and her husband was released.  It wasn’t that hard really – she readily admitted it.  It turns out she has some sort of mental disability, which no-one but Paul knew about.  His record has been wiped clean, and he’s moved away from here – away from the bad memories.

I fall into bed after another long day of Lewis rambling, and smile.  “It’ll all start again tomorrow,” I sigh.  “Though, if I’m honest, I can’t wait!”  I rest my head on the pillow; close my eyes peacefully, and, sure enough:

 

Beep.

Beep.

Beep.

 

 

Whack.

 


~ By Effy x

The Devil's Crucifix - part 1

Part one of two.
     ~ I wrote this, oh, about two years ago now, so forgive me it the plot's a bit watery!  Effy x

A scream, it’s echoing through me.  How can you laugh?  Flames rising fast, I can’t breathe.  Something’s choking me, it’s not the smoke, and it’s not a hand.  It’s a chain.  Slowly taking my life is an innocent cross on a chain.  I never wore crosses.

Blood is running down my hands and feet, dripping to the floor below.  Why me?  What God could be so cruel?  I’m waiting for the darkness – come quickly.  Flames lick at my body.  Slowly.  So slowly.

The darkness comes.

The screaming ends.

 

* * * *

 

Beep.  Beep.  Beep.  Whack.

This is how every day starts for me.  I am not a morning person.  I roll un-gracefully out of bed, still with my eyes closed, and only open them when I get to the bathroom.  Then I quickly close them again as the light nearly blinds me.  I moan, blink a few times and squint into the mirror, yawning.  I was up late again last night, pretending to listen to Lewis’ latest rant.  I smile despite myself and try to tame my long hair into something presentable.  I splash my face with freezing water, not waiting for the heater to clunk on.

The doorbell buzzes angrily.  I grab a towel from the rail and shuffle through the living room to the door, drying my face.

I finally start to wake up, and ask who it is.

“It’s Lewis,” the damn early-bird calls cheerily.

“Right.”  Who else would it be?  “Well, I suppose you can come up then.”  I say, somewhat reluctantly.

I press the button by the door and look around quickly for my dressing gown.   I find it in the last place I look – right where I left it.  No sooner had I tied the cord around my waist, was there a loud knock on the door.  “Here we go again,” I sigh.

 

* * * *

 

“Okay, to summarise, you came bounding over here, first thing in the morning, to tell me that there was a fire at some church, and they found a dead body?  Wow.  What a mystery.”  Sarcasm may be the lowest form of wit, but forgive me for stooping to Lewis’ level.

“No.  Well, yes.  But it’s not as simple as that, Erin.”  Lewis said.

We are sitting in my living room, with documents now strewn over my once tidy coffee table.  I’m dressed now, and sipping an espresso while listening to our latest case.

Lewis is almost sitting sideways in the arm-chair, with his head on one armrest and his converse dangling over the other.  His long, black coat is slung over the back, underneath his cowboy hat.   

Don’t ask.

“The guy they found was, of course, burnt – but that’s not what killed him.  There were gouges in his neck, from a crucifix which was digging into his neck.   The guys reckon that he was hung from it in the bell tower.  They’ve got no clue as to how he got there though – couldn’t have been suicide as it’s too high to reach alone.   That’s why we’ve been called in.  They’ve identified him as one Mr. David Blake, older brother of the Vicar, Paul Blake, and father of two.  His wife died four years ago of cancer, and his mother has been providing for the family ever since.  Quite a bit of money she has too, I might add.”

“So, he’s connected to the church in both life and death.  Nicely ironic, don’t you think?  What about his brother?”  I ask.  “Any family or, you know, a criminal record?”

“You think it could have been Mr. Holy?  How original.  Um, Paul-the-Vicar has a wife, but she doesn’t leave the house much and she’s a bit… odd.”

“Hmm.”  I ponder for a few minutes, then reply.  “What if the victim – David – was going to inherit their mother’s fortune and Paul-the-Vicar got jealous?  He could have easily killed him, I mean, who would suspect a holy man?”

“That sounds good to me, Rin.  Paul-the-Vicar wants money to care for his obviously sick wife, so he kills his brother to get in line for the fortune.  Jealousy and desperation.  Perfect.”

“You know, I never know whether you’re being sarcastic or not, Lewis.”

“I’m just stooping to your level, Erin.”

I clench my jaw and set my now-cold cup down on the carpet by my feet.

                “Come on then,” I say, getting up.  “Let’s go question the Vicar."


To be continued... o.O

From the Beginning - the first bit

From the Beginning

-          A story of one woman’s life, from beginning to end.

 

My story began seventy-something years ago in a little village in the north of England.  I was the second of four children; Thomas, the eldest, exceeded me by two years and never let me forget it.  Three years after me came Maggie and little David arrived four years after that.  Our parents weren’t well off, but neither was anyone else at the time.  We did what we could with what we had and didn’t know any different. 

School, from what I remember, was dull and not worth going into great detail about.  Physical Education was torture: huge knickers and hockey in December.  I never really got to grips with maths but did what I could.  French was difficult, Latin was worse.  I was told I had a “flair” for English and spent weekends writing cliché poems about birds, rivers and unrequited love.

My first kiss was with red-haired boy (whose name I forget) in a game of Spin the Bottle in the first year of secondary school.  The game got banned later that week, when one of the older children brought in a glass bottle which smashed in his bag, cutting his fingers something terrible.

