My Weekend, with Beets

Hello!

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but let’s see.

I have two major non-writing, non-work things going on in my life right now: Getting the yard ready for autumn/winter, and Finishing the $*( attic.

This weekend was mostly yard.  We dug up potatoes and beets (yes, we’re pretty sure that’s a beet).  We chopped down the horseradish and walking onions so that we can dig up the horseradish soon. (“this smells like an angry Polish soup.”)

We planted garlic!  (And hyacinths…)  We cleared out one of the back beds of weeds and planted a cover crop of oats (an experiment).  We harvested mustardseed and eggplants and peppers.
(and that beet….)

We brought the bay tree and lavender inside, the lime tree having already come inside.  We dumped some pots and cleaned them out for next year.  We trimmed back the asparagus.

(The Kale, parsley, and sage will be fine for at least another month).

We put the grill in the garage.  We bought a lawnmower.

(We bought a lawnmower!)

(WE BOUGHT A LAWNMOWER.)

At about that point, T. asked how tired I was, and I could manage about “uh-hunh.”

But now I’ve bought more garlic, I’ve bought some Liquid Nails and some spray foam, and today:  BACK TO THE ATTIC.

I mean, once I get out of work.

But hey, we got some garlic planted!!  We’ve never managed that quite on time before!

 

Cya, Librarian

Early in Cloverleaf-era


Sometimes, Cya thought her power had a sense of humor.

She’d learned how to craft specific Find requests, because, if she wasn’t looking for something or someone specific (“nearest unbroken Bleach DVD;” “Leo”), her power had a bad habit of leading her on wild goose chases.

Like today.  Like “nearest cache of intact, unclaimed books in an accessible-by-me location, with at least two times the number of unique, intact books as the hours I drive to get there.”

Almost every one of those clauses, she’d added on after learning the hard way that her power could be painfully literal.

Today… today she was staring down at a 45-degree incline that had once been the floor of this library. From the looks of things, it had been tolerably sheltered from weather – this area wasn’t as cold or as wet as Cloverleaf, but it still did get precipitation – and peering down and over, she was pretty sure she’d be able to get more than the required 16 books out of here.

But first, she had to get down there, gather the books, and get back up. Continue reading

The Hidden Mall 40: Bad Ideas 💡

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Abby bit her lip and repeated herself.  “We have to explain things to her. And then, if it’s not what she wants…”

“Do you think we could find her a way home?”

“It’s not like we can find our own way home – or even out.”

The first came from one Liv, the second from the other.  They were starting to sound identical. Which, Abby supposed, made a certain amount of sense.”

“She has to know.”  Abby sighed. “I think we might need her, but we can’t just, well, force her to come along.”

It was too late already for that, she knew.  And if Vic-French could help them defeat the mall…

Still, she should have said something two malls ago and she was going to make sure she said something now.  She turned onto a new bridge and made her way, step by careful step, over to the edge of the mall, such as it was.

It took longer than it ought to have to get to the “store,” which happened to be, from the looks of things, some sort of tunic and … leggings? maybe? store.  There were only a few pieces of clothing left, hanging from wires or dropped on the floor.

But there was a floor. Continue reading

Haunted House 25: Finding Him

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: What If?

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Mélanie knew, in a sense, that a Kept could tell where, loosely, their Keeper was.  That is: they could usually get a sense of “how far away” and “in what direction?”

She herself had used that ability to steal a few minutes of rest when her previous owners had left her alone, but it had never been a very strong connection.  Once, in a peaceful moment when they hadn’t been ordered to silence, another Kept – an older one, and one that had worn thin with years of bad Owners – had told her that the stronger the connection between the Keeper and the Kept, the less the Kept fought the bond and the orders, the more that they would be able to tell where their Keeper was.

Jasper had only Owned her for a day and a half.  He had been kind to her, yes, friendly and considerate, but that couldn’t had formed that strong of a Bond yet.  She closed her eyes and hoped it would be enough.

The trick was to not be thinking of anything except your Keeper.  That required not thinking about what had happened to him, or that she was out on her own for the first time in a very long time, or-

She shook herself.  Jasper. The crooked smile he got when he talked about his previous Kept.  The way he was careful to introduce her to the house. The way that it felt when he gave her an order.  The way it felt when he was happy with her, or when he touched her. The way it felt when he’d left for the day. Continue reading

Twenty-Two: Confidences in the Bear Empire

First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Revelations in the Bear Empire

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Carrone was spending far too much time working on the way that the bedroll lay.  It wasn’t like they had room to rearrange things, considering that their little cave was barely big enough for the two of them to sit up in and lie down in together. And he’d already cleaned up all the cooking supplies and re-packed them. t this point, it was clear that he was doing anything he could to postpone either looking at her or lying down next to her.

