Read Me Elsewhere

Hello! If you’re only reading me  here, you’re missing things!

On Ko-Fi, free for anyone to read:


Hedging ItI’m sorry but this tree is not allowed…
Ornamental – The ornamental gardens had been a work in progress for well over a century.
Tangent – The books were a huge find.
Dead Crossing – Not nearly as dark as it sounds. 

On Patreon – those that are free are marked with a * – This month is Dragons Next Door; last month was Borders, Gates, and Crossings. 
🅿️
With the Freaks – if you love them so much, why don’t you live with them?
Blanket Fort  –  Every child’s blankie has magic.
The Meter Problem –  a story of Science!
The Eastern Gate – a story of the same gate from About the Gate
Drawing a Line – a line was growing in the sand.

The Haunted House – a yard diagram

The Expectant Wood – Nimbus’ Journey continues with Chapter 39: Tadpoles on Fish. Water Under Stones. and
Chapter 38: Too Many Questions

On Archive of Our Own – free to read and ongoing.
🗄️
Exchange Students – Harry is going to Addergoole. Porter is coming to Hogwarts. Nothing could possibly go wrong!
Reconstruction – The war is over, and yet Harry, Hermione, and Ron, Neville, Luna, and Ginny find they have another war on their hands. What’s more, Harry appears to have an enslaved Draco on his hands.

On Mastodon – free to read and fun to join; super short fics
Cake Walk, weird.

On Sufficient Velocity – an interactive Fae Apoc Quest
Rhiannon was not expecting any of this.  But now she’s got to figure out what to do while a bunch of jerks keep attacking her city. 
This has continued on quite entertainingly!  Stop in and vote in the quest.

And while I’m having trouble keeping it updated:

http://www.edallyacademy.com/ 

Hidden Mall 72: A Breather

They turned a corner to a hall they hadn’t been in before to find a Relaxation Center, which appeared to be a series of beds in the back and massage chairs in front.

“Now this,” Abby mutters, “every mall needs.  Let me tell you, when we get out of here, I’m going to get rich — somehow — and then I’m going to build a mall with a hotel attached.  A little one. But attached.”

“When we get out of here,” Olly retorted quietly, “I am never going into a mall again.  I might even avoid strip malls. Shop online. Buy from local boutiques in stand-along buildings.  Although, with all the shopping we just did, I might not need to shop for a few years.”

Abby flopped down on a bed.  “Guys, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’m so – so miserable.” Continue reading

Haunted House 52: Perfectly Safe

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
🌳

She was doing her damnedest not to be miserable.

Mélanie bit her lip. “It’s going to be dangerous,” she offered carefully.  The kitchen seemed too small, too tight; Jasper was getting ready to go out and she wanted to wrap herself around him and make him stay.

“I think it’s worth the risk.”  Jasper’s smile was still bright; he wasn’t looking at her right now, so she could look as worried as she wanted without bothering him.   “Besides, it’s not going to be that dangerous.” Continue reading

Running in the Bear Empire 47: You Will Die

 

First: Running in the Bear Empire
🐻

You WILL die.

The soldiers had begun backing up again.  Deline raised her chin in defiance at the enemy commander.

He had clearly had enough.  With an angry grunt, he shoved Teshone in front of him.  “Your turn,” he snarled.

The big man balked and stumbled.  His forward foot barely missed hitting the outer circle.  There was a blade pricking at him, urging him forward. Teshone looked at Carrone; he looked like he was pleading.

“No help in this direction, my ‘friend’.”  Carrone hissed it out quietly. It sounded like final rites for the dying. Continue reading

Beltane, After All

Written to Brian’s  prompt to my Third Rail Prompt Call

☘️

There were places that Macha, daughter of Nollaig, of Istvia’s line of the wisdom, would like to be for Beltane.

There were people she would like to spend the holiday with.

There were two in particular she would actively enjoy spending the holiday with and another seven who would be fun, and by the light of the Lady and the will of the Consort, that was where she ought to be.

The holiday was for such things, after all, for rolling in the grass under the Lady’s eyes and no other’s judgement. Continue reading

Spoils of War 12 – Flee!

First: Spoils of War I: Surrender
Previous: Animalia

The slug. Aran was looking behind them, where the slug-thing was still screaming on the salt. I feel bad for it.

Nikol swallowed a It wants to eat us and then a Well, for fuck’s sake, come on, and then, for good measure a Are you fucking kidding me?

What the hell was she supposed to say to that?

She stared at Aran while she considered those options and a few others and then, finally, decided to dump it back in his lap.

“What can you do for it that doesn’t endanger us?” Continue reading

How Does My Garden Grow…

It’s playing in the dirt time of year, and I’ve been doing a lot of it.

Well, not as much as SOME years, but a decent amount.

A couple few weeks ago was the local high school’s annual plant sale, where most of the local nurseries show up to sell you plants (go fig, what with it being a plant sale and all 😉

That was – well, not the start, but the lion’s share of our plant buying.

We have a bunch of brassicas, some peppers (poblano, mostly), an eggplant, a couple tomatoes, and some sweet potatoes.  Also two kinds of summer squash and four cucumber plants.

The two beds on the south end of our garden were already full — one is a now-permanent perennial bed with asparagus and strawberries, and the other is growing garlic we planted last year. It’s nice to have stuff up and ready to eat while everything else is just barely thinking about being tall enough for the chipmunks to eat.

