Kaje Harper: One Summer Night

And now… *drum roll please* our very first story! This is a lush, beautifully emotive little flash fic by the wonderful Kaje Harper which seemed very appropriate given all the hot weather so many of us are enjoying (enduring?!) at the moment. If you like it and want to see more from Kaje (including her magical Necromancer series) then head for her website.

Thanks, Kaje, over to you!

It’s one of those nights. The air’s so warm and thick, you can almost chew it, and the moon hangs in the old dead oak like a balloon I might snag from the sky. A hint of smoke tickles my nose― bonfire, campfire― like a hundred nights when we’ve sat side by side and watched the sparks fly to the heavens and talked about what we’d do when we left home. Or joked about bugs and snot because, y’know, thirteen and fourteen and fifteen. We weren’t half as grown up as we liked to think we were.

Tonight, something’s different though. Those crows flying across the moon make you shout “Murder!” and then laugh like a hyena. I shove you and pretend like I want to knock your head off. But really, I want to make you laugh again so I can see the arch of your neck, and the moonlight in your eyes.

Sixteen, and things are shifting. The old easy ways aren’t enough anymore. I’m antsy and restless, and you’re wilder, your voice loud like you can shove feelings aside with volume. We sit farther apart, and our knees don’t touch, here on this old log. And yet, I’m aware of every inch of skin exposed by those baggy shorts you’re wearing. I feel every breath you take like it shivers across my skin.

And suddenly you stop, in the middle of talking about how big a canon it would take to shoot a basketball across the lake. Between one word and the next, you go silent. I turn to you, and your eyes are dark and wide in the faint light. Your lips are a bit chapped, and you lick them, and I follow your tongue with my eyes.

Silence was never so loud, or so heavy. Slowly, unstoppably, we lean toward each other. I want to touch your hair, but my fingers are clenched into fists. Touch would be too much, might break the spell. There’s only this, your fast breaths and mine, chests heaving, lips parting, as the space between us shrinks. Your eyes flutter closed, but I keep mine open, because I need to know it’s real. In the moment when your mouth finds mine― soft, awkward, uncertain― truth leaps free, breath to breath. And in that moment, the world will never be the same again.

***

pic credit: Deposit Photos; additional graphics by Kaje Harper

20 thoughts on “Kaje Harper: One Summer Night

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