Amelia Fucking Earhart

by Angela Allan Read author interview June 25, 2012

Elias and I were walking hand in hand toward a cliff. It was a dark night with lots of rain making the ground soggy, and I had pink cotton candy, which was getting soggy too. There was a carnival on the island, with a rollercoaster, a Ferris wheel, a haunted house, a giant pirate ship, bumper cars, a beautifully painted carousel, and a hall of mirrors, which was where we slept. The moon was white as teeth and Elias kissed me and said I looked gorgeous. I laughed, then stepped on something that crunched. It was the femur of a skeleton.

“Amelia fucking Earhart,” Elias exclaimed. He was shirtless and I saw his skin prickle when he said it.

“How do you know?” I asked. “It could just be some skeleton with an aviator hat.”

“It’s Amelia fucking Earhart!” Elias repeated. He bent down to examine the skull, which had a brown, leather aviator hat and rusty pilot goggles.

“If it’s Amelia Earhart, where’s the plane wreckage?” I asked.

Elias picked up the skull and pretended it was a puppet. “I was abducted by aliens and dropped here!” he chirped. He poked his fingers through the eyeholes and wiggled them around. “Oh no, kids! Help! I’m being eaten by maggots!”

“You’re a goof,” I said.

“Can Amelia have a snack?” the skull squeaked. “Amelia loves sweets.”

I held up the cotton candy to Amelia’s teeth. The paper cone had been soaked through, and the cotton was dark pink and crystallized. Elias used his left hand to move Amelia’s bottom mandible, and made it look like she was chewing.

“What a treat!” he said.

I laughed. A little bit of pink sugar was stuck to Amelia’s chin.

“You can bring her home with us if you want,” I said. I didn’t want him to.

“A pet!” he said. A child, I thought.

He continued playing puppet with Amelia until we arrived at the precipice. I looked down and got smacked with vertigo. The cliff was a thousand feet high, and we could barely see the waves crashing in at the bottom. Exercise: imagine you’re drowning.

Elias held his arm out in front of him with the skull on his hand facing down, so Amelia’s empty eyes were forced to stare straight into the abyss. She could have slipped off his hand and gone careening to her death.

“Would you want to make love on this cliff?” I asked. “The first rule is that part of our bodies have to be off the edge the whole time. The second rule is that we have to cling to each other, so that if we fall, it’ll be both of us.”

“Flirting with death, eh?” said the skull.

I hugged Elias then, wrapping my arms around him so that his were plastered awkwardly to his sides. We nuzzled foreheads, lowered ourselves to the ground like the legs of a collapsible table, and made love with our bodies partly off the cliff. Elias kept Amelia’s skull on his hand the whole time. It was nice.

“Would you want to do that again?” Elias asked after we finished. I couldn’t answer because my heart was wild.

“I would! I had a super time!” said Elias, puppeteering the skull.

The rain had stopped and the moon was gone. All we had to do to get home was walk toward the bright lights of the Ferris wheel. There were times during the lovemaking when we could have fallen straight off the cliff, but we had clawed ourselves back, still thrusting. I wondered: if we fell, would we careen downwards, hit the water with a bloody smack, and sink like anchors to the sea floor? Or would we fall in slow motion and land like feathers dropped into a bath?

We made love on the cliff pretty regularly after that. It was the sort of thing that got our hearts pumping and made us feel like we had exercised. Amelia always came too—sometimes we took turns kissing her bone-hard cheeks. We stopped playing carnival games; stopped riding the Ferris wheel; stopped sleeping in the house of mirrors. We lived on the edge of that cliff, rolling around together, lock in key. But after a while, we missed cotton candy.

“I’ll go back to the carnival today and get us food,” I said. “More cotton candy and hot dogs and stuff.”

“Thanks, babe,” Elias said. “I’ll wait here for you.”

When I came back, my arms loaded with groceries, I saw Elias thrusting into the skull and panting. His white body was curved like a half moon, and he had a firm grip on the top of the head. I was far away, so I couldn’t tell: was he humping the right eyehole, or the left? I doubted he’d be humping the mouth, because of the teeth. It didn’t matter; either way I was jealous. The green-eyed monster overtook me—I screamed from my deepest part. The sky darkened and I screamed even louder. Elias kept thrusting, and lightning split the sky. I felt the ground shaking beneath me, threatening to crumble. I kept screaming and the earthquake got worse. Why doesn’t Elias hear me? Why doesn’t he feel the ground? I started screaming in short, staccato bursts, and thunder bellowed. The earth was buckling at the edge of the cliff.

Elias kept thrusting into the skull, sweat droplets dancing on his skin like hot oil. I screamed the last scream until my lungs burst and the ground at the edge of the cliff crumbled beneath the lovers. Elias stopped thrusting and looked up. Then he and Amelia fell with the rocks. The earthquake and thunder were so loud that I couldn’t tell if he was screaming. I ran to the edge of the cliff and saw the couple careen downwards. They hit the water with a bloody slap and sunk like anchors to the sea floor.

No, just kidding, that didn’t happen. In fact, they fell like feathers.

About the Author:

Angela Allan graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan University with a BA in English and a concentration in creative writing. She has walked a pilgrimage across Spain, researched dragonfly thermoregulation in Guyana, taught English in Ecuador, backpacked through Europe and Morocco, and trekked across icebergs off the Southern coast of Argentina. She writes stories, rhyming poems and creative non-fiction.

About the Artist:

Max Skelton was raised by dolphins at the bottom of the saltiest sea, subsisting off baby porpoise tenderfins and the occasional rip of a passing blowhole. The pod has waited years to unveil their creation. Now he must learn to float.