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Precious Metal

She bit the inside of her mouth hard. She tasted rust.

Staring at her husband a tired wife contemplated the buzzing sound in her ears. He had turned to look out of the lounge room, out and away over the misted eucalypts. It had closed over with rain again. Everything had closed over.

There really wasn’t any point in talking about it, she thought. We’ve been here. His arms were folded and she couldn’t read his face. So instead she concentrated on the thought of mercury, imagining it rising up through her skin. It didn’t take long to feel molten metal coursing through veins and starting up a beat in that pulse just behind her eyes.

“I’m sick of trying,” his voice coming over the sound of her whooshing pulse. Blinking, she thought ‘must focus’. There was a dried up blowfly on the window sill.

She chewed her cuticle. Her fingers smelt of the metallic bar off the bus. When she’d travelled home from the clinic that afternoon the bus had leant over around a corner. She’d held on hard to the bar, her stomach muscles bracing to hold her up, one arm folded over her belly. There had been that familiar sensation, the muscles tightening and then the release.

“It’s been months now, and it always ends the same way,” he intoned. She returned to here and now, eyes running over the back of his head.

The mist had risen a little more.

She wanted to lift her arms to her husband, this man she had entwined with. She wanted to tell him that this feeling would pass. It always had before. And then they could try again. There was always next time. But her arms were full of metals, flooded and dense; it might take years to lift them.

He sighed; the sound was the most normal thing in the world.

She felt the tightening and release of her muscles as her body let go. Without surprise she acknowledged the flood of iron that poured from her, carrying with it dreams and hopes.

There was always next month. Next month.

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Twisted Tales – prompt Precious Metals (TTST50)


rust, iron, blood, mercury, anya, ttst50, twisted tale, precious metal


  • Arcadia Tempest
    Arcadia Tempestabout 5 years ago

    Oh….Your writing is almost edible…you so captured the agony of the desire and the disappointment…know people going through this and they would relate to this so well. XX

  • This comes from knowing it and seeing it in others – the unspoken desire, the sharp sweet pain. I hoped I did the sensations justice. Thanks for reading Arcadia.

    – anya

  • Jeannette Sheehy
    Jeannette Sheehyabout 5 years ago

    oh my gosh Anya – so beautiful and agonizing. I can relate to this. “Blinking, she thought ‘must focus’. There was a dried up blowfly on the window sill.” What a great line – brilliant. :)

  • This happens to me all the time. I focus, and focus on something completely irrelevant. Thanks for taking the time to read over it Jeannette.

    – anya

  • Solar Zorra
    Solar Zorraabout 5 years ago

    This is so relatable, the horrible tension the beating pulse, and the flood of release. The worst part of it all in this situation……hope. :) SZ

  • And the feeling absent. Disappearing. Thanks Solar. Your comments make me think you know of what I write..?

    – anya

  • Jim Hall
    Jim Hallabout 5 years ago

    Truly twisted. Very enlightening, but I will probably remain a hopeless male. Great story. JH

  • Yes, thanks Jim. I reckon this is a chick’s piece. But thanks for perservering anyway. :)

    – anya

  • Matt Penfold
    Matt Penfoldabout 5 years ago

    Lovely descriptive writing with a deep implied emotion, well done Anya

  • Alison Pearce
    Alison Pearceabout 5 years ago

    Wonderful write

  • Zolton
    Zoltonabout 5 years ago

    Lovely, wonderful writing.

  • Bob Fox
    Bob Foxabout 5 years ago

    Pretty cool story! The only thing awkward for me was when you change POVs in the middle of a paragraph. I like the tension, the inferences, and the implications. Most of all, I like the immediacy— I felt like I was being shown this story and not ‘told’ as often happens in short pieces. Very good work!

  • Mark Bateman
    Mark Batemanabout 5 years ago

    I kind if knew I was going to get an intense story before I clicked on your entry – and I wasn’t disappointed! I love the way you wove metals throughout – very clever.

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