The Rise and Fall of a Skoda by Jackie Sullivan

On the topic of marriage before sex her Gran has been clear; she warns May: never buy shoes without trying them on! May’s an obedient girl, so now, shoe-horned into a Skoda Fabia hatchback – in a darkened car park with the cliff looming over them hiding the moon, she’s all set for her first time with Derek. They’ve parked the car’s back to the freezing sea-breeze like a penguin in sleet, and foolishlybeyond notices stating: ‘no cars past this point’.

Their icy breath turns steamy, misting the windows; the car starts to rock and creaking sets in. It’s getting louder with each see-saw movement when horrified gulls and illicit campers see fissures rip open the ground! The swaying car falls like coins down a well, through vertical drops, past radial chambers, it ricochets off limestone and plunders a hundred feet down. They come to rest, miraculously unhurt, in labyrinthine Bronze-Age chambers worked before Tutankhamen lived. Municipal bins, uprooted trees, stone and bone tools rain down on them.

When rescuers find them lodged in a shaft, they’re both catatonic, then finding their voices they whisper “how was it for you?

First published in Tears in the Fence magazine issue 53

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