Tracy Banghart

Tracy Banghart's books on Goodreads

Rebel Wing Rebel Wing (Rebel Wing #1)
reviews: 118
ratings: 199 (avg rating 4.18)

By Blood By Blood (By Blood, #1)
reviews: 50
ratings: 88 (avg rating 3.97)

Moon Child Moon Child (Prequel to By Blood)
reviews: 27
ratings: 49 (avg rating 3.86)

Storm Fall Storm Fall (Rebel Wing, #2)
reviews: 27
ratings: 41 (avg rating 4.22)

What the Sea Wants What the Sea Wants
reviews: 5
ratings: 20 (avg rating 3.10)

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    Entries in Flash Fiction Friday (2)

    Friday
    Jul012011

    Flash Fiction Friday

    Time for this week's flash fiction! The prompt:

    THE BICYCLIST

    It was tuna salad day. Multigrain bread, one slice of tomato, and a spray of fresh dill from her garden. A peach and a bottle of iced tea.

    Greta smiled as she walked across the busy street, clutching her pale pink lunch tote in one hand, iced tea in the other. The sun glittered against the dark asphalt and a breeze teased at the sleek lines of her chignon.

    She saw him rain or shine, but when the air smelled of hot dogs and cigarettes and the clouds were clean and white, he was usually grinning as he passed. He had such a nice smile.

    She stepped into the shade of the trees and set her lunch on the second bench from the right. The one under the dogwood, just where the bike lane merged with the sidewalk that sidled through the park.

    Plenty of time. She hadn’t missed him.

    With a happy sigh, she removed the peach from her bag and leaned back. The fuzzy skin brushed against the roof of her mouth as she took a bite, juice running sweetly over her tongue.

    Three, two…

    He was wearing the red shirt today. Her favorite.

    She could see him down the street, right on schedule, the spokes of his bike flashing in the sun. His helmet was tipped forward, but the line of his jaw was visible, the winking white of his teeth.

    She had been right. He was smiling.

    Greta pushed her sunglasses up her nose and took another bite of her peach. The trick was to keep her head turned forward and only let her eyes follow him. That way he wouldn’t know, couldn’t guess that he was the single brightest moment of her day.

    From the corner of her eye, she watched the wiry muscles of his arms tighten as he guided the bike onto the path through the park. He was almost here, just a few more seconds until he passed.

    She let the day slow, the earth ease its terrifying hurtle through space, let her eyes rest against him. He was wearing his chucks, and his backpack looked heavy. It would be over soon, these little moments; the college down the road was just a few weeks short of summer, and she knew he must be a student. Graduate school maybe – he looked about her age. Long after he passed her each day, she wondered what class he was riding towards, what subject made him smile like that, with his eyes wide and his hands relaxed on the handlebars. She’d decided he was smart, really smart, and kind. He always braked instead of skidding around people walking on the path, and she’d seen him help an elderly man once, who’d fallen asleep on a bench and couldn’t find his cane.

    A loud laugh echoed in her ears. Greta’s head jerked up, and her peach fell from her hand, rolling into the grass. A teenager in a burgundy t-shirt and ripped cutoffs was careening across the sidewalk on a skateboard.

    Right in front of—

    A screech of bike tires and a flash of red—

    Greta stood up, mouth open to yell, and something rammed against her, knocking her back onto the bench. For a moment the world was a confusion of flashing colors and voices raised in concern.

    “What the hell?”

    “Everyone’s okay. It’s all fine. Relax.”

    Then, a face appeared before her, quiet and concerned, and she felt a gentle hand on her arm.

    “This isn’t how I imagined meeting you,” the bicyclist said to Greta, with a smile.

     

    Jennifer Walkup also has a great story for you today - click here to check it out!

    Happy Friday!

     

    Friday
    Apr292011

    Flash Fiction Friday

    One of my awesome critique partners, Jennifer Walkup, is doing a Flash Fiction Friday blog tour and invited me to join...and this week is our inaugural posting! For those of you who are unfamiliar with flash fiction, it's a complete story with a restricted word count. For the purposes of our blog tour, we're keeping our word count to between 200 and 750 words. My story is complete at 743 words (eep! that was close!) This is my first stab at flash fiction and I found it both challenging and fun. I hope you enjoy what I came up with!

