#Blogmas | Short Story: Breath of Air

For today, I thought I would share a piece of writing that I did for my first assignment for A215 Creative Writing with the Open University last year. I thoroughly enjoyed the Creative Writing modules (finished A363 Advanced Creative Writing in April this year) and would highly recommend them to anyone considering an OU course. Anyway, here’s the story that I submitted for my first assignment, in all its unedited glory.


Breath of Air

“Come on, Chia! It’s just over this ridge.”

“That’s what you said twenty minutes ago!”

I grinned. It was true, I was a bit lost, but that was the fun of the open air. Out in the wild, there was nothing to stop us getting lost – no signposts to guide us from this street to that, telling us where we can’t go. I turned to look at her, still smiling.

“I promise it’s not far.”

“It better not be, Michael. I’m missing a whole weekend of my telly for this,” Chia said, panting as she climbed the little slope I had already scaled.

I grunted. Telly. She never could forget about the electronics. There was so much beauty in the nature all around her, and she was thinking about The Only Way Is Essex again. What chance did nature have against buff boys? I sighed. Behind me was a large clearing, my dad’s old hunting cabin at the far side. I knew I would find it, eventually.

Chia groaned as she heaved her body up the last little bit of the slope, panting heavier than before. She’s not overweight or anything, but a lifetime of sitting in front of a screen hasn’t exactly kept her fit.

I inhaled deeply, the fresh scent of pine filling my lungs. I let out a contented sigh and glanced at Chia. Her phone was in her hand.

“Already? Chia, we’ve not even been gone a day yet!” I couldn’t help but be annoyed. I was trying to share this beautiful space with her and all she cared about was her phone.

“There’s no signal here,” she pouted.

“Good,” I muttered under my breath.

She glared at me, but said nothing. Perfect start to the weekend, I thought. She’s already mad at me.

Inside, the cabin was warm and inviting. I threw some logs in the fireplace and set them alight, letting the fire crackle in the corner as I surveyed the room. My dad had left it pretty tidy for us – he wasn’t usually one for tidying up after himself. I appreciated the effort.

Chia was already inspecting the other rooms. “There’s so much wood.”

“What did you expect from a log cabin?”

“I dunno.” She hovered in the middle of the room with her arms wrapped around her. “Electricity?”

“Sorry, wood and fire here,” I replied. “Are you cold?”

She shook her head, but gripped herself tighter. I wondered if it was cold, or electricity withdrawal. She never could spend two minutes away from her phone.

I left her alone until night fell. Now was the time; the perfect time to show her exactly why I’d brought her.

“Come on.” I held out my hand to her.

She was wrapped in a couple of blankets on the chair beside the fireplace. She frowned at me, but took my hand.

I led her back out to the clearing. The wind whipped around us, a chilly breeze that made us both shiver as goosebumps prickled up our arms. I led her a few steps away from the cabin and then sat, pulling her down with me.

“Close your eyes.” She looked at me, sceptically. “Just do it.”

She closed her eyes, took a couple of deep breaths, and in a second her tense features relaxed. I smiled, she was beginning to understand.

“What do you hear?” I asked.

“The wind,” she replied, quiet as a whisper. “Leaves swaying in the breeze. It’s so peaceful.”

“Now open your eyes, and look up.”

She did so, and gasped. Living in a big city meant lots of noise, lots of light at all hours of the day – she’d never seen the stars before. I saw a tear forming in her eye – the raw emotion of being shown such natural beauty. I put my arm around her shoulders and held her close, saying nothing.

It didn’t need words. She knew in that instant why I was taking her away from her electronic lifestyle. The perfect beauty of nature said everything I could have wanted to, and more. Chia’s hand found mine in the growing darkness and gripped it tightly.

“I understand,” she said. “It’s beautiful.”

“No people, no cars, no city. Just us.”

I squeezed her hand and she squeezed back. The perfect, peaceful retreat had worked. Something stirred in her heart. This wouldn’t leave her. This would be with her longer than anything else, even The Only Way Is Essex.


Hope you enjoyed! Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any thoughts on the story – good or bad!

Have a great day guys x

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