Photo by aconant at morgueFile.com

Photo by aconant at morgueFile.com

I tried to run, to swim, to fly away from the ground careening toward me. How had this happened?

That morning I had awoken in a dream with my husband, Mark, snoring softly beside me. I smiled, kissing his cheek and snuggling myself against his chest.

Mark’s eyes opened. “I could get used to this.”

“Aurora Blackright. Wife of the handsome Dr. Blackright.”

“That idea,” he said with a chuckle, “will take some getting used to.”

“Why? You already know you’re handsome.”

He rolled onto his back and I lay on his chest with his arms around me. Mark shook his head, his blue eyes closing. After a moment he began to snore.

“Mrs. Mark Blackright.” I had always identified myself as a trust fund kid. I had envisioned a long life spent in fun and travel, an alpha female doing as she pleased, but that had gone out the window when Mark smashed into my life. Literally, he had run a red light and destroyed my car. I had gone to the hospital to scream at him and ended up with a dinner date as soon as he was released. After two years of dating he proposed and we were married yesterday, taking a red-eye flight to Hawaii last night.

I watched the sun rise outside our hotel room’s window. After an hour Mark and I arose and grabbed our backpacks for an impromptu mountain hike.

The air was cool and damp under the canopy of trees. When I began to shiver Mark gave me his jacket. “Are you sure? I–”

“I’m too hot.” Mark waved me off with a wink and rushed to silence his phone as it began to ring.

“Who was that?”

“It doesn’t matter.” He stopped to give me a hug and help me over a fallen log.

After another mile his phone announced a text message. He stopped to read it before slipping the phone back into his pocket.

“Who was it this time?”

“Work,” he said with a shrug.

“Don’t they know you’re busy?” I laughed. “You’ll never have a day off if you’re not careful. You’re making yourself too invaluable.”

“I like my job.” His shoulders tensed. “You know that.”

“I was teasing. But your office is a little awkward now, don’t you think?”

He began to outdistance me. “Jenny was about to be kicked out of her apartment. I had to hire her.”

“I understand wanting to help her,” I quickened my pace, “but do you have to work together? Doesn’t it seem out of place to make her your secretary? She’s your ex, Mark!”

“My ex,” he said stopping and taking me by the shoulders, “exactly. I married you, not her.Maybe what she does for me is all she’s good for. What does it matter if we work together?” His phone rang again.

“There’s the answer to your question.”

“You don’t know it’s her.” He began walking and checked the message.

We continued hiking in silence. Why is he acting like this? Why couldn’t I trust him? “Can we stop for a second, please? The pebbles on the trail feel like they’re cutting through my shoes.”

Mark nodded. “I think there’s a place to rest up ahead.” He reached back and offered me his hand. “I’m sorry, honey. I just want you to trust me more.”

I hugged his arm. “It’s her I don’t trust.” I craned my neck to look at him and stubbed my toe.

Scooping me up, he carried me to the resting spot. My eyes widened trying to absorb the breathtaking view. From higher in the mountain a stream flowed past and tumbled over the edge of a cliff. Beyond the fall the trees gave way to a brilliantly blue sky.

As Mark settled me onto a stone, his phone rang. His hand darted for his picket. “I’ll be right back.”

He stepped into the tree-line to take the call and I strained to hear him.

“Baby, I know—”


“It’s not what we planned—”


“Listen baby, I love you—”

Jumping up, I plunged through the trees. “Who is that?”

“It’s just work.” His eyes widened. “Go back and sit down. This will only take a second.”

I could hear Jenny’s voice as he turned from me. I snatched the phone from him and ran.


I skidded to a stop and sent pebbles skittering over the edge of the waterfall, plunging the distance to the rocks. I threw Mark’s phone after them and felt his hands grip my shoulders. He yanked me around to face him. “Why did you tell her you loved her?” I began to cry.

He shook me. “Where is my phone?”

“Your phone?” I pushed him away. “That’s what you care about? You’ve been cheating on me when we’ve been married less than 48 hours, and that’s what you’re focusing on?”

He blinked at me.

“There!” I pointed over the edge. “That’s where your precious phone is. Why would you do this? Why with her?” His glare pierced my heart.

“Aurora, you’re overreacting. I love you, I’ve married you, but a man needs more. Do you understand?”

“You’re a liar and a manipulator.”

Raising his hand he brought it down and across my cheek, the sting spreading through my face and knocking me off balance. I stumbled back, my feet finding no purchase but the air. Closing my eyes, my heart and stomach left me as I braced for impact.

I cried as I hit the ground. I waited. Nothing hurt. Was I dead? Tentatively I opened my eyes and found myself on the fluffy carpet of our hotel room.

