Tuesday, April 28, 2020

LADDER OF GLASS, a Paranormal Flash Fiction by Linda Mooney

Posted by: Linda Mooney

Ladder of Glass
A Paranormal Flash Fiction
by Linda Mooney

            She held the red rose in her hand and lightly traced the curves of the half-opened petals. Feeling the soft silkiness with her fingertips. Her sigh was caught by the breeze and carried over the surrounding stone monuments—carved tokens of unforgotten love.
            Behind her, the nearly full moon cast her shadow across the grave. The dirt had long ago sunk back into the earth, allowing the grass to cover the burial plot in a blanket of green. Green in the spring and summer, turning yellow and brown in the fall and winter, until the fallen leaves and snow had their chance to cast their own seasonal quilt over the plot.
            Bending over, she placed the rose in the slender bronze urn set in the simple headstone. Dropping to her knees, she continued to stare at it.
            “I miss you, Daddy,” she whispered. “I miss your sense of humor, your gentle rebukes when I’d done wrong. Your solid bits of wisdom, some of which I’m just now beginning to understand.
            “Do you remember telling me the search for true love was a lot like climbing a ladder of glass? You said I had to take each step very carefully while reaching hand over hand to the top, or else I might accidentally break a rung. And if I did, I’d fall and hurt myself. Or possibly cut myself on the shards, and bleed. But once I got to the top of the ladder, the sense of fulfillment made that long, dangerous climb worth it.”
            Glancing up at the trees swaying overhead, she wished she could take a deep breath and smell them. She wished she could smell the way they used to be. Not the way she smelled them now. Now that she was…different.
            But it, among other things, had been a small price to pay for what she had now.
            “Well, Daddy, I want you to know I climbed that ladder, even though I never thought I’d make it. I even shattered a few rungs on the way up, and it hurt terribly when I got cut. It hurt like hell, and it bled. It bled a lot. But I finally managed to reach the top, and the view…”
            She paused to glance over her shoulder at the dark figure patiently waiting for her by the cemetery gate. Reassured, she turned back around to look at the headstone.
            “Remember that sense of fulfillment you told me about? I know now exactly what you meant, Daddy. A ladder of glass is pure and delicate, just like love. But if you take the greatest care, you gain the greatest achievement.”
            Slowly, she got to her feet, dusting grass and dirt from the knees of her jeans. Giving the grave one last look, she walked over to rejoin the figure.
            “I sense you’re at peace with yourself…at long last,” he murmured. Taking her by the arm, he guided her through the bright moonlight toward the grove of trees located at the far end of the cemetery.
            The young woman smiled, more to herself than to him. If she could cry, she would. But, again, like her sense of smell, and taste, and touch, that was one of many things she had yet to fully adjust to, now that she was like him.
            “You no longer blame yourself for his death,” he commented.
            She shook her head. “Let’s say I’ve accepted it, just like I’ve accepted my fate.”
            He stopped to face her. “Have you? Darra, do you regret your decision?”
            This time her loving smile was meant for him. “Why would I regret being with the man I love? Why would I ever regret spending the rest of eternity with the man who loves me just as strongly?”
            He glanced over her shoulder at the gravesite. “We can come back any time you wish. This doesn’t have to be the final time.”
            “Thank you. I’d like that. I always felt better after we’d had one of our father-to-daughter talks.”
            “Even when he’s no longer among the living?”
            “It doesn’t matter. I believe he can still hear me.”
            The man bent over to give her a kiss. She opened her mouth to him, feeling the sharp points of his teeth with her tongue. Closing her eyes, she luxuriated in the way his hands caressed her as he broke the kiss. His lips brushed her cheek and down her neck until he found the sweet spring lying just beneath the surface of her skin.
            The piercing no longer hurt. Instead, it jolted her senses, heightening the ones she thought she’d lost when he’d first claimed her. As he drank, she clutched him tightly until he finished and lifted his head.
            “A ladder of glass?” he murmured.
            “Yes.” She kept her eyes closed, and luxuriated in his touch.
            “That is an odd way to describe love, but…it seems fitting. Especially ours. Fragile. Delicate.”
            “And beautiful. Like you.” Opening her eyes, she lifted a hand to his face. She traced the strong, aristocratic features with her fingertips. “We may be able to share eternity together, but we both know that could be shattered at any moment. At any time when we’re not careful. When we lose sight of what’s important. Or when we forget our limitations because of what we are.”
            “You’re right,” he whispered in that warm, sensuous voice she loved to hear. He checked the sky, noticing the position of the three-quarter moon. “We need to hurry. I found a place where we can sleep in safety. Darra.” He stared deep in her eyes, and for a moment she thought she saw fear.
            “I will love you forever. Please remember that.”
            “I will.” She smiled and patted the hand holding her other one. “You have nothing to worry about. You’re stuck with me,” she lightly jested.
            He snorted, but she couldn’t help but remember what he’d told her of his past before he’d met her. Of the terror. Of the agony. Of the years, the decades, the centuries of emptiness.
            He slipped his arm around her shoulders. “Are you ready, beloved?”
            Together, they disappeared into the night to seek sanctuary before daybreak. There, they would lie in each other’s arms until after sunset, when it was safe enough to emerge back into the world.

Noir Fairy Tales, Book 2
(Based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
by Linda Mooney

Paranormal, Fantasy Romance
Word Count:
$3.99 e / $9.99 p

The 1940s. Life in Grimm City can be just as fabulous as it is dangerous. But it's not a place that can be found on any map. Welcome to a world of gun-toting, hard-drinking, cigarette-smoking fairies, elves, dwarfs, shifters, and witches, as well as human beings.

Welcome to Noir Fairy Tales.

Rose White has had a string of bad luck, and it doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon. When two fairies are found dead in her nightclub, her livelihood is shut down until further notice. With no income coming in, and her employees left hanging, she’s forced to look for other alternatives.

Detective Rich Florian is on the case of the dead fairies, and soon learns they were poisoned. The nightclub owner and the Miner gang, her partners, are his first suspects, but Rich isn’t so quick to pin it on them. He’ll need to investigate further, and not just the DBs—something about Rose is drawing him in as well. And he’s convinced she’s innocent.

Just like every other bad thing that’s happened to Rose, her stepmother, Queenie, seems to be right in the middle of it. She offers to loan Rose the money to pay her way out and stay afloat, but as always, Rose knows the help would come with a much higher price.

How far would Queenie go to get what she wants? Murder? Arson? Even with the protection of the gang and her handsome detective, Rose still needs to keep her eyes open. But sometimes the most obvious suspect isn’t who you need to look out for.

As we’ve learned before, things in Grimm City are almost always not what they seem.

Warning! Contains a well-kept secret, passing the hat, a red pickup, dinner for two, involuntary manslaughter, smooth whiskey, and a man willing to risk it all for a kiss.


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