Throwback Flash: Gypsy Gold

Just a bit late today. Been one of those weeks.  This was written in 2012 for A Tale From Behind The Curtains blog hop.  Enjoy!

Gypsy Gold

“Gypsy gold does not clink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark.”

The ceremony was bohemian and exotic and a far different future than I’d pictured for myself before Madame Romani and Midnight’s performance under the big top. The whole troupe gathered around the bonfire and Jafri and I exchanged vows. Under the furtive scrutiny of clowns, we sipped bittersweet wine and danced.iStock_000006785128_Medium

I had been enthralled by Madame’s sequined costume and magnificent Friesian, all black-feathered hooves and solid flanks, and I told her I’d give anything to be her.

“Said the same thing myself once,” she reminisced, older under the greasepaint than I’d have guessed. “But what of your swarthy young man?”  She nodded to where Jafri waited for me.

“I love him, but my family doesn’t. They left New York after 911 to get away from ….”

“…Arabs.” Her gypsy eyes took Jafri’s measure.  “My father did not approve my choice either.”

“What happened?”

Mischievous, she’d whispered. “We eloped.”

Eloped.  Already drunk with dancing, my laughter bubbled over like champagne. I lost myself in Jafri’s kisses and the pleasures of our first night.

I awoke at dawn to terrified neighs, banging metal, and Jafri gone.  Shoving legs into jeans, I found Madame standing in the yard by an old horse trailer, a new halter in her hand. 

“Quickly Jess, you must calm him before he’s injured.” Frantic whinnies accompanied the scuffle of panicked hooves. She pushed the halter into my hands. Continue reading “Throwback Flash: Gypsy Gold”

#TBT Flash: Rusted Love

 

rusted love

RUSTED LOVE

by Stacy Bennett

I loved him. So Pa hated him. My James Dean, my rebel prince of Levi’s and Marlboros. My sixteenth summer was hot as hell – full of skinny-dipping, stolen kisses and beer.

Boy, did I love him.

We left his old Chevy, stalled out in the back forty while we shimmied through the fence, snagging our ratty tees on the wire, laughing like drunks. We were drunk, on love and impending freedom.

It’s probably still there, rusted-out like my heart.  Lost in the tall grass, full of empty beer cans, cigarette stubs and disappointed dreams.  I loved him; but things change.

 


Picture courtesy of Madison Woods borrowed from Friday Fictioneers circa 2012

 

Throwback Thursday: Flash

 

dolllyJillian’s Dolly

by Stacy Bennett

Jillian’s chin rested in her hand as she sat on the stair listening to Uncle’s gruff voice, something about “that girl” and “rightful inheritance.”

A whine tickled her ear, followed by a cold snuggle across her back.  A whiff of sun-warmed fur brought to mind tail-wagging butterfly chases.  She swallowed unshed tears as a ghostly paw rested on her arm.

 “I’m fine, Dolly.” But really nothing was fine since the fire.

A slobbering tongue had awakened her in the night.  Gentle teeth taking the hem of her nightgown dragged her through smoke and heat, out into the yard as the firemen arrived. Dolly raced back inside where Mum and Pa still slept and Jillian waited forever for her to return.  When all was soot and cinders, the captain ran smoke-smudged hands through thinning hair, stumbling over the words. Mum and Pa were “lost.”  Jillian knew they weren’t really lost. It was just something grownups said. 

Uncle was there to take her home, which was strange since it was after midnight and Pa never spoke to him.  Jillian figured his ‘gold-digging’, as Mum called it, kept him busy. He kindly moved the gasoline can so Jillian could ride in front seat, feeling desperately sad and alone.

Luckily, Dolly wasn’t “lost.” She padded into Jillian’s new room, like a gust of winter wind filling the sheets with smoky dog smell and love.

Jillian thought it funny how Dolly didn’t like Uncle, not one bit. The only time he had visited Jillian’s room, Dolly growled like a bogey monster from under the bed and then bit him. It was only the ghost of a bite, but he had turned white and screamed like a girl.  Now, Uncle kept his distance, and that was just the way Dolly liked it. 


I posted this piece today in honor of a friend’s bassett hound who passed away this week. Originally, it was written as an entry for the Faerytaleish Pinterest Contest in June 2012, which was run by the ineffable Anna Meade, who you can visit here. I recommend going when you’re hungry as she’ll likely have you pull up a chair for some scones and tea and glitter.

 

A Steampunk Request

I’m bringing back this lovely steampunk short that I originally wrote for the #DirtyGoggles Blog Hop (circa May 2013) at a friend’s request. 

The Girl in the Glass 

by Stacy Bennett

dirtygirl

The ghostly image flickered inside the glass tube as Thinman spun dials and flicked levers.

