Red Gold over the Rainbow

this tale can be read as a standalone piece,
but reading “Blood Is the New Gold” first
would certainly add joy to the experience

DeeAnn Bridges stared at the red, sparkly dress with enough concentration to suggest that she was waiting for the garment to speak to her, and perhaps explain why Aurora, a former coworker, had stabbed her in the arm over the piece of clothing.

Laila Flynn and Kassia Van Dyke watched DeeAnn through a two way mirror that divided Laila’s workshop and private office.

“Should I take care of your little problem now?” Kassia said. “I promise no pain.”

“Don’t!” Laila grabbed Kassia by the arm.

“This kind of loose end can be dangerous for everyone, Laila.”

“Let me go see what she knows,” Laila said. “I’ll do what must be done, but not before making sure that there’s no other choice.”

“You better get moving, or her eyes will melt holes through that horribly expensive thing you call a dress.”

“Just leave.” Laila pushed Kassia towards the backdoor. “DeeAnn is my problem. I’ll take care of her.” She rushed away before Kassia could add anything.


Laila walked out of her office and leaned against the door. “DeeAnn, if you don’t go home to get some rest your mother is going to have my head for dinner.”

“Mom thinks I’m at the clinic,” DeeAnn said without looking away from the dress. “I told her the doctors needed to remove my stitches.”

“And do they?” Laila took a few steps across the small room and stood next to the only employee she had ever liked.

DeeAnn shook her head. “There’s nothing to remove.” She turned around and looked down until her eyes landed on Laila’s face. “The stitches vanished five days ago. The same night I got home from the clinic.”

The fear in DeeAnn’s voice shot adrenaline into Laila’s heart. She felt the blood heating up in her veins, desperately wanting to morph into something new, shiny and precious. But she held the taller woman’s gaze as if the fire in those grey eyes didn’t affect her at all. “DeeAnn—”

“What’s special about this dress, Miss Flynn?” DeeAnn brushed the fabric and blinked at the flicker of reddish golden rainbows. “There’s something strange,” she pressed her palm against her forehead, “no, not strange, it’s something creepy, something creepy about everything in Fine Arts Macabre. What is it? I know theres something.”

Laila wanted to lighten things up with a laugh, but DeeAnn’s tone had snatched the humor out of her gut. “It’s the nature of this business.” She managed a grin. “You know, the macabre is part of our name and our charm.” 

DeeAnn shook her head violently, shouting, “You will tell me or I’ll make you.” Before Laila could do anything but watch, DeeAnn reached for something inside her bag.

Kassia was in front of DeeAnn, one hand on the girl’s arm and the other around her neck, before the first scream left Laila’s mouth.

“No, no, no, Kassia! Not that way. Let her go.”

DeeAnn’s eyes were wide, her mouth moving but making no sound.

“Listen, kid,” Kassia’s face was so close to DeeAnn’s that it looked as if she was going to kiss her on the lips. “I will pull your hand out of your bag. I will do it gently. If you don’t want that, I could always rip your arm off.”

“Kassia!” The reverberation of Laila’s voice shook the building and everything in it.

“Miss Flynn, are you okay?”

“Did she turn all green and gloomy?” Kassia said, without removing her eyes from DeeAnn’s and sounding a little bored.

“No, not green.” DeeAnn began to cry. “She’s red and black and hovering on a rainbow.”

“Ah. I see,” Kassia said to DeeAnn. In a louder voice, she said, “Laila, I need—”

“You need to leave my house, Kassia Van Dyke. Now.”

“The kid—”

“Now!” Laila shouted.

“What’s in your hand, kid?”

“The bandage that was covering my stitches,” DeeAnn said.

“Okay.” Kassia sighed. “I will wait outside until you come to get me, Laila.” She left the room so fast that it looked as if her body had just vanished.


DeeAnn rubbed her neck, and turned around on the spot, looking for Kassia.

“Her side of the family tends to be really fast,” Laila said. “And kind of crazy.”

“My bandage,” DeeAnn cleared her throat. “The one they put over my stitches, it turned into gold.”

Laila began to descend, slowly, as she spoke. “And my side of the family tends to be good at tinkering with old things and turning emotions or energy into gold.” When her feet touched the floor, the rainbow disappeared. But her skin remained jet black and her hair, clothing and shoes were the red of fresh blood.

DeeAnn stood very still and silent for a long while. Then she said, “Who are you?”

“I am Laila Georgina Claire Flynn, tinker and amateur curator of a sort.”