Deline would have bitten her tongue, but she was already holding it very firmly between her teeth.  He would say something or he wouldn’t. She’d already said too much.

Eventually, he scooted in to the bedroll closer to the exit.  She raised her eyebrows at him as he finally looked at her.

He cleared his throat. Continue reading

Bliss, Ignorance, Beauty – Truth?

There was a room in the middle of the megalopolis, in the heart of the business district, in the center of a skyscraper.

The room was not large, not in a place that used every inch of space and climbed higher for more, but it was enough.

It occupied a corner of no-man’s-land made when two zaibatsu had expanded into all other available space between them, a place neither had claimed quickly enough and now wouldn’t dare usurp. It was hard to find; you had to be told where it was, and even then, you usually had to be guided.

Almost unique in all the megalopolis, there was no charge to enter, but one was only allowed to stay for an hour at a time, and one was only allowed to visit once per week.

Because in this strange room with the very soft floor and the even softer furniture, with no gatekeeper save one small robot that looked like nothing more than a miniature flying saucer; in here, staring at the ceiling made to look like a sky with no buildings around, for your allotted hour – you could forget.

In here, you would feel the breeze on your skin, the sunshine on your face, the grass beneath your hands, and for an hour, you would be blissfully ignorant of everything the world had to offer.


Written to Sept. 27th’s Thimbleful Writing Prompt – Ignorance is Bliss.

Haunted House – an interlude

This comes after/in time with What If and is a bonus interlude written to Thnidu’s commissioned request for more.


Alone, the house checked her doors — all closed and locked, the kitchen and front doors ready to open at a moment’s notice.

She checked her security, all of the Workings and traps woven around the remains of the front garden and side lanai.  She considered the fence and determined it to be holding firm.

And then… she waited.  Alone, without people of meat and bone yo interact with, the house tended to settle in to a much slower pace — glacial, a former tenant had teased her, but glaciers moved slower, lives longer, than even houses.  

She could focus on a single thought, a single emotion, for hours, days, weeks when alone.

Now, she considered her newest tenant.  She tolerated Jasper, found him a little ridiculous but not unpleasant.

She was finding she was fond of Mélanie.

Want more?

Funerary Rites 26: Owned

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Erramun shifted on his knees but didn’t stand.  He didn’t look at her, didn’t move to touch the ink.  He seemed to be staring off into space.

Senga walked around behind him and brushed a feather-light touch over his shoulders.  

He twitched and leaned forward, away from her touch.  She moved her hands and moved back around in front of him.

His hands had come to clasp behind his back.  His eyes looked blank. Senga frowned. “Errmun?”

“Yes, mistress?”  His voice was rough and very quiet.  He looked like he was holding himself forcibly still.

“Senga,” she corrected.  “Erramun, what’s wrong?”

“Everything is fine… mistress.”  His shoulders were tight. She wanted to touch him again, but it seemed like it was hurting him. Continue reading

Beauty-Beast 43: Introductions

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Ctirad had no expectations as he followed Timaios down a very nice hallway.  The art here was different, less bland, all of it of the skyline, of the city, but from many different eras. It had feeling, he thought, even if you could see the style evolving over the centuries.

Timaois nodded to a man with shoulders so broad he could probably carry Ctirad across them easily; the man nodded back.  “Mr. Kaprinsky . Anything you need, sir?”

“No, thank you, Eddy.  Ah. This is Ctirad. He’s with me, and is okay to enter without me as well.”

“Very good, sir.”  The look Eddy gave Ctirad appeared to be scanning him, taking in everything from his height to his haircut.  “Is this what you normally look like, sir?”

Ctirad did not blush, but only because he had very good control over his Mask.  He cleared his throat. “The face, yes. You’ll have to ask Himself here about the rest.”

“The hair will probably be growing out, but the rest of him is as you see it, yes.”  Timaios chuckled. “On the ball as usual, I see, Eddy.” Continue reading

The Hidden Mall 39: Don’t Look Down 👇

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Abby didn’t pay much attention to the Livs and Vic talking behind her.  She was too focused on getting from their entryway to the far side of the mall without falling over the edge of the walkway.

As she walked, she realized that it was pretty unlikely – the sway, while it seemed pretty extreme, was actually very limited, and the sides were a fine mesh that wouldn’t allow anyone to slide through.

“It doesn’t seem like a very good – oh.”

Abby stopped.  “Oh?” She did not want to turn around.

“You don’t want to look off to the left right now, Abs, trust us.” Continue reading