    This week's prompt was this picture:

    DOMINO EFFECT

    Carver Dallas didn’t want to go to the funhouse. He didn’t want to see his reflection morph and slide until the mirrors made him taller or fatter, or so skinny he disappeared. He didn’t want to ride the teacups, or bob for apples, or have his picture taken with a stranger in a lumpy cow costume.

    Most of all, Carver didn’t want to watch his new stepfather, with his sharp eyes and painful elbows, throwing plastic rings around a glass bottle to win him a toy he’d have to pretend to like.

    “Mama, I wanna see the dominoes,” Carver said, reaching up to tug on his mother’s frayed sleeve. There’d been a picture in the paper, part of the advertisement for the carnival: giant white and black dominoes standing in a maze all around the fairgrounds. It was the main event; every night at eight sharp, the advertisement read, the dominoes would fall in a different pattern. Carver wanted to see it - that massive, organized destruction - more than anything.

    His mother disengaged her shirt from his fingers and patted him on the head. “Soon, honey. Ryan’s winning you a prize first. Don’t you want a prize?”

    He looked up at her, but she wasn’t really paying attention. Her eyes were following the clink of plastic against glass as Ryan tossed another ring.

    “But Mama, it’s almost eight,” he tried again, kicking at a chunk of grass that sprouted, island-like, in the midst of the dusty, trampled fairgrounds.

    She nodded absently. “Ryan’s almost done, honey.”

    But he wasn’t.

    When the last ring fell between the green bottles, Ryan groaned and slammed a fist against the booth. “Again,” he growled, handing a wispy attendant in a bright orange shirt some money. Carver watched as Ryan took a handful of rings, his bony elbows stabbing the air as he leaned forward.

    He would keep going ‘til he won, Carver realized, and they’d miss the dominos, miss the main event. They’d miss everything.

    Carver stared through the tangle of people wandering the carnival: a woman in faded jean shorts that exposed legs puffy with fat, a group of giggling girls in too-tight tank tops, and an ancient man with white whiskers and broken teeth sucking on a cigarette. The scents of burnt popcorn and cotton candy blended with the biting smoke, and through it all he could taste the humid, lightning-bug flavor of summer. Past the crowds, woven along the outer limits of the fairgrounds, he could see them, the dominoes glowing in the bright lights of the rides that spun and twirled and zoomed all around him.

    Carver began to walk, shuffling around hairy legs and bulging potbellies. It was almost eight. He could see the time on a huge old-fashioned clock beside the pirate ship.  The short hand was already touching the eight, the long hand just a few clicks away from twelve. He scooted around a clump of boys in tight jeans and leather jackets and headed towards the tower at the edge of the clearing. If you wanted to see the whole design topple in harmony, you had to be somewhere high.

    There was a girl in an orange t-shirt at the entrance. When she saw him she shook her head. “Sorry, hun. You’re too short to go in on your own. Where your parents?”

    Someone jostled him. Only two minutes. He glanced around for his mother’s dyed red hair and worn shirt, but he didn’t see her. His heart gave a sudden, panicked thump – what if she didn’t look for him? What if she and Ryan just left? – but then the tower girl called, “One minute ‘til show time, people!” and he turned away from the milling strangers.

    Scuttling behind a tall man with three small daughters who giggled and pushed, Carver snuck into the tower. A narrow staircase climbed into the dark, lit only by a single dim, buzzing light. It was hot, and the last of the crowd was impatient to get to the top, and so they stepped on him and pawed at him, and he tried to hold on to the railing and…

    One of the little girls, her elbow sharper than Ryan’s, jabbed at him as she turned to laugh in her sister’s face.

    Carver's eyes widened until the white showed all around the black of his irises. He stumbled backward, thin arms flailing.

    And became the domino, the tip and tumble at the edge of his own beautiful, endless pattern of destruction.

     

    Please stop by Jenn and Dawn's Flash Fiction Friday! And happy weekend!