Gavin’s heard the rumours about a lion loose on the Coast.
But, pleasantly drunk from his buck’s night, he decides to walk home along the beach.
Unfortunately his midnight stroll turns out a bit differently than he anticipated…
* This story contains mild coarse language.
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Genre/s: urban fantasy
Length: short story
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Gavin wandered along the beach, humming softly. His bare feet kicked up the cool sand, his shoes dangled from two fingers, and he held a bottle of Jim Beam in his other hand. He felt good. Actually, he felt great. He’d just survived his bucks’ night – and none of his mates had super-glued any of him to anything else or drawn on his face with permanent marker like they’d done to Frog last year – and he was pleasantly drunk. It was half-past-who-the-hell-knew-what in the morning, the full moon was up and casting bright blue-white light across the sand and the sea, and Gavin Harrison was getting married next weekend to the most beautiful girl in the world.
‘Let it rock, let it rock, let it rock…’ he sang quietly. He knew he was off-key but he didn’t care. Who was awake to hear him? The beach was deserted as far as he could see in both directions and he was more than halfway home.
So much for his mates’ worries about the lion.
‘Are you serious?’ Tommo hadn’t had as much to drink as everyone else. He got bad hangovers. ‘You’re going to walk home? Haven’t you heard about the lion?’
‘The lion.’ Gavin looked at him. ‘What lion?’
‘The lion, mate!’ Frog said. ‘It’s been on the news all week, some lion running loose around town. Where’ve you been, under a rock?’
‘Ah, that lion. The one somebody said they saw when they were drunker than we are?’ Gavin waved his bottle.
‘They got a photo of it now,’ Boofhead said. ‘It was on the news tonight. Big hairy thing, huge. They dunno where it came from and they ain’t caught it yet. Oy, Tommo, you’ve had less than us – you can drive him home.’
Gavin shook his head. ‘Nah, Tommo can’t afford the demerits if he’s caught either. Look, I’ll walk along the beach, okay? Plenty of space to see a lion coming at me.’ He grinned. ‘And if I see it I’ll dive in the ocean. Lions are just big cats, right, and cats don’t like water.’
So his mates had watched him walk down the quiet street, halogen streetlights casting his shadow long and spindly around him, until he’d turned on to the beach.