Cliff Diving

This is one of the first stories I wrote on my typewriter after I ordered a new ribbon off Amazon. It’s a quick flash fiction piece with the most minuscule influence of an actual event that took place in my life. It’d be interesting to see if anyone I know picks up on it. So without further ado:

Cliff Diving

At the end of the run-down property is a cliff that’s slowly swallowing all that’s left of a gruesome past. We often meet after school in what used to be the living room. What’s left of the white paint on the walls is stained from years of chain-smoking cigarettes. My dad says he used to see the old man with a cigarette in his tiny mouth at all hours of the day. Just about all the sheetrock has crumbled to the floor. We draw straws to determine who will jump and down exactly one foot away from the cliff’s edge.

We had a rule which stated that no one could go twice in a row. I went yesterday. There’s a part of me that feels like I didn’t make it. I can still feel the sun beating down on my back, my blood running through my veins. My heels still feel sore from jumping up and down so recklessly. If my dad knew what we were doing after school, he’d throw me off the cliff himself. He’d do it twice if he found out I was going to tempt fate again.

I get why people skydive now. I also understand addictions to smoking. It’s not just the nicotine people crave; it’s the ritual. Wake up: cigarette. Walk forward: taste the adrenaline. I want the shortest straw; I see the path to the edge; I feel the split second gravity fails before coming down to earth. Before we reveal who jumps next, I volunteer. “You know the rules,” they say. “I don’t care,” I reply.

They walk to the edge to get a good look at the bottom, as if it were their first time. The wind picked up, which sent half of them running back to the safety of the cracked patio. I can’t help but laugh out loud. The half that stayed too close to the edge watched in awe as I made my way over to them. Before I could get myself into position, I jump, along with the rest of my friends, at the sound of my father’s voice. The rush was too strong. Everything quickly becomes a blur. His voice slowly fades.

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