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


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.


“What’s its function?”

“None, sir.”


“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: 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:


“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”

Throwback Thursday: The Snow Ring

The Snow Ring

by Stacy Bennettsnow

Mud sucked at my boots in the chilly solstice dark and I cursed the snowless winters of Havenfell.  My tracks would lead them straight to the cabin, but it couldn’t be helped.  It was Gran’s dying wish to see the ring again.

Mother always said it was old age talking when Gran grumbled about the “damn queen stealing her snow”, but I knew what she meant.  She’d told me the story countless times.  Arriving home, I slipped off the mud-laden mukluks before going in.

“Who’s there?” Her querulous voice echoed the door’s broken hinges.

“I brought you a gift, Gran.”  From beneath my ratty cloak, I drew her prize. A silver band with an icy diamond, large as my thumbnail. It twinkled in the hearthlight, clear at the center edged with hoarfrost.

“The Snow!” Her lip quivered. She took the heirloom in quaking hands, eyes brighter than I’d seen in years.  Holding it to her heart, she rocked, crooning a strange singsong rhyme.  When her tune stopped, a sudden breeze lashed the window.

“I’ll be leaving now.” She announced in a steady voice, its finality bringing a lump to my throat.

A knock on the door frightened me.  The Queen’s guard couldn’t have noticed the ring missing already.

“Open it,”  Gran ordered. I tried to quell my inner fluttering as I opened the door to an otherworldly man, lithe and coolly alien.  He entered like the winter wind, oblivious to me, and went directly to Gran.

“What took so long?” His voice held an aching.

“I’m sorry.” She stroked his slightly peaked ears with tender familiarity.

“All’s well, mierna.”  He kissed Gran’s hands and her age fell away like the afghan from her lap. She rose, following him through the door where they disappeared into the swirling snowflakes.


 * * *

“The Snow Ring” was initially published on Christmas Day 2012 as part of my 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop (That was a fun hop, wasn’t it?) and I thought it appropriate for the snowy weather we’ve been having. Enjoy your weekend.