Flash Fiction: ‘Mmm…thought so.’

“Is he here? Is he seeing all of this?” Andre asks, referring to Voi’s clairvoyant handler as he knowingly runs a hand up her nylon-sheathed thigh, pausing on the garter straps.

She murmurs incoherent noises into his ear, struggling to make sense of words. Chamber music echoes off the walls—waltzes or trots or tangos. She forgets which.

“Mmm…thought so,” Andre says anyway. He stares into Voi’s unfocused eyes, undoing the garter clasps between his thumb and forefinger. Her pupils enlarge suddenly just as a gale bursts through the window.

Andre curses, flinching away.

Obliviously drinking in the fumes of ambrosia with another drag on her cigarette, Voi soon tosses her head back with a manic laugh as she allows herself to slip further from reality, no longer resisting Andre’s attempts to “parley.” All the while, the crowd continues dancing under the spell of the domesticated ball downstairs…

Just then, Voi gasps then exhales.  The wind begins to die down, as does her laughter.  Instead, she starts to hum to a familiar tune from the ball, gently swaying her head from side to side.

“You’ve been a naughty girl, Voi…” Andre carefully takes the contraband drug from her fingertips to examine it.  “Wherever did you manage to get this from?”

Voi pulls her head upright, peering at him with dark eyes. They no longer seem unfocused.  She says to him in a low voice, “Is that really what you came here for, Andre?”

Sometimes, I come across art or music that gives me a very specific idea for a scene in a new novel or, perhaps, one I’m already working on. This painting, “Night Geometry” by Jack Vettriano, is one such piece of art. Actually, a lot of Vettriano’s work has been inspiring scenes for my fantasy series over the past few years. It’s sultry and moody and full of tension, sometimes with noir-ish undertones, and that appeals to me. (Not your typical fantasy stuff, eh?)

Anyway, I had this particular scene in mind for a story that I won’t get to for another three novels from now—The Elementalist: Grand Masquerade, in fact—but hey, gotta catch that inspiration when it strikes, right? Also, my series has been in third-person limited, past tense so far, and sometimes it’s subjective because the narrator will add a bit of whimsical dramatic irony here or there, so I don’t know why I’ve changed forms here in this snippet.  Not even sure what perspective this is in or if it’s consistent! Kinda feels omniscient, in a way—which would be fun to play around with later, given that Voi is apparently playing with drugs at this point in the series…

I guess that’s what happens when you try and wing things.

In other news, I’m about 70% done with my edits on Book I. Kind of a nice feeling, considering. 🙂 Planning on being done by the end of August, at the latest. If I keep making steady progress, I should be able to hit that goal.

Would be nice!

…And here’s a little (not-so) random music to go along with the snippet, just because.



Artwork by Jack Vettriano

Hey, turns out I’m getting a lot more done for school than I expected to!

Caught myself tonight revisiting an artist I discovered a while back.  I love the retro, sultry imagery he conveys in his paintings.  Some of these have inspired certain scenes in my novel–and lots of future ones to come.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite pieces from the artist:

After Midnight (Study). Jack Vettriano.

 Someone doesn’t want to go home tonight…
Woman: (coyly) “Say, I’ve never tried a cigarette before.  Is it safe?”
Man: “Well, it’s not like they bite, doll.  So go on…be the judge.”

Altar Of Memory. Jack Vettriano.

 Yeah, I totally based a character on that man–a not-quite-mad scientist who is madly in love.  (Will he ever cross the line?)  He even wears expensive suits and slicks his hair back.  Because that’s how he rolls: deep in dough.

The Drifter. Jack Vettriano.

Another image I’ve kept in mind while writing about another one of my characters (minus the cigarette); he’s a loner.  Kind of reminds me a little of “The Wanderer,” like a more modern version:

The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog. Caspar David Friedrich.

And one last one from Vettriano: 

Angel. Jack Vettriano.

And now I can happily drift off into sleepy land…

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Do you have any examples of artwork that inspire you?