Kiss And Tell | A Fun Short Story from our Archives

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Kiss And Tell

By Linda Mitchelmore

Will the luscious Tim and his reluctant kayak pupil ever get as far as the white-water rapids?

“Have you done the deed yet?”

Hmm, no need to ask who was on the phone, not giving me a second to say “hello” before she jumped in with her question. It was my bossy sister, Tilly.

And the deed she had in mind is my white-water trip in a kayak. Tilly’s last birthday present to me was a course of kayak lessons with a chap called Tim, all culminating in a white-water trip down the River Dart.

Tilly is into climbing cliffs and she’s done at least half a dozen of those swimming/cycling/running things that make me ill to think about. She thinks I don’t get enough exercise. Well, I’m an artist, so inside my studio it is -and all day if I want to make a living.

“Not yet,” I said. “But…”

“You should be progressing to the white-water element by now. I hope that Tim’s not ripping you off …”

“Er, no,” I said. “He’s very nice actually. Very patient. I’ve had, er, five lessons.”

“You sound very vague,” Tilly said.

And so I might. Tim and I are getting along like a house on fire, as the saying has it -just not all of it in a kayak. I bet Tilly didn’t expect that. After my first lesson he bought me a huge mug of hot chocolate topped with a mountain of mini-marshmallows because I fell in the practice lake at the leisure centre twice. And after the third lesson we went for a plate of mussels and a beer at The Water’s Edge.

When Tim arrived my heart flipped over

“So, it’s lesson six today?” Tilly said.

“Um, yes,” I said.

Actually, Tim was coming round for breakfast in a minute. He said he had a very full day planned for us, hence the early start.

But not too early for Tilly to ring me every Sunday just to check I’m using her birthday present.

“So, Tills, got to go. Early start…”

I let my voice drift away, hoping Tilly would get the hint.  She did.

“Byyyyeeee!” she crooned, in a satisfied-with-herself-that-I-am-using­ her-birthday-gift sort of way.

I set about making breakfast. Bacon, eggs, tomatoes. I spooned coffee in the cafetiere and found two mugs that didn’t have specks of paint on them.

When Tim arrived my heart flipped over. He looked so much bigger, so much more handsome in my flat without all the space of trees and river and hills and sky around him.

“Hi,” he said, handing me a bunch of garage flowers. “Sorry about these. Nothing else was open yet.”

“They’re lovely,” I said.

And I thanked him with a kiss, just a little one. But on the lips. And he kissed me back. Not such a little one.

We could take it to bed …

Then we ate breakfast. And Tim thanked me for it with a kiss. Well, that kiss went on a bit and I was in a bit of a dither afterwards packing the big plastic sack thing Tim had brought me to stow all my dry gear in.

“Maybe we won’t go to Chagford today,” he said, glancing at his watch. “We’ll go somewhere a bit closer.”

“Good idea,” I said. “Another coffee before we go? Oh, and I made some healthy oat biscuits.”

Tim laughed. “Depends how many we eat!” he said. He ate three and pronounced them delicious.

“My hidden talent,” I said. “Baking.” Tim pulled me  into his arms and thanked me for my hidden talents with a kiss… or ten.

Well, dear readers, you know where this is going, don’t you? Elevenses turned into lunch, and we found things to do -in my flat, not on the river -until suppertime.

”I’ll do the hot chocolate,” Tim said.

“Lovely,” I said. “We could take it to bed, couldn’t we?”

Tim nodded. So that’s what we did.


It’s Sunday morning again, and the phone goes. Tilly.

“So,” she says, “did you do the deed?” “Oh yes,” I said. “I did.”

And I snuggle back into Tim’s arms. I did the deed all right, just not the one Tilly was meaning …

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Karen Byrom

My coffee mug says "professional bookworm" which sums me up really! As commissioning fiction editor on the magazine, I love sharing my reading experience of the latest books, debut authors and more with you all, and would like to hear from you about your favourite books and authors! Email me