Flash Fiction challenge from Chuck Wendig at terribleminds.com.
She was a scar biding her time. Hand rolled cigarette hanging from her lips. Her mouth formed a permanent pout, locking out anyone with a different opinion.
“Why are you still here.” Amber said. She didn’t ask questions. Not her style. She made statements.
“I was just waiting around to see what happens.”
“What do you think is going to happen.”
Amber locked eyes on something in the distance. Something I couldn’t see. Her loaded words sank between us but out of fear or awestruck, I couldn’t work out a reply.
A thin line of smoke streamed from between Amber’s teeth. I watched it ribbon around her temple and dissipate into the breeze. The sun had vanished in the space where the ocean sewed itself to the sky, a magical seam, surely capable of devouring our permanence. Being anywhere with Amber felt like being consumed. And I loved it. She was mind-blowing and mysterious in movement and words. When she spoke, she barely opened her mouth and her voice cut the air like a sword then finished in a whisper.
I inched closer and inhaled Amber’s aura. She emitted, without effort, a softness that was curiously intense. How she remained perfectly motionless against the elements filled me with intrigue. I dangled my feet over the edge, allowing my slides to play roulette with the tide. Amber’s legs laid crisscrossed the way elementary kids are required to sit at story time. Her red shirt billowed in the wind. We stayed quiet until the remnants of light were swallowed by dark. When a lamp buzzed on somewhere above us, I squinted and laughed because we suddenly glowed like bioluminescent sea creatures, expats up from the blue.
“My sister used to come here,” Amber said to the air.
Did she mention having a sister before? Maybe in passing, a quick reference to family? I couldn’t remember.
I hesitated, “It’s beautiful, you know, the water.”
What I wanted to say was, “You’re beautiful.”
As if on cue, a rouge gust of wind raced over the bridge and chilled our faces. Tiny sea oats flew in like fairies, swept through our hair and borrowed us from the present. My eyes glossed over. Amber spread her arms and I followed her lead, taking in impossible breaths of salty air as we let ourselves fill with powers that rolled off the harbor. Random words swirled in my head like I was hypnotized by her, by the darkness, flying, freedom, invincible, love, falling.
“What?” I heard her the first time. She sounded too serious to be serious.
“Jump. Right now. You and me, together.”
I glanced down.
“We wont make it.”
Amber’s gaze never left the great dark expanse before us. She savored my comment, rolling it around on her tongue for a while. Trying it on for size. I thought she was messing with me. She had to be kidding. Then she flicked her smoke over the edge and said, “That’s the point.”
“You cant do this, Amber.”
“Says who,” she came back.
“You’re going to save me, Robbie Benson?”