“Honey?” Coming to me, Mark helped me up. “You okay? You were talking in your sleep. We need to get moving if we’re going to hike to the peak by sunrise. I’ve got the backpacks—” His phone began to ring and he rushed to silence it.

“Who was that?”

He shrugged. “It doesn’t matter.”

To read my follow up character interview with Aurora Blackright, click here:  https://justinaluther.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/ten-questions-for-a-fictional-character-aurora-blackright-of-falling/

This story is a part of When Readers Write Blah Buster Dream Vacation Series.  To read more short stories, visit http://www.whenreaderswrite.com

Tweet: http://ctt.ec/Up268+


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53 Responses to Falling

  1. Martha Hammonds says:

    wow! Great blah buster! My blahs are totally busted!


  2. So suspenseful! Great job, Justina!


  3. Loved reading it!
    I will def be coming back to see what happened after this!


    • Thank you, Ashli! I’ll be posting my follow up interview with this character next Monday! Until then there are other stories and interviews if you’re interested. If you liked this then you might also enjoy my short story (and the follow up interview) titled The Compact.


    • Are there any specific questions you have that you’d like to ask Aurora?


      • ohh that’s a good question!
        hmm.. I would have to say my biggest question would be if she was worried about all if this in the first place, what made her decide to put it behind her and marry him in the end? It seems as if he wasn’t the best guy on the planet!


      • Okay, I’ll be sure to ‘ask’ her that in my interview!


  4. Reblogged this on Love Notes from Cassie and commented:
    This story will have you on the edge of your seat! Here’s the short story “Falling” by Justina Luther.


  5. Lee-Anne says:

    Clever and intriguing, Justina, is it part of a larger story/piece?


    • Thank you, Lee-Ann. At this point it is a stand-alone short story, however there is a character interview I’ve posted dealing with Aurora and what happened after Falling ended. I do plan to write at least one more story for these characters in the future, but as of now the stories I write are dictated by another blog I contribute to. They give me a topic and I write a story for it. However, if they give me a topic that fits these characters, I will be writing that story sooner. Thank you so much for reading this story and following my blog. I truly appreciate it.


  6. tonyrealm says:

    I really like this! Simple but captivating. I also think the idea of doing a character interview is also quite intriguing, I’ve never seen that before 🙂


  7. devibbrooks says:

    I loved the ending of this! Halfway through you forget that she’s dreaming, and it makes the ending suspenseful!


  8. shanx says:

    oh my! You had me there. I didn’t see the last lines coming. Beautifully narrated. Liked it 🙂


  9. Epsita says:

    Female intuition, I tell you! Haha! I loved this, it’s well-paced and direct, I can see from all her reactions that she was honest in her claims of being an independent girl. All such bright, young women want to storm the world all by themselves and dance to their own beats- well,they know they can, after all- but still want to be wooed by a genuine lover. Lover not knight, Mr. Honest, not necessarily Mr. Right. Trust issues,you see, another essential trait to be allowed into the club.
    So, a beautifully carved out character! She breathes. Yes, she does.


    • Thank you so much for your kind words! If you’re interested, I have a follow up character interview with Aurora posted as well. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.


  10. marsreine says:

    I definitely see the personalities and those twists and turns, I felt my heart race pick up.


  11. Joan Tatley says:

    A good story and a good caution, don’t hurry to marry a guy with an ex 🙂


  12. 7verina says:

    very nice.. 🙂 Love the way it ends though.. !!


  13. draliman says:

    Clever ending! Let’s hope it was a dream and not a premonition 🙂


  14. mariamichaela says:

    Wow! Cliffhanger ending and that’s why I like it. Awesome piece 🙂


    • Thank you. (-: I love to write twists. I’ve posted a character interview with Aurora that picks up in the aftermath of this story if you’re interested. The link is at the bottom of this story.


  15. Padhma says:

    I loved it. I like the way you took us through the story, you are a good story teller :). I love reading short stories too and am trying my hand at it now..can I join in to write a piece or is it available for a limited number of bloggers? You can check out my stories at http://cupofguilt.com/category/short-stories and let me know your thoughts


    • Hi, Padhma. Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words. Unfortunatly the site I get the prompts from is a blog I also write for. I don’t think we’re accepting guest posts at this point. Keep writing, though! I’m sure you’ll do wonderfully.


  16. sapphirerose17 says:

    Lovely short story! It was very interesting, passionate, and just a little dark! Loved it and the suspense!


    • Thank you. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. (-: Thanks so much for stopping by and spending some time in my imagination. If you’re interested, I also have a character interview posted that features Aurora Blackright. (-:


  17. Aah! The twists and turns! This was a treat to read thus compelling me to read the sequels too 😀


  18. Nicely done..left me hanging and wanting more.


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