Helen Lewis and David Ord

Helen Lewis Untitled



David Ord Winchelsea

Inspiration piece


We’d been following the shoreline for half an hour or so, stopping every now and then to stare up at the remains of cliff-top houses frozen in the act of tumbling into the sea. Rooms full of roosting gulls, opened up like a stage set, the sea-facing walls lying in ruins at the base of the cliff.

I bent and picked up a stone, intending to throw it far out to sea, the way that men seem to have to do. I tested the weight of it, imagined how it would feel to put the whole strength of my arm behind it, how I would watch it tumble, sending up a clattering, panicky clamour of gulls, then a white spray of foam. I would hear the small explosion as the plume of water rose, or the crack as it hit a just-hidden rock.

I thought then of how my arm would feel, the flare of bright pain from those underused tendons, the flex and stretch of my shoulder joint, the fizzing twang in my back where that sneaky almost-mended muscle lies in wait, ready for me to forget I’m no longer young.

I held the stone for a moment more. I rubbed its surface with my thumb. I let it fall to the shingle.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“Nothing”. I said.



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