The Somersault of Atoms

by Emma J. Lannie

Chris is full of the right words; he is fireworks and rockets, he is goose-down and caramel. The girl lets the whorls of his fingertips trace, ever so lightly, the path from cheek to clavicle. This electricity is not a new thing: the prickling of static; the somersault of atoms, but it always makes Chris a little scared, though mostly just excited about the possibilities that the night has opened up. He thinks he will push his luck, be bold and brave and exercise his charm muscles as fully as he can: he wants to know he still has the ability to convince a girl out of her underwear, wants to feel he's still worth loving. He kisses her softly, slowly, taking care to trace his fingers through her hair and trail them from the nape of her neck down the knots of her spine; he's read enough of his sister's magazines to know these are the key things a girl desires from a kiss, and he's had enough success with this technique that it's an intrinsic element of his repertoire now. Right on cue he feels her press against him as his tongue licks the place where lips become mouth, and he slips his hand under her t-shirt, lets it rest against the small of her back, kisses her deeper and waits for her next move.


Emma J. Lannie was born in Manchester in 1973, but moved to Derby after University. She has written punk fanzines, worked in bars, played in bands, managed a bookshop, and now divides her time between her Library job, writing and travelling. She wishes there was a bit more of the travelling. She has fiction published in the July '07 issue of Tripod. More of her writing is here.