Once, the whole class was kept after school for what felt like hours because one of us had dropped a water-balloon from an upstairs window which had landed on the headmaster’s head.  It turns out the culprit was my then-boyfriend, Charlie Jackson and his friends, but they were too scared to own-up. 

Fifth-year came and went, O-levels were over, and we felt the world was ours.  After years of begging I was allowed to get a perm, and instantly regretted it.  Dad’s job meant that we uprooted and moved to the city.  For a while I hated him for taking me away from my friends, but then Mam got ill and I didn’t have the energy to be angry and look after everyone.  Luckily she recovered in time for the start of term – my first year of college.

I fell in love with a handsome boy with sandy hair and freckles – Jamie, he was called - and he became my best friend too.  He took me to the cinema in town and we kissed in the double seats at the back.  He was always smiling and it was impossible not to hang on his every word.  I took him home to meet my parents and at dinner wee David said, very seriously, “You best look after our Eleanor right, or you’ll ‘ave me to answer to.”  And he did look after me well, and when Jamie went off to university the next year we broke apart mutually, although it wasn't easy.  We remained friends though and years later we were still sending each other Christmas cards and such; the last I heard he was doing well for himself as a lawyer.

At seventeen, I told my parents I was going to be a secretary, though I actually dreamed of being a successful writer.  I got A-levels in English literature, history and French and at eighteen I moved out to a flat of my own.  Mam sobbed and said she’d miss me something awful, although I would only be a twenty-minute bus journey away.  Maggie was looking forward to a room of her own –“finally” – and Dad and David stubbornly swallowed their tears.
.....

~ by Effy x

End of Our Days

Immortality isn’t flying away
Leaving your problems behind
Immortality is being grounded
Not moving in a world full of life
Dead but not dying
Forever

 Death is your one last breath
Carrying you into darkness
Without a light to guide you
There are those left behind
In the one place you can’t reach
Dying but not dead
Forever

There is no peace in living every day
Without a breath of life
There is no future for the dead
Who can never return home
So if you had the choice
Which would you be?
Dead, or immortal?
Forever


~ Effy x

 


I’ll See You on the Other Side

I’ll wait for you in heaven
Wait for your beautiful face that braved the sorrow
That wore a smile for me even after all you’d been through
Even after all I put you through 

I’ll tell you when it’s time I went
When I’ll fall asleep for the very last time
You’ll say I gripped your hand so tightly in the last moments
Scared of the darkness seeping in

 But darkness might be peaceful
A release from the pain and the sorrow
So mourn not my death, just celebrate my life
And I’ll see you on the other side

 I led you down a long path, didn’t I?
A path I couldn’t choose, yet you followed still
You’ll never quite know how eternally grateful I am
That you held my hand until the end
Right up until the end

 Goodnight my dear
God bless,
I’ll see you in the morning


~Effy x

Taking Flight - An Extract

I hear foot-falls on the wet pavement behind me and out of the corner of my eye I see it’s Hawk. I so don’t want to talk to him right now. Especially if it's still obvious I’ve been crying.
     “You gonna follow me, cowboy?” I shout over the rain, trying to keep my voice steady and confident. He chuckles under his breath and keeps running. Why couldn’t he just leave me alone?
     I lean forward into the downpour, picking up my pace. Behind me Hawk sprints, trying to get level with me. I clench my fists and turn into a gap in the hedge which I knew would be there.  Running through the grass is more difficult, but I had the head start. 
     Hawk’s gaining me, every one of his long paces closing the gap between us. We run like this for ages, both of us too determined to slow down. Now we’re in parallel, I can hear Hawk’s heavy breathing. Good.  He’s getting tired too.
     Shit. A stitch springs up in my side, taking me off guard, making me need to check my footing. I wince and – huh? - he puts his hand on my arm.  What’s he playing at? Annoyed, I run sideways to try and widen the distance between us, but he closes it with ease. Damn athlete. He grabs my arm again and pulls me to a stop.
     I spin round and glare fiercely into his eyes, panting.  He was looking at me like he could see right into my soul, like there was no one else in the world.  I’m not gonnna lie to you, my heart skipped a beat. My mouth makes a little ‘o’ shape, but by that time we’ve got our breath back and he takes off again.
     “Wait.” I call without thinking about it. He wheels around to face me, as shocked as I am - I never turn down a challenge – especially a race.
     He walks forwards, not for a second taking his eyes off mine. He stops right in front of me and his moss-green eyes pour into mine. My heart flutters annoyingly and I open my mouth to speak, but no words come out. I clench my jaw instead, trying to look stubborn. There’s laughter in his eyes. “You don’t always have to be alone, you know.” He says, putting two fingers under my chin and tilting my head up to him. His touch is electric. I start to open my mouth to reply but I can’t think of anything smart to say. No matter, ‘cause instead he leans forward and kisses me softly on the lips. Well I can safely say I didn’t expect this.
     When he pulls away he’s grinning. My cheeks flush a stupid shade of pink and my heart feels giddy. I swallow and try to regain some control over my vocal chords.
     “We've been through this before, Hawk," I sigh, reluctant to voice the truth. "You and me, it doesn't work."
     “I don't care. I don't care about anything but this.” He looks down at his hand, entwining his fingers in mine. Then he raises his eyes to mine again. I don’t know what to say. All I know is, I'm not going to run anymore.


~Effy x