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He had been told she'd loved the place for its barren isolation. Murphy thought about the number of times she must have walked up this same route. Even after all these years he could still visualise her lean face and tight lipped glare.

A droplet of sweat meandered down his fleshy cheek. The steep path that snaked along the headland slowed him to a shuffle. His breathing became heavy as his lungs struggled to cope with gulps of unfamiliar fresh air.

Murphy pulled out a soiled handkerchief to wipe moisture from his face. Up ahead he could make out the wooden seat that faced seaward. His legs started to tremble with the final few steps.

Slumped on the seat, Murphy rubbed his hands along its varnished surface. Once he had caught his breath he eased himself up and turned to look at the brass plaque. The inscription was an epitaph to Miss Edith Turner from her many grateful ex-pupils.

Murphy grasped the seat and manoeuvred it to the seaward side of the path. With a final push it rolled over the cliff edge into the sea. His hysterical laughter mingled into the sound of waves breaking over the rocks below.

Story by:

Mark Hendry

submitted at 3:46pm

8 May 2012