The Cliff (A moment in time | Short Story)

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She sat on the edge of the cliff and contemplated. Debated the what ifs of a sudden demise. Who would miss her, mourn for her. At times she could feel the burning desire to take the final plunge into the churning waters that crashed gracefully against the ancient white cliff face below. What a way to go, cold and crushed. Still, she could think of worse ways to meet her supposed maker.

The azure skies rolled before her and she lay back. Her legs dangled, chilled by the breeze. If she fell would he save her? This had been a repeating question of late. If she fell would he catch Her? She could feel her self stumbling through each day, tumbling, tumbling, further and further from her path. Losing her fragile hold on her senses. Could he catch her?

Overhead a gull called. A lone white speck in endless serenity. It looped as if searching for something or someone. She pondered what it would be like to fly. To know the exhilarating rush of air passing above and below her. She would soar through storm clouds, smelling the rain before the soil even knew it was coming. Wheeling and gliding between the trees, briefly kissing the leaves as she passed, ephemeral.

Do they know how lucky they are? She thought out loud.

The idea bemused and bewildered her. She could go wherever she wanted and not have to face the perplexing problems she currently faces.

Would he catch her?

She would have to make the decision soon. She knew that really, couldn’t possibly put it off any longer. Not that there were many options in this case, but whatever decision she made would change both their lives forever. If she told him. She would have to; she didn’t think she couldn’t handle this alone. Not now.

With no decision made, and agitation growing, she picked herself up and started to walk the two miles back to her village. Somewhere in the distance an unknown screech echoed, through the air and through her mind. She looked back.

The gull circled again, came closer to the land and circled once more. She watched this odd behaviour with such fascination. A fascination she knew had captured his heart, he told her so often. Life had always been an enigma she needed to solve. Yet the more she pushed and tried the more complex and questionable it became. She watched the bird, with one last circle it fell.

Plummeted. She held her breath.

Below, the volume of the waters seemed to grow, chaotic and violent. Shock engulfed. She watched the helpless bird descend, closer and closer, unable to take her eyes from the scene before her. From where she stood she couldn’t tell if the poor thing would hit land or go beyond to be lost forever in the deadly raging swell. All she could do is watch.

Downwards it went, ever more. She felt helpless.

Before her it disappeared from her vision, barely missing the cliff.

Staring, all her problems transformed into the sadness she witnessed. Her life and soul echoed through the gulls downward spiral. Inside she crumbled. Tears formed at the corners of her eyes, ready to tumble to the ground, mimicking the bird’s downfall. What could she do, no one would be there to save her and all she was going through hit her like the proverbial freight train.

He couldn’t save her.

She looked on. Tears fell and before her vision the gull rose once more. With the soaring bird, she inhaled. The air felt cool and filling in her lungs. She felt the sun radiating down anew. Each cell tingled with excitement and hope, manifesting and dispelling each and every fear she knew. With each movement of the beast’s wings she felt her heart grow stronger, steadier. Freer than she had ever felt before.

She was not under the control of another, let alone one she loved and loved her back completely. No longer confined and imprisoned they would make it. He would catch her.

And if he didn’t… She would catch herself.

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Story © Phen Weston

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8 thoughts on “The Cliff (A moment in time | Short Story)

Add yours

  1. This is really beautifully written. I like the idea of romanticizing the plunge, I think it’s something that a lot of people would do when sitting on the edge of that cliff.

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