Friday, January 09, 2009


“Ascension”, the tenth flash fiction contest that Jason Evans is holding at The Clarity of Night, is still going on until January 14th. My entry is given below the photo that serves as an inspiration for the contest.


Ben dashed down the moving staircase, the stolen wallet bulky in his jeans’ pocket. Behind him, in the beehive noise of the mall, shouts rose, though barely above the thunderous pounding of his heart. He jumped steps by twos, oblivious to the disapproving looks his rough flight elicited.

Midway on that endless descent, a stroller halted him, but before he could jump around it, his eyes fell on her.

She had stepped onto the bottom of the climbing staircase, a slim silhouette in a pink two-piece suit, a luminous face in the halo of blonde locks. Ben thought of swans, of roses, and rains of apple blossoms. He had never seen anything that beautiful, that elegant.

She didn’t smile, only her gleaming gaze lingered on him, a warming caress in it. He held his breath, all else forgotten. Too slowly, too quickly they got closer.

Soon their hands on the rubber handrails passed each other, the idea that his could’ve brushed hers numbing to Ben, the whiff of her perfume dizzying. Even then, she did not avert her azure eyes.

As she passed on her way up, he twirled around to watch her, a mesmerised automaton, forever in love.

When he realised she was soon going to float beyond his sight, he leaped at last, only back up, not towards freedom.

“There he is!”

He allowed Security to restrain him, struggling only to see past their shoulders. To see her, his sweet impossible unattainable angel, for a few moments more.


Anonymous said...

I commented over there, but I figured I'd say hello here. I thought you did a great job with this, as always. Great use of the senses.

Mine's posted there too. I'm #26. I'll be holding my breath until the winners are announced :)


L.A. Mitchell said...

Sweet romantics can find inspiration everywhere-even in crime :)

Two piece pink suit and blond hair...I thought of Legally Blonde.

Love it, thanks for sharing!

the walking man said...

Captured by the possibility of love.

Too bad Ben didn't get her phone number before he goes to the county for his 15 month stay.

Very smooth flow to the read here Vesper.

Charles Gramlich said...

At least he knows where his priorities lie.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Insurmountable odds, in time, can be conquered through the love. I liked the POV shifts between the two.

Sarah Hina said...

Vesper, again, I really loved your story. Even with the grittier undertone, I can always recognize your lovely, romantic spirit. Unattainable love is sometimes the most cutting and precious of all...

(Sorry I've been absent lately, too!)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing and posting this, it's fantastic! It's funny how people can get such different ideas looking at a small picture of an escalator.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Left a comment over at I said - I hope someday they will see each other again. (sigh)

You told a BIG story laconically. Great job, Vesper - as always!

Marilyn Brant said...

I think you described these few seconds beautifully--the way you slowed time and let us experience his moment of first spotting her. Lovely. Good luck with the contest!

laughingwolf said...

funny how a bit of fluff and an overactive imagination can quickly lead to a guy's downfall :O lol

nicely done, v :D

Geraldine said...

Wonderful work Vesper! I enjoyed this story very much. YOur descriptive choices of words were perfect. Good luck in the contest.


Vesper said...

Paul, thank you! Your comments are much appreciated, there and here. Good luck with the contest! I’m not much concerned about the winners – I’m obviously curious to see who takes the prizes but that’s all. I hope you do take one! It’s the writing that was the “high” for me… :-)

Thank you, L.A.! Coming from a sweet romantic like you… your comment is even sweeter… I wish you had participated to this contest! :-)

Thank you, Mark! :-) Not just captured, but redeemed…

At least for one magical moment, Charles. :-)

Thank you, JR. I hope so… There’s always hope…

Sarah, thank you! I’m glad you liked my story! :-) I’ve been absent too, from everywhere – just not feeling up to sharing thoughts this way…

Benjamin, yes, it is funny to see the different takes, yet also the many similarities. I’m glad you liked mine. Thank you! You know, I was compelled to think of you (though I couldn’t tell you why) when I chose Ben’s name… :-)

Thank you, K.! Doubly appreciated! Yes, it would be nice if they saw each other again, but at the same time maybe not… they’re worlds apart, I’m afraid… :-)

Marilyn, I’m glad you liked it! Thank you so much! Time, yes, it does tricks on us… :-)

LW, yeah, funny, isn’t it? :-) :-) :-) Thank you for your very nice comment, at Jason’s too.

Geraldine, thank you so much! And I liked your story! Good luck to you! I noticed you’ve posted a longer version of it on your blog and I’m looking forward to reading it. :-)

Geraldine said...

PS:I am adding your blog to my blogroll today Vesper. Good luck with the contest!!! Hugs, G

Rick said...

Someday, in a separate email, I'll tell you why I love your email so much.

But for now, I will share with you that I let a friend of mine- who is trapped forever on the Isle of St. Kitts- read this, and he cried. Years ago, he suffered in a Siberian prison. When leaping from a moving train, he saw through smudged glass the face of a woman who transfixed his heart in the way that a collector pins a butterfly to a whiteboard with a needle. He was desperately sprinting after the moving train when the KGB seized him and took him away. He never saw her face again, but he shared with me that whenever his guards beat him, he retreated from the pain by remembering her face.

In between shots of frozen vodka at a Russian restaurtant with a Russian Elvis Presley imitator that his heart had become like a block of pale blue ice. When he read your story today, he cried and told me that you melted his anguish away.

What a lovely compliment to your gifted writing.

Vesper said...

Geraldine, thank you! :-) I’m very honoured. And I’ve added your blog to the list of my favourites. Thank you again! xoxoxo

Rick, what can I say? I’m so touched… and humbled… and honoured… There couldn’t be, as you say, a greater compliment for me as a writer than to know that my words have brushed someone’s soul… I thank you and I thank your friend. My heart goes to him.

Miladysa said...

Sweet :D

Good luck!

Catvibe said...

Vesper, it wasn't just because you are one of my blogger friends that I put you in my top 5. Your story simply rocks. You are one of my favorite authors! Best of luck sister!

Lena said...

that was indeed a great story. Each word just took its place and it seemed so right! :)

Taffiny said...

Ascension. Nice to read it, then imprint its title over it.

I never heard an escalator called a moving staircase before. Is that what they are commonly called in Canada or is this poetry and meaning added in?

I like the emotional aspects of it, of a moment unexpected, held in time, and the ripple effect of it on one's future.

Are there men, who see a beautiful woman and think of swans, roses, and rains of apple blossoms? I like to think so.

Vesper said...

Thank you, Miladysa! You're sweet! :-)

Cat, thank you so much! I'm honoured to be one of your blog friends and one of your favourite... authors! Wow! :-)

Thank you, Lena, and welcome to my blog! Your comment is much appreciated!

Taffiny, the dictionary calls it a moving staircase... Escalator was originally a trademark. Either can be used (not just in Canada!) :-)
I hope there are such men... If not, we can still dream of them... :-)