Breathtaking – For One Night Only by

If I’d known it was going to kill him, I’d never have done it. I loved him, everyone knew that. We’d been together ten years and were still pulling in the crowds. The Flying O’Farrells.

Yes, it was new; we had to keep innovating to stay ahead of the competition. That was where Dolores came in. Frank wasn’t as young as he advertised, pushing thirty-five, although he never admitted to a day over twenty-nine. Flying is a young man’s game as I’m sure you’ll appreciate. Don’t get me wrong, he had the upper body strength but his stamina wasn’t what it used to be.

We need to add something, I’d told him, to compensate for the lack of catches. I could still somersault and swoop with the best of them and there’s nothing wrong with my body but I knew Frank wouldn’t be able to keep up for much longer. I’d noticed Dolores two stops ago. Well you would, wouldn’t you? She had that flaming hair and creamy skin. Turns out she was fit too, a gymnastic champion in college.

Anyway, long story short, we decided to have two fliers, Dolores and me, with Frank catching us quickly, one after the other, bam, bam.

If I’d had any idea his poor heart was weak I’d never have let him attempt it. Luckily we had the netting up so Dolly and I landed safely. Yes, we’ve decided to carry on with the act, it’s what Frank would have wanted.



Jane completed the Writers’ Bureau course in 2018 and hasn’t stopped writing since. Her fiction’s appeared in The People’s Friend, Yours and the Weekly News. In 2019 she was delighted to win Beaconlit Festival’s flash fiction prize. Her stories have been shortlisted in writing competitions including Retreat West and Flash500.



“Flying trapeze” by Tom Raftery is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0



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