“What are you?” DeeAnn handed to Laila the chunk of gold that used to be the bandage that protected her wound from infection.

“Not completely sure there,” Laila said. “My Ma was from Kansas and my Pa from Ireland—never met him—and the psychopath who almost strangled you is my cousin. I was born here, in Wildwoods.” She ran an index finger over the piece of gold. “And if someone bleeds for me, their blood turns into gold, my skin darkens, and my shoes and hair get more crimson.”

“And there is the rainbow thing,” DeeAnn said.

“Yes, Laila nodded, “and there’s the rainbow thingthe most ridiculous mode of travel ever written since someone thought of the broomstick.”

“Written?” DeeAnn blinked.

Laila sighed. “Never mind.”

“Why are you telling me all this, Miss Flynn? Aren’t you afraid I’ll tell people?”

Laila examined her shoes. “My Ma never trusted anyone. She could do powerful magic, was better than all her sisters, but had no one she trusted to stand by her side. They almost crushed her to death and took everything from her. Would have, if she had not been a quick thinker. They even stole her shoes for a time.” She swallowed. “DeeAnn, I want… I need an apprentice; someone who knows the real me; a person who cares enough about Fine Arts Macabre to bleed for it with me if need be… maybe a friend… another girl with whom I could share my glamorous shoes and ridiculous rainbow.”

“But I don’t have any magic, Miss Flynn.”

“Just Laila,” she looked up and smiled. “I’m a decent crafter. I will teach you.”

DeeAnn stared at Laila’s stilettos for a bit. “Uh… I like your shoes, but my style—”

Laila burst into laughter. “I will teach you to work with energy, DeeAnn Bridges, but your magic is your own. Let’s try this: close your eyes, wish for shoes you’ve always dreamed to wear, pick a hue you love, then click your heels three times as you visualize that wonderful pair of shoes.”

DeeAnn closed her eyes, grinned like a lunatic high on noon sun, and clicked her heels three times. When she looked at her feet, she found them clad in ruby red combat boots.

for Oma Linda’s Hues of Oz
Ruby Red Combat Boots by Christie Hubbard
via

And guess what? Yep, I have a wee giveaway for you:
an Oz notepad blooming with red poppies.
Here is what you need to do to enter the giveaway:
1. Leave a comment telling me about your favorite bit about the story.

For extra entries:
2. Be a participant of Hues of Oz 2014
3. Follow this blog via Google Friends Connect

this is an international giveaway
 open until the 27th of March 2014, at 10:13 pm EST
a winner will be chosen using Random.Org
and announced on March 28th 
Best of luck, everyone!

61 comments:

  1. lol..."did she turn all green and gloomy?"...class line :D Fantastic short story Magaly...so glad she survived that terrible accident. XXX

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    1. I almost saw Kassia rolling her eyes. I saw wanted to put her in my favorite one of her dresses, but then decided it wouldn't be fair for those who haven't read Thorn in Red. I'm very happy for the un-crushing, too!

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  2. I am a follower :D XXX

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  3. I am taking part in Hues of Oz :D XXX

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  4. Ah my dear Magaly, if I'm not mistaken you are feeding my addiction with ruby red yumminess, rainbows, combat boots and Storybrook.

    Of course I'm I follower

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  5. Haha, you're tying it in with Thorn in Red, huh?

    Happy Oz and belated Saint Patrick's Day (if you celebrate it)!

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    1. My intention is to find a way to tie every tale/post, for parties I enter from now on, tie into one of my stories. We shall see how it goes!

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  6. So, Kassia and Laila are cousins . . . It wonders me who Kassia'a parents were. Before long, this marvelous tale will need maps and genealogies. I can only imagine the space in you imagination where these characters live and play, and kill.

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    1. I've been working on it--the genealogy--and can't wait until the story is complicated enough to make it necessary. I will have a story graph, too. That should be fun.

      "where these characters live and play, and kill." Muahahaha!

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  7. My favorite part of this story is "They even stole her shoes for a time.” Ha! Yea for the Wicked Witch :) Awesome way to introduce a genealogy :)

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    1. I (not so secretly) have always wanted for the choose to go back to their rightful owner. Dorothy is okay (even if a little dense), but no one should get away with taking what doesn't belong to them.

      Yay for genealogies. I'm having such a blast working on this... just wait until I show more. I can barely contain myself, lol!

