The Flash Gold Chronicles
by Lindsay Buroker
Copyright 2011 Lindsay Buroker
A tiny brazier burned on the deck of a foot-long model ship, sending hot air into an oblong patchwork of kerchiefs sealed with a custom paraffin concoction. The balloon expanded until it bulged like an overstuffed sausage casing. The miniature ship rocked on the workbench twice, then rose. Inch by inch, it levitated into the air.
A spool on the deck played out telephone wire that attached to a small control box. Kali McAlister wore a grin brighter than the Northern Lights as she picked it up.
She glanced toward the windows at the front of the workshop. The door was locked and the shutters pulled, but someone wondering why her tinkery was closed might press a nose against a crack....
“Don’t be paranoid,” she told herself. Dawson might have a bustling population compared to Moose Hollow, but she had not been open for business long, and she was lucky to get a customer a day.
Kali flicked one of the four tiny levers on the control box.
A signal pulsed through the telephone wire, and a click sounded inside the hull of the ship. Powered by a flake of flash gold, the miniature engine thrummed to life. Delight coursed through Kali, but anxiety as well. Lots of people suspected she had flash gold, her dead father’s alchemical masterpiece, but only her former beau, Sebastian, and her business partner, Cedar, knew for sure. If anyone caught a glimpse...