- Vol. 08
- Chapter 03
There was a hole in the fence past the DANGER! NO DIVING sign. The three kids clambered through in their swimsuits, and walked towards the edge of the cliff. The sun was setting but there was still time for a swim. A quick one, if they didn't want their parents to find out.
"We shouldn't be here," said one.
"Shut up, Ryan," said another.
Simon and Philip looked out over the edge.
"How far is it?" asked Simon.
"About twenty feet?" said Philip, who really had no idea. Ryan stood back from them, running his fingers across his palms.
"I don't think we–"
"Philip, do you want to go first?" said Simon loudly.
"Yeah..." said Philip. He sounded nervous. "Yeah, I'll go first."
Simon stood to one side. Ryan thought of their teacher Ms. Clarke, who'd spent an afternoon once telling them why they should never go cliff diving.
She'd told them, "You'll land on a rock hidden underwater, and smash all your bones. A current will take you and pull you out to sea. Even the water will hurt you, if you land wrong."
Ryan didn't understand how – wasn't water supposed to be soft? But neither did he want to find out.
Philip started his run up, then stopped. He went back to where he was, started again, and stopped.
"Scared?" said Simon.
"No. Just want to get it right."
The third time Philip leapt off the edge of the cliff. For a moment he floated, and his body was silhouetted against the sunset, arms and legs akimbo, before he fell screaming.
Simon and Ryan raced to the edge. All they could see were white ripples. Then Philip's head bobbed to the surface. He wiped his face and grinned back up at them.
"C'mon Simon!" he called.
Simon ran back to the starting point. He didn't hesitate. For a split second he hung in the sunset. Black on gold.
Philip whooped as Simon surfaced. They didn't bother looking back up at Ryan, who was already marching back to the starting point, working up the nerve to follow them. He stood at the starting point, then took another step back.
"Here I come!" he shouted. He held his breath, ran, and was weightless too.