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  8. Me for 3, " and there's that rainbow thing" " the most ridiculous mode of travel ever written since someone thought of the broomstick". Favorite line! Exciting tale, Kassia mean!
    Love, Love!l Love! xoDebi

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    1. It made me giggle, too. I imagined her face, and roared. ;-D

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  9. I follow you via numerous methods. ;)

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  10. “And there is the rainbow thing,” DeeAnn said.

    “Yes,” Laila nodded, “and there’s the rainbow thing—the most ridiculous mode of travel ever written since someone thought of the broomstick.”

    Magaly...these lines jumped out at me! These are two of my favorite things, rainbows and broomsticks!!!

    Wonderful entry for "The Hues of Oz!" You have always been such a fantastic writer!!!

    Hugs,
    Jan

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    1. Thanks a bunch, Jan. So many wonderful entries this year. I truly enjoyed strolling through your cyber-home and delighting in the great views. And your bird? Perfect!

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  11. Great giveaway and celebration! Wishing you well! Happy Spring

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  12. I hope I get a chance to grab your book. I need to read start to finish.
    Your writing always pulls me in.

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    1. I hope you get to enjoy the tale, too!

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  13. I always love your posts. Your stories are so much fun and so well written. I love the ruby combat boots, those are just too much fun and so appropriate for a grunge Dorothy. Your giveaway is divine. Please enter me. I am a member of the hop, and I follow you! Wonderful Oz post.

    Hugs
    Caroline

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    1. Every girl should have a pair of ruby red combat boots... and a few flying monkeys. ;-D

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  14. Oh my precious Magaly....this story is a new love for me. How can I resist characters that are intriguing, magickal and mysterious? And I know a certain young witchlet who would be over the rainbow for the red boots that DeeAnn conjured. You are so good at what you do. Thank you for being not only a part of Celebrate Oz but taking it to another level. You ad class to my sass girlfriend and I am so proud. Hues to you my lovely, Oma Linda

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    1. Your sass was already so wicked classy that I had no idea more could be added to it. Ditto!

      How I enjoyed Glinda's entry. I can't stop thinking about that shoe store, about the making of the merchandize, the distribution and the costumers... such a wild world of colors and possibilities, Oma Linda.

      Thanks so much for hosting. I've had such fun!

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  15. LOVE IT!!! My favorite part was when Laila tells DeeAnn about her mom! What a fabulous story and of course I want more, your work is exceptional, I love a good tale and yours are fabulous.I am a follower and a participant of the Hues of Oz, such a good time. Thanks for stopping by my post.

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    1. It's one of my favorite parts, too. And since I wrote it, I haven't been able to stop thinking, And how exactly did all that come to be?.

      Maybe we'll figure it out soon...

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  16. I Loved it!! My favorite part is the ruby red combat boots! Just my style. Wonderful tale, you have such a wicked sense of humor! I am a follower already.

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    1. Can you imagine the hat to go with those boots? It would probably be priceless... and so very shiny, lol!

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  17. I love your short story. You are a fine writer. I was particularly fascinated with the vanishing stitches and the bandage. This is a wonderful contribution to the Hues of Oz.

    James C. Wallace II
    Royal Liaison of Oz

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    1. It seems you and I both are attracted by the details.

      By the way, I still smile when I think of Mr. Tinker's explorations!

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  18. Loved the whole story you are a beautiful writer..I liked the combat boots too BUT my favorite line was "Did she turn all green and gloomy" :) :)

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    1. Kassia sure has a way with words. I hope you get to see her in Thorn in Red, where you'll notice that she also has a way with many other things!

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  19. I cannot wait for more of this storyline!! My favorite part was where it dawned who she's descended from... yay!!

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    1. Well, the world of Thorn in Red is quite a bit of this: a world where Little Red Riding Hood, the Little Mermaid, the Wizard of Oz and all sorts of world myths get together to write life and live the story they can survive.

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  20. My favorite part of the story was when DeeAnn pulled out the bandage which had turned to gold, as it appeared she was going to pull out something to defend herself against Kassia.
    Very awesome story!
    Yes! Please enter me for your sweeeet giveaway! Thank you!

    tscat@sbcglobal.net (my email contact)

    I MUST purchase your books!

    Teresa in California
    http://amagicalwhimsy.blogspot.com/

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    1. Ah, a lover of suspense!

