‘The Dare’ Micro-Fiction By Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

Keren Dibbens-Wyatt is a chronically ill writer and artist with a passion for poetry, mysticism, story and colour. Her writing features regularly on spiritual blogs and in literary journals. Her new book, Recital of Love (Paraclete Press), is out in September 2020. Keren lives in South East England.

The incline is fierce. She spreads out her arms, wide as wings, laughs, and hugs herself before jumping. When she does, she looks like an ice skater twisting, albeit one wrapped in a green duffle coat.  

She’s tumbling now, faster and faster, a rolling cyclone, gathering goose grass and sheep droppings caught in the exuberant inevitability of gravity. 

Everyone above holds their breath, waiting to see if the fall will kill her.

At the bottom, she is still – one, two, guilt-ridden seconds, then rises, waits for the world to re-centre itself around her axis, laughs with giddiness and raises her arms in triumph.

‘Your turn!’ she calls. 

But the boy in the neon trainers is already nearing the stile, running fast, and he won’t be back. We point and make jibes, as we will for the rest of his life. She’ll always be the hero of the secret story, talked of in hushed whispers from this day forth.

I look at my sister’s laughing eyes, note her grazed knees and see the strange determination that envelops her, and is even now emanating from her in waves, and wonder, my heart beating fast, half for her and half for him: would I have done the same?

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The Blue Nib believes in the power of the written word, the well-structured sentence and the crafted poetic phrase. Since 2016 we have published, supported and promoted the work of both established and emerging voices in poetry, fiction, essay and journalism. Times are difficult for publishers, and The Blue Nib is no exception. It survives on subscription income only. If you also believe in the power of the written word, then please consider supporting The Blue Nib and our contributors by subscribing to either our print or digital issue.

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