This is part of a series of flash fiction pieces inspired by the songs of Lana Del Rey. MONIQUE QUINTANA’s short story SAD GIRL appears in TRAGEDY QUEENS: STORIES INSPIRED BY LANA DEL REY & SYLVIA PLATH & her upcoming novella CENOTE CITY is coming early next year from CLASH Books. Lana Del Rey was our muse for the TRAGEDY QUEENS antho. She is the muse that keeps on giving. If you’d like to write a Lana Del Rey or Sylvia Plath, or any other artist inspired flash piece, send it our way to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Here’s Lana’s latest because Lana & this is gorgeous.
moon cruise (a space novela)
inspiration: HONEYMOON by Lana Del Rey
Pris and Rafael wanted to go to the moon to celebrate their marriage. It was the third summer after their twin daughters were born and the girls had already begun to take short walks together in the garden. The twins had become powerful in their ability to keep themselves company and find solace in the old house that they lived in with their mother and father and sacred grandmother. Still, Pris felt guilty for the few weeks that they would leave them. On the day of the wedding, she had noticed one of the girls staring at her while she put her eyeliner on in the mirror.
Your eyes will look like moons when you and my father go to the moon, she said and twirled away.
Honeymoon. When Pris was a little girl and she heard someone say the word, honeymoon, she thought of orange yellow crystal sugar drops and bees burring holes in the craters of the moon’s crust. She thought about the toasted bread that her mother made for her every morning to drink with black sage tea, but most of all, she thought about a perfect kind of love.
She believed that her mother had the capacity to send herself and her love to the moon. Maybe it would be in an instant in a metal elevator bullet with brassy hinges or maybe she would build them a Chevy Malibu that could fly-drive them all the way up there, but when the time came, all her mother could manage were two look-alike low rider bicycles they could pedal up there. They left after their afternoon wedding, as the sun was going down. Pris could see her mother waving at them from their garden, her dark hair flying in the hot wind. Such wind was usual because they lived in a beach town. Their daughter paid them no mind, but rather, kept to pulling roses out of the ground and tossing them in their straw baskets.
Those roses. She would remember them once they reached past the moon. Pris had thought that maybe they should turn back and ride home. Rafa’s bicycle tires were slick and shiny once they passed through clouds. It made it difficult for him to peddle. At times, he rode ahead of her and then she would ride ahead of him, her hair growing long, her face brown and pink.
Three weeks before, they had gone to the corner market with their daughters and the butcher smiled at Pris and he caressed her hand lightly when he handed her the pink plastic sac full of oxtails. Rafa had been helping the girls scoop rice and when he saw the butcher do what he did, the rice fell to the floor like dust.
As the began to pedal faster and faster, pulling up and up, passing planets like paint, he brought the butcher scene up, and they began to yell and scream at each other in the vast black expanse. The butcher had always been throwing glances at her. Are you fucking him? He asked Pris, to which she answered Noooo! with so much anger it itched her throat. The true thing was that she had thought about the butcher and what he would be like, when she was sitting outside in the garden eating honeydew melon from her little chipped teacup as her daughters played cards. But that had been all. She did know that she teased her hair a little higher with her metal rat tail comb on days she knew she would see him. Him with a universe of blood-speckled matter on his apron, roped tight around his dark neck.
They had missed the moon. They had ridden too far. The touch of the planet was cold to the balls of their feet. Their hair was slick with rain. They set their bicycles in the cold and the wheels froze in the haze and blue roses began to grow and to grow and to bury them.
Monique Quintana is an Associate Editor at Luna Luna Magazine, Fiction Editor at Five-2-One Magazine, and a contributor at CLASH Media. Her novella, Cenote City is forthcoming from CLASH Books in the spring of 2019. She blogs about Latinx Literature at her site, bloodmoonblog.com, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Winter Tangerine, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Grimoire, Huizache: The Magazine for Latino Literature, and The Acentos Review, among other publications. You can find her at email@example.com