Birdwatchers started as an early practice piece for first-person perspective and deep POV. I was obsessed with the effect of the “unreliable narrator” on the reading journey, and this is what came of a couple evenings’ study. I also wanted to write a story that included birds because bird stuff is cool.

Anyway, please enjoy this excerpt of Birdwatchers, a short story about an erotic encounter on a summer afternoon:

She reaches behind her and tugs at the strings. They come apart and her white bikini top falls around her waist. She gathers her hair and wraps it in a scarf on top of her head. Then she lies back. She reaches for her book. Her breasts settle on her chest. Her nipples, the colour of wrens, face the blue sky.

It’s quiet here. Tourists don’t hike this far up the mountain. She must know it; she doesn’t bother looking around before slipping a hand into her bikini bottom. The motion of her fingers is obvious beneath the fluttering fabric.

Her breathing deepens into a rhythm. Her chest rises and falls, lifting and lowering the book she clutches in her left hand while her right one shudders between her legs. Her belly is tight. Her crimson lips are soft and pouting.

“Oh!” she cries. But her voice is swallowed by the forest.

Her canary yellow picnic blanket is crumpled in a nest around her. Her body is turbulent, swept away by a squall. It whips her until she starts to tremble, her headscarf comes loose and, finally, she drops the book.

“Oh!” she cries again, and arches her back against the rock bed. Her sunglasses topple off her face. Her eyes are hummingbird green and beating their wings in the storm.

And then, she sees me.

Hands fly to cover her naked breasts, but the tempest rages on. She is helpless against it, and I watch. She rolls onto her belly, body still billowing. Her legs curl beneath her, knees to chest, and she buries her face in the blanket.

The gale becomes a breeze and fades into the distance.

She looks at me and sits up. Her body is exposed now, breasts heaving as her breath comes back to her. She keeps her eyes on me while she re-does her hair and rests the sunglasses on her head. She smiles.

“Why didn’t you take a picture?” she asks. “That’s what you came here for, wasn’t it?”

“N… no,” I say. I hold up the camera, fighting the weight of the lens. “I came to watch the birds.”

She sits back and crosses her legs in front of her. She points her toes towards me, then at the sky, then back to me. She licks her lips.

“So…” Her smile deepens. “Watch the birds then.”

Read the rest of Birdwatchers

Birdwatchers is available at major ebook retailers.

Birdwatchers cover

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