Their hiking boots bumped awkwardly under the pub table. She pulled away.

He sighed softly. “What are we doing?”

She froze.

It was a valid question. Without a ready answer. She stared down at her hands.

She watched as he placed his forefinger at the bend in her elbow, then slowly trace a line down the soft naked flesh, to her wrist. Every, single, nerve, in her body turned on.

She looked up. She wanted to kiss him. But, instead, she sneezed. All, over him.

He retreated. Suddenly so far away.

She threaded her feet through his.

And he smiled.


I wrote this for the first round of the 2022 NYCMidnight micro fiction competition. The story had to be a romantic comedy, under 100 words, and written in 24 hours. It also had to involve hiking boots and the word ‘valid’. The judges quite liked this one and I got through to the second round where I wrote ‘Footprints’, which you can also find on the site. 

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