      I hope you enjoy the tales of AlmaMia Cienfuegos and Mattalina Thorn. Their worlds are very different, but I love them both. ;-)

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  21. I am also participating in the 'Hues of Oz' event.
    I am enjoying all of the bloggers who participated.
    Add my name for a second chance to win...thank you so very much!
    Teresa
    http://amagicalwhimsy.blogspot.com/

    tscat@sbcglobal.net (my email)

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  22. You are such a great story teller! I love the combat boots ;o) Too cool! The Oz notepad is really cute! My favorite part, really the entire story was fantastic! But, I loved these lines...
    “Yes,” Laila nodded, “and there’s the rainbow thing—the most ridiculous mode of travel ever written since someone thought of the broomstick.”
    “Written?” DeeAnn blinked.
    Laila sighed. “Never mind.”
    There was so many great lines! Wonderful Magaly! Big Hugs ;o)

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    1. Now I'm excited to write more about Laila. I suspect she'll make it into the second Thorn in Red book. :-D

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  23. "Your mother is going to have my head for dinner" should not have created such a visual image(peas with that?) but it did, actually love the magic of getting the right shoes, yep, those boots were made for kicking arse :) great tale and I feel (hope) the characters will keep us readers entertained again somewhere over that rainbow (he he most ridiculous mode of travel since the broomstick) - fabulous :D

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    1. I, too, have the feeling that Laila, DeeAnn and the crew will be around for quite some time. ;-D

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  24. Yes I'm Oz-ing like Hue

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  25. Follow you? Come onnnnnnnn, reckon so ya Wicked girl!

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    1. For as long as the reckoning is wicked!

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  26. "Close your eyes, wish for shoes you’ve always dreamed to wear, pick a hue you love, then click your heels three times as you visualize that wonderful pair of shoes.”

    Oh, how I wish! *dreamy sigh*

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    1. I might have been projecting. I mean, can you imagine? *joins dreamy sigh*

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  27. "DeeAnn Bridges stared at the red, sparkly dress with enough concentration to suggest that she was waiting for the garment to speak to her, and perhaps explain why Aurora, a former coworker, had stabbed her in the arm over the piece of clothing." This is my Favorite part because it grabs me RIGHT OFF THE BAT and pulls me in Totally! I can see DeeAnn touching the red dress..she HAS to reach out to try and touch it, right??! And Stabbed because of this piece of Material!!!! What is IT??? I Have to KNOW..I and to read the first story too, as you suggested. And I LOVE the Notepad...I have MANY MANY NOTES!

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    1. I totally understand being addicted to pretty notepads, journals and anything with blank pages to fill with yum. It's therapeutic crafting!

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  28. Not completely sure there,” Laila said. “My Ma was from Kansas and my Pa from Ireland—never met him—and the psychopath who almost strangled you is my cousin. I was born here, in Wildwoods.” She ran an index finger over the piece of gold. “And if someone bleeds for me, their blood turns into gold, my skin darkens, and my shoes and hair get more crimson.” I like this part. Mixture of humor, horror and twisted fantasy. I think I need to read more your stories .. very addicting . Im a follower.

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    1. Well, if you enjoy a bit of "humor, horror and twisted fantasy," then you certainly will enjoy my fiction., So... read on!

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  29. Love those boots!!.. I like the part when Laila says 'if someone bleeds for me, their blood turns into gold, my skin darkens, and my shoes and hair get more crimson.” Great twist on a classic and yes I will follow your friend..

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    1. Have you read Thorn in Red? I can't remember... I just thought that you might like it. Lots of myth and fairy tale twisted together.

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  30. I love Laila! She's a wee (under 5 ft.) fashionista like me. If only I could conjure up shoes too. *Joins you and Emma in dreamy sigh*
    Thanks for contributing the first part of the story to my arty party! :)

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    1. Maybe if we wish really, really hard (and work on our sighs) we would be able to conjure up all the pretties.

      Thanks for hosting!

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  31. My fave part of the story was: “There’s something strange,” she pressed her palm against her forehead, “no, not strange, it’s something creepy, something creepy about everything in Fine Arts Macabre. What is it? I know there’s something.”
    Strange and creepy always makes me want to read further.

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    1. Strange and creepy are rather appealing. ;-)

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  32. I get the Oz references and leprechauns but not sure what Kassia is yet...

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    1. You can learn lots and lots about Kassia, in Thorn in Red. Also, there is a bit more about her in "Scouting Story Crafters (but I advice you to read it after you read Thorn in Red): http://pagan-culture.blogspot.com/2014/08/scouting-story-crafters.html

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