dark air. light air.
Three policemen were climbing about amongst the scree and loose boulders at the bottom of the cliffs that overcast Sunday morning. We were sitting amongst the gloomy swells when they reached him. None of us had caught a wave for a while. We were watching their slow progress. There was no doubting the reason for them being under the cliffs this morning.
We hadn’t seen the body until they bent down to turn him over. He was all broken.
The Policemen had no gloves, his head was in pieces.
They were still in the carpark as the ambulance took the body away. Another ten hour shift closed hard.
Just a young man one of them told me, boardshorts and T-shirt. He hadn’t dressed himself up for it he said.
Not many of them do he said.
The boy had flown himself off the edge the previous night. Jumped into the dark air about eight hours ago. He’d been sitting up there for a while a neighbour said, and somebody had been singing.
There was no moon to guide him down.
The car made a twinline of tyre track as it accelerated through the heavy wooden roadside palings and ripped its accelerating path over the the soft grass and toward the edge. The cliff.
A moment’s soft light air. A warm afternoon.
Then over they flew, engine blaring, her foot pressed down hard on the accelerator.
A dozen or so of locals wandered about the tyre marks later, some gazing over the void.
Holding hands. Not the first time here.
The mother had been driving, her two children had been sceaming.
Both her wrists had been snapped clean on the wheel. Bent back to her elbows.
Held so hard.
Pity the babies.
They both died.
Suicide is rarely placid
Her father found her body in a redwater bath some months later.