Are you ready for a ride in a hot air balloon?! 

No seriously, that’s where my extract today is going to take you.  But first of all, what’s August Alfresco all about?:

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I’m joining August Alfresco with an extract from my short story ‘Hot Air’.  This story has recently been published in ‘Girl on Girl’ the Coming Together anthology of lesbian erotica edited by Leigh Ellwood.  All authors contributing to the anthology have agreed to waive any royalties.  You can buy it at or  Remember, the proceeds go to a good cause!

‘Hot Air’ is a lesbian encounter in a hot air balloon set in a country gala in the Edwardian era.  Here is the story blurb: ‘When Sally Sparrow-hawk, the renowned Edwardian lady parachutist comes to a Gala in her home town Kitty is so excited.  She will do anything to meet her heroine so she climbs into the balloon before its ascent.  When she emerges from under a piece of tarpaulin and makes herself known, her horizons are widened in more ways than one!’

‘Hot Air’ was inspired by the real life story of the amazing lady-parachutist Dolly Shepherd.   You can find out more about Dolly Shepherd and the 1911 Pickering Gala at other blogs on my site.

So, now for the story extract where I’ve chosen to focus on the ‘Alfresco’ rather than the sex!


Hot Air

Edwardian lady-parachutist Dolly Shepherd

“….Yer ever been up in a balloon before?”

Kitty was overwhelmed by the warmth and generosity of Miss Sally’s welcome given the bizarre circumstances. “No, never,” she replied.

“Then come on, turn round and lay yer peepers on this.  Yer won’t see a grander sight anywhere.”

Kitty moved tentatively towards the edge of the basket.

“It’s quite safe.  ’ Ere, I’ll ’ old onto yer if it’ll make yer feel better.”

Sally maneuvered herself behind Kitty and wrapped her arms around her waist, squeezing her tight against her body and the cotton parachutist’s uniform.  Kitty smelt Sally’s scent, a mixture of her perfume combined with burnt wood and fresh air that was both earthy and sensual at the same time.  Sally’s soft dark curls and the edge of her cap pressed against the side of Kitty’s blushing cheeks.  Safe in Miss Sally’s embrace, Kitty ventured a glance downwards over the edge of the basket.  She gasped in amazement.

It was a scene like no other she’d experienced.  She was looking down at her hometown, but from a perspective she’d never viewed before.  She could see the Gala field with all its crowds receding into the distance.  There was the castle, and Kitty strained to make out the tea room where she worked, but it was lost in a forest of tiled roofs.  Then she took in the wider view, looking across over the sweep of the Vale of Pickering dotted with its farms and winding country lanes.  Then she looked out over the moors and the vast sweep of purple heather stretching across to the horizon.  It was majestic.  Kitty was thrilled by the experience.  It began to dawn on her why somebody would risk life and limb to go up in a balloon. It was the most exhilarating experience she’d had in her life.

“Grand, innit?”

“It’s magnificent,” said Kitty. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Sally put a finger to her lips. She let it linger there for a moment for Kitty to drink in its sensuous feather touch.

“Shhh….just listen, will yer.”

It took a few seconds for her to understand what Sally meant, but then it struck her.  The silence. Way down below, there were crowds cheering, the mechanical whir of the carousel, the screams of delighted children and music from the brass band. Up here there was nothing but the slightest rustle of the material of the balloon in the breeze and the gentle sound of the rope straining.  The overwhelming sense was one of profound silence…and stillness. Kitty was quite overcome with emotion.  She felt the tears welling up in her eyes and then warm drops of moisture running down her cheek.

“Yeah, I know,” said Sally, wiping a tear from Kitty’s cheek with a finger, her gentle attentive touch only serving to move Kitty to yet more tears. “Now yer understand why I do it.  It’s for all this. The bootiful views, the silence, the stillness.  That ‘n the crowds and adulation, of course!”

Sally clasped her body closer, tight enough for Kitty to feel the gentle swelling of her breasts against her back.  She threaded her fingers into hers and squeezed.  Kitty didn’t know where to put herself or how to react.  It should be wrong to be so intimately close with another girl, but it didn’t feel like that—it felt lovely and so, so, right.

Sally laughed. “Do yer know how dangerous this is?”

“Well,” replied Kitty thoughtfully, “I suppose I do, least ways I’ve read all about your scrapes. When you landed on a roof and had to cling onto the chimney, when you got caught in the top of the tree and had to be rescued and when you nearly landed on a railway line.”

“Oh, but this is really dangerous!” she exclaimed, but still with a broad smile on her face. “Yer know you’re gonna ’av to come down with me on me parachute.  Do yer know how often that’s been done at a show?”

“No, I don’t.”

“Never!  It’ll be a first. But no worries.  I’m sure we can pull it off, Kitty.  Are yer game for it?”

“Yes, I guess so. I don’t really have any choice, do I?”

Sally glanced across at Kitty with a curious look and a wicked twinkle in her eye.

“D’yer ’av a young man, Kitty?”

Kitty’s heart thumped. What a strange question, she thought.

“No, I’ve never really had any interest in boys, to be honest. I can’t say why.”

“Oh yeah? ’Av yer ever been kissed, Kitty?  I mean really kissed by someone who really fancies yer?”

“No.” Kitty’s heart was racing.  What did she mean?  Surely she couldn’t mean….?

Dolly prepares for her balloon ascent at Pickering Gala in 1911