Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lucky Me

Today's guest is Penelope Price.  Penelope writes fantasy, and agreed to take a stab at flash for us. Make sure to leave a comment and let her know how much you appreciate her!

Lucky Me
Penelope Price


            I stood before the antler-framed mirror with both hands on the vanity. I was holding on so tight that my knuckles had gone white and my nails were scratching the soft, unfinished pine.

            "Deep breath, Becks, deep breath. You can do this. You. Can. DO. This."

            And I could do this. Even though it was crazy and spontaneous and hysterical and so far from anything I had ever even considered doing before. Right? A tiger can change her spots, right? No wait - that's not right and-

            Knock knock.

            "Need anything, Becca?"

            I grit my teeth and bumped my forehead against the mirror. Damn it. Now he was going to think that I was in here primping and plucking like some high school girl before prom. Or worse, that I was in here pooping.

            "Oh God," I said, groaning under my breath. My fingers dug harder into the vanity. I called out, trying to sound casual. "No, I'll be just a second or two."

            Or three. Or four. I closed my eyes again and tried to relax. But how could I? This whole trip had been one disaster after another! What made me think that this latest escapade would be anything but one more humiliating snafu?

            I came to the mountains five days ago. I was supposed to be celebrating an early Christmas and shared birthday weekend with my big sister - it was a tradition for nearly twenty years. We were born on 12.12 and 12.13, exactly one year apart. DJ and I have been best frenemies all our lives - that word was made for us. We fought over clothes and toys and boys, but in the end we had always had each other's back. And for eighteen years, we had always had this weekend together.

            This year, I had come up a few days early to clear my head and give that rat bastard time to clear his junk out of my house. Three years together. Three! And he just expected me to stand by his side like Hilary Clinton after the Blue Dress Scandal while that slut he cheated with paraded his baby all over Portland. Not a chance.

            Not. A. Chance.

            So I drove up ahead of time armed with wine and music and four spiralbound notebooks, just in case I lost power for my laptop. I figured I would have plenty of time to write this year, since DJ wasn't due until Friday night.

            But, on the first night in the mountains - the familiar, safe, peaceful mountains - my car was stolen. Okay, I told myself, just file a police report. Insurance will probably handle it. Don't freak out, Becca.

            On the second night in the mountains, a freak squall dumped four feet of snow atop an already deep base. Still, I knew I had plenty of food and wine and logs for the fire, so I figured I would be okay.

            Then, on the third night in the mountains, an avalanche on the road below the cabin cut off access stranding DJ down in the village and me up here alone. And on the fourth night in the mountains, as I sat by myself weeping along to a bunch of break-up songs with a bottle of wine, the power went out. Alas, the battery on my laptop lasted longer than the wine and my inebriated fingers sought out a litany of old crushes from high school. Forget drunk texting, I indulged in drunk Facebooking - and that was far worse.

            Because whether it was coincidence or fate or destiny or just sheer dumb luck - something had conspired to put me on the same wintery mountain as the one who got away. Okay - the one who never even knew how much I adored him. The one who never saw my moon-eyed stares, read the sappy poetry I wrote (and then promptly burned!), or felt my fingers run through his long curly black hair - which always felt like ribbons of jet silk in my imagination. But we grew up and graduated and life goes on. Hell, despite my teenage obsession, I had hardly thought of Clint in twenty years. Yet when my wine-soaked brain turned to looking up old flames, and flirting dangerously with them, the first name that came to mind was his.

            Now its the fifth night in the mountains and I am standing here freaking out like I've never kissed a guy before. Why am I so nervous? Because its not just some random guy who came knocking on the cabin door with a big furry dog and a snowmobile. This is Clint. This is the Clint Jones and the last time I was alone with him, I had never kissed a guy before.

            "You've kissed a guy since, lots of guys. Okay, a few. And anyway, he's here, isn't he? Obviously he must want- I mean, he probably wouldn't be here if-" I felt insecurity burbling up inside and stamped my foot once, as if quashing literal representations of my fear. Clint had arrived like a tarnished knight on a rusty old snowmobile hours ago and we had spent the whole time talking, and flirting, and everything had gone marvellously. Then he had leaned across the table to kiss me. I panicked. The next thing I knew, I was in the bathroom staring at this absurd antler-rimmed mirror and second-guessing myself.

            "You're overthinking this, Becca," I told myself, straightening my shirt and giving myself one last glance in the mirror. "Be spontaneous. Be adventurous. Be- oh Hell, stop talking to yourself  and just do it."

            With a emphatic nod, my fingers gripped the door handle and I twisted it. Suddenly, a pair of arms slid around me and lips pressed against mine and all I could see was this warm haze of candlelight. Our tongues touched and I let my hand slide through those wild black curls, the way I had always imagined I would. When at last he let go, my heart was pounding in my chest and it was all I could do to say, "Wow."

            Clint grinned at me and sure, there were crinkles around his eyes and a bit of gray sprinkled into his beard, but for all the world it felt like I was seventeen again. "I've wanted to do that for twenty years."

            "Then do it again." I could not believe that flirty line came from my mouth, but it had.

            And lucky me - he obeyed.



Penelope Price: author, gamer, nerd. Though she has been writing since she learned to read, P.P. did not emerge from her coccoon to join the writing circuit until the year of Tangerine Tango. She is the crazy chick behind Incandescence and its sequel, Inferno and can usually be found plotting projects with her partner-in-crime, Jack Morgan.
Get updates, gossip and geekery by following P.P. on Facebook (, Twitter (!/PP_TheWriter), and at her blog (


  1. What a lovely bit of romance! Thanks for sharing with us.

    1. Thanks VL! I was a wee bit nervous to contribute to a site with luminaries like Ellie, Cassidy, and Cathy (and the others, too). I appreciate your comment, sincerely! :)