“What kind of ‘werk is it?” Jasper asked, picking dust off Thinman’s jacket. The black tailcoat did little to hide Thinman’s skeletal bronze frame or the steadily whirling flywheels within.

“Sir?”

“What’s its function?”

“None, sir.”

“Explain.”

“It’s a girl, sir.” The mechanical voice was almost patronizing.

“It’s, … she’s human?” Jasper’s heart slammed against his sternum, notably lacking  the click-whirr-hiss that pervaded the rest of his world.

“I can’t refine the image further, sir.”

Jasper leaned closer, lifting his goggles to his forehead which forced his black hair into a spiky plume.

There hadn’t been a human on Portalune since the Exodus. Except for Jasper, of course. Stowed away on the first rocket to land, he’d been asleep, unnoticed, the night everyone disappeared. Thinman said war had called everyone home, though the blue-green orb remained untroubled from Jasper’s vantage.

Pale lips moved inside the dirty tube, silently pleading.  “Where’s the message coming from?” Continue reading “A Steampunk Request”

Throwback Thursday: Post

Beautiful Distraction:

When Your Prose Upstages Your Story

 

(Originally posted in December 2012.)

Lately, I have been doing a lot of reading about writing.  Not just books but blog posts and essays and worksheets on everything from style to character to setting and more.  One day I came across a rather unsettling but interesting idea – that sometimes your prose can be too beautiful.

I literally scoffed.  Really?  Too beautiful?

Yep, that’s what it said.   Unfortunately, I can’t find the exact reference underneath the piles of #Nano remnants, bills, and kid homework lying around, but that was the gist of it.  (If anyone recognizes this idea, let me know so I can give credit.) Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Post”

Throwback Thursday: Flash

Third Time’s a Charm

by Stacy Bennett

Joel’s fingers curled around the small box in the pocket of his baggy shorts.  The sun was hot and his sweaty fingers stuck to the wrapping paper a little.  Sweat ran down his back and trickled along the sides of his face.  Not all of it was from the heat.

It was Abby Swanson’s birthday party. He watched her ponytail bounce through the crowd, her brown hair tied up in a yellow ribbon so large it shaded her neck. You’d think a bow like that would look corny, but not on Abby.  Tendrils of hair escaped the bow, curling in the heat.

The present had been wrapped three times now.  The first time he had wrapped it in Christmas kitten paper.  But he was too nervous to give it to her and hadn’t even said hello to her the whole week before winter break.  Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Flash”

A Return to Flash

I haven’t written new flash fiction since my mother died two years ago this month.  What I’ve posted lately I had written prior to that.  Siobhan Muir’s Thursday Threads has always been a good challenge for me and so I decided yesterday to give it a try.  

Here’s my untitled entry:

iStock_000012688196Small

“I’ll check for survivors. You two get back to the outpost,” I said surveying the laser-charred buildings with trepidation.
Julie’s hand stopped me before I broke cover. “The hell you say!” Her eyes crackled with anger. “The freaks might still be here.”

Honestly, the thought of running into the blue-veined invaders churned my guts, but I couldn’t leave until I was certain.

“I have to,” I said, sure she’d understand. I mean, I was the one who’d found her.

“Okay, Jake,” she relented, “but then we all go.”

I looked to Rob for support. He knew the rules. But he kept quiet – as usual.

“No, someone’s gotta survive to warn the others,” I insisted.

Suddenly angry, she grabbed my T-shirt and yanked me close. “You’re not a damn hero. We survive by working together.”

This close, her eyes were the gray of summer rain clouds framed by unruly brown curls. Not for the first time, I wanted to kiss her and not just because it was the end of the world. I leaned closer wondering if she wanted that too, but she pushed me away.

Turning to Rob, she was all business. “We stay hidden and make sure the freaks are gone, then we search.”

He shrugged and gestured for her to take point.

“Always gotta be the voice of reason,” I muttered.

“Who? Jules?” Rob snorted. “Ain’t nothing sane about that girl.”

“How do you figure?”tthm

“Only a crazy girl could love a jerk like you.”

Word count: 248

TBT Flash: Goodbye Coffee

Goodbye CoffeeBlack Coffee

by Stacy Bennett

The front door jingled, but my eyes never left the swirling coffee in front of me. I wished again that I’d said no.  Booted footsteps stopped next to me.  Then, he slid into the booth and ordered coffee though I know he never liked it.

“How you been, Jo?”  His once-silken voice was tattered, rough.

I didn’t look up until I’d set the spoon down on the red Formica and lifted the cup.  “What do you want, Sam?”

Continue reading “TBT Flash: Goodbye Coffee”