Musical Prompt: Bela Fleck, Flight of the Cosmic Hippo

Sneaking behind pillars in a camel-colored trench coat, collar up, tan brimmed hat down over his eyes, Mr. Sasso stalked Mrs. Bettle. He knew she did not have his best interests at heart. He had overheard her in the telephone booth, speaking in Finnish–which he just happened to speak–telling Rosco she would meet him ten minutes after sunset at the beach. She would be sipping absinthe in a red-feathered hat.

Who was Roscoe? Mr. Sasso wasn’t sure he wanted to know, but he suspected he was the jeweler. There were rumors of some hot rubies entering the market last week, and corresponding rumors that the prince was a few jewels short of a crown.

How did Mrs. Bettle fit in? She always seemed to have her long gloved delicate fingers into everything nefarious in this town. How she stayed out of prison had everything to do with her Olympic gold medal in fencing.

Men were fascinated by her biceps, her triceps, the rhythmic sway of her hips. The government felt an enormous debt to her for putting their little country into six billion livingrooms during last year’s games in Madrid. For this, she expected protection for life, and if there was ever any question, her stilletto was still razor sharp, her perry quick and fearless, her lunge silent and deadly.

But how Mr. Sasso got into the espionage business was frankly a much more interesting story….

Alida Thacher, Friday Mornings, Summer 09

3 Responses to “Musical Prompt: Bela Fleck, Flight of the Cosmic Hippo”
  1. edubya says:

    I love the detail about the "camel-colored" trench, and the line "He knew she did not have his best interests at heart." It took me immediately for being concerned for Mrs. Bettle to being suspicious of her – a great surprise!

  2. Ha! How wonderful! I love the narrator's questioning and provoking the reader to question, too. What are the relationships? (a hint and a hint more) The narrator toys with the reader, taunts us to remain impassive. The rest must be told. Tell us Mr. Sasso's story now!

  3. I love the character names "Mr. Sasso," "Mrs. Bettle" and "Roscoe". Your use of details from the beginning, like the trench coat, collar up, no less, brimmed hat and the wonderful out of nowhere use of "Finnish" encapsulate the noir genre perfectly. Not to mention that she's a world class fencer! Hilarious and wonderful. This little rhyme almost did me in: biceps, triceps and rhythmic sway of her hips.

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