Thanks for having me at your place, Tabitha, it’s a pleasure to be here and to be able to talk some more about Smut by the Sea, the awesome anthology we both feature in.
I would imagine that most British people can think of a time when they went to the seaside when they were little. We’re a small Island country and no one is ever more than a few hours away from the sea. I remember going on holiday every year from the age of around six. And just about every year we went to Scarborough.
Scarborough is on the North East coast of England, in Yorkshire and it is made up of two bays. It has a fetching old castle on it’s headland and contains just about everything you need for a seaside holiday. Including 2 beaches. It hasn’t changed much over the years, I still visit Scarborough regularly, and the beach front is pretty similar to how it’s always been, with the odd change in bench style and flooring.
I love to sit on the beach and make sandcastles still to this day and it always kept me entertained as a kid. I don’t venture into the sea as much now but that used to be a staple, tucking my skirt into my knickers and going for a paddle.
I definitely don’t do that now!
And food on the front tastes better, I suppose it’s the sea air. Fish is so fresh as it’s caught and thrown into the fryers near enough and doughnuts and Ice cream just seem to benefit from the sea air. You can’t beat eating an ice cream on the beach.
As a child one of my greatest joys was getting to ride the open top bus. All the ones at home were boring and had a roof on but the one’s in Scarborough didn’t and I was always giddy with excitement when we got to ride on it. I still look forward to my open top bus ride now, and ensure we fit it in at some time during a visit. Even if it means having a wooly hat on!
So when I was thinking of what to write for my Smut by the Sea story it was obvious I’d set it in Scarborough and it’s unsurprising that an open top bus is involved…
Here’s a snippet from my Story “a Proper British Seaside Holiday.”
I sat beneath the Victorian awning of the park across from the beach, drank weak tea from a polystyrene cup and was content. I’ve eaten caviar, visited the classiest restaurants in old London town and never even really tasted the food because I’d always been too focused on saying the right things and sealing the deal. The fact I needed to get a better balance in my life became clearer with every scorching sip.
My view over the bay was obscured by a bus with no roof. Giggling, I remembered how much I loved to ride the open-top bus in my youth. It was always the highlight of the holiday, sitting high and watching the scenery fly by.
I looked up the road and saw a bus stop. Leaping up with great purpose I headed for it. I was going to ride the bus. It was the next step in revisiting my childhood and recapturing my joy.I jumped on the next one that came along, paid my fare and climbed upstairs. No one was up there. That wasn't a surprise since it was still raining hard. I sat down near the back. I always wanted to sit at the back when I was little and my parents wouldn’t let me. It was fun to let my little rebel take over.
The seat was damp and cold and the water seeped into my jeans. I’d have to go back to the hotel and change again once the trip was over, but then I could maybe enjoy the firm mattress of my bed while I waited for my clothes to dry. Apparently, once you reawaken a libido it doesn’t give you five minutes rest.
It's hard to appreciate the view when rain is slapping you in the face like an irate lover. So I just closed my eyes and enjoyed the harsh rush of wind against my cheeks and listened to the pitter-patter of the drops dancing over my coat. I felt the bus stop, so I opened my eyes. I was near the harbour, fishing boats sitting quietly in the water, huddling together before their next jaunt out to sea.
I heard the clomp, clomp, clomp of shoes on the stairs and I wondered who on earth was as crazy as me to want to sit up in the elements. It turned out to be a very handsome man in a red raincoat similar to my own. He cracked a smile when he saw me, his head just peering over the top of the barrier as he continued up the stairs.
“I thought I’d be the only one crazy enough to sit up here in this weather.” His voice was earthy and deep with a hint of the local accent. I wanted to hear more of it.
“No, no. I’m afraid you’ve not got the monopoly on crazy today.”
“So,” he said, covering the distance from the front of the bus to the back in a few long strides. He was very tall and did I mention handsome? I was sure the wetness seeping between my thighs wasn’t simply the rain. This tall, dark man was whispering to my most feminine desires. “What brings you up here on such an inclement day?”
“Appreciation of life.” I replied with a smirk.
“Ah, that.” He nodded, “do you mind if I sit with you?”
“Not at all, as long as you don’t mind getting a wet arse.” I chuckled uneasily. I shouldn’t have mentioned his bum, I hardly knew him!
“I’m already wet everywhere else, what’s another body part in the grand scale of things?” He sat down and offered me his hand. “Hello, I’m Daniel. You’re not from round here, are you?”
“I’m Abby. I’m from Manchester but I live in London right now.”
“Well, that explains a lot,” he smiled, “the dark around your eyes, the half lingering sense of hopelessness, the rounded vowels.”
I should have been offended but I was stunned by how observant he was.
“You’ve got me,” I shrugged. “I’m trying to rediscover myself. Shit as that sounds.”
“I understand,” he said. “I’m pretty certain we should all spend more time doing that kind of stuff and less time worrying. It has a better yield, anyway.”
I nodded and twisted my fingers together in my lap. I was suddenly acutely aware of his body heat beside me and the scant half inch between his arm and mine.
“Do you live here?” I asked, finding conversation far less scary than silence and my erratic, erotic thoughts.
“Yeah.” Daniel nodded. “Most of my life.”
“Lucky sod.” I said with a sigh.
“It’s not a bad life,” he agreed, though I saw a little sadness in the depth of his darkened eyes. “Took me a while to work that out, though.”
It’s difficult to describe something that happened without word or movement but I realised then that Daniel understood me and my troubles. It’s like his soul recognised the same weakness in mine.
“Look,” he turned his body towards me, “this is going to seem very forward of me but, I’ve been looking at your lips and they’re just calling to be kissed. Would you mind if I just leaned in a touch and rested my lips against yours for a bit?”
Propriety would have screamed at me to shout no and to run like the wind away from the man with determination and longing in his eyes. Luckily I was there with passion, not propriety, and passion urged me to nod my head and lean in to speed up the action. I’m never usually so impulsive but as his lips brushed mine I knew I’d made the right choice. Daniel’s warmth flowed from his body into mine.
To read more, pick up Smut by the Sea today! If you’d like to hear this story and others read, then make plans to visit Scarborough on the 22nd June next year as there’s a huge Smut by the Sea Event! with an erotic market, readings and more. I hope I’ll see you there!