(The damn pests pulled up my ONE habanada plant!  Killed it!  Again!) Continue reading

The Tiger and the Tree Girl

This is just a story piece that came to mind whilst driving.  Fae Apoc, about 15-20 years after the apocalypse. 

🐅

There was an accountant in the slave market.

Vepki was fairly certain that the man wasn’t actually an accountant, not some fifteen or so years after the world had ended.  There were probably still places that needed such things, but Springfield wasn’t one of them.

The accountant was reading the signs above the cages – rather like a zoo, Vepki thought, which was more appropriate than most would know.  He smiled, a snarling expression that would probably scare away the accountant.

That was fine.  He didn’t particularly want to be purchased, anyway. Continue reading

Hidden Mall 71: Shopping!

The letters sort of hung on the screen.  Abby thought her eyes might be beginning to blur.

SOME OF YOU ARE MORE DISTINCT THAN OTHERS.

“Good, good.  We all have two legs… wait.  Some of us might have four legs.”  The Animal Farm reference distracted her for a second.  What was it, Four legs good, two legs bad?

I HAVE NOT SEEN AN ABBY WITH FOUR LEGS, ALTHOUGH ONE CRAWLED.

“It was a bad joke.  Ah. If we shop for you, and send you others that will shop in you, will you hold the Abby you first made an agreement with?”

I CAN HOLD HER, AS LONG AS SHE DOES NOT COME INTO THE CONFIGURATION SHE MADE AN AGREEMENT WITH.  

On the screens to the left, the shops slid together until there was no escaping them.  Abby gulped.

“Which configuration will you hold her in?”

CLEVER.  The screens all flashed for a moment, the images jiggling.  ALL CONFIGURATIONS EXCEPT THE ONE WITH WHICH THE OTHER ABBY MADE THE AGREEMENT.

“Okay.”  Abby relaxed.  “You must like us.”

YOU ARE PLEASANT BEINGS. WE HAVE AN AGREEMENT.  WHEN YOU ARE DONE SHOPPING, GO TO THE VERANDA EXIT AND THE DOOR WILL TELL YOU HOW TO GET TO THE NEXT MALL YOU NEED TO GET TO AND HOW TO GET HERE WHEN YOU NEED TO.

“…This is really possible?”

Abby barely registered the credit cards dropping on the desk in front of her.

MANY THINGS ARE POSSIBLE IF THEY ARE NEEDED.  THIS IS NEEDED. I WILL HOLD THE OTHER ABBY IF SHE COMES HERE.  SHOP. EAT. REST. MOVE ON.

Abby picked up the credit cards.  “Thank you.”

THANK YOU.

“Okay girls, let’s shop.” She found herself smiling, giddy, ready to whoop.  She had a magical credit card and a whole mall to play in. She was going to enjoy it.

An hour later, they flopped in the food court, their table laden with food and bags all around them. ‘Via had been the hardest to coax to shop; she had spent too long in the malls and too long bitter.  In the end, Olly and Liv had done it by trying on things and showing them how they’d look on her.

A doppleganger would be nice for shopping, Abby mused.  Shopping and knowing what I’m thinking and so many other things.  “If only the other me wasn’t evil,” she muttered out loud.

Olly shot her a look.  “You can’t help that, you know.  You can only be yourself. You can’t do anything with the way they are.”

“I know.”  She sighed.  “I’m being stupid.”

Liv shot her a look.  “Which definition is this?  Like mooning over a jerk, or being ridiculous and not telling the teacher when you’re being bullied, or-“

“Oh.”  Olly blinked.  “Jealousy.”

“Well…” Abby sighed.  “Yeah. Something like that, I think. Like I said, stupid.”

“Your Abby has flavors of stupid?” ‘Via leaned forward, looking curious, chewing on a chicken wing.  The food had come without any apparent people, the same way every store had taken their credit card. “And – acknowledges it?”

“What?  I’m a human being.  And Liv is my best friend.  I mean, Liv has seen me through all sorts of stupid — even before this.”  She leaned in closer to her friend.

“This wasn’t your stupid.”  Liv was suddenly really quiet.  “This was totally my stupid.”

“I mean, to be fair, I think it was, uh, technically my doppelganger’s evil.” She poked at her food.  “I mean, the mall would’ve been interesting but safe otherwise, I think – I mean, if we can believe what anyone tells us.”

The thought was depressing.  The whole thing was depressing. She sighed a little, then realized what she was doing and tried to shake herself out of it.

“It’s not your fault, you know.  You’re really trying. You’re trying to take care of us, which is – it’s weird, and I like it, but it’s good. And you’re doing your best to come up with an answer instead of just finding a place to hunker down.” ‘Via leaned over and very awkwardly hugged Abby.  “You didn’t do this. Just because she had your face didn’t mean she was you.”

“Thanks.”  She hugged ‘Via back, surprised that it actually did make her feel a little better.  “Thanks, guys. I’m sorry, I dunno what came over me.”

“Well,” Olly pointed out, “the whole stress of being stuck in a horror movie?  I mean, that’s not the most cheerful thing.”

“And finding out -”  ‘Via trailed off. “Anyway, it’s not surprising, really.  It’s okay to be a little upset, you know. It’s human.”

Abby poked at her food a little more.  She was getting really tired of food court food, but even saying it seemed ungrateful – it could be man-eating fruits or no food at all, after all.

“Just try to eat a little,” Liv coaxed.  “And then we’ll figure out a place to rest before we head on.”

“Okay, okay.”  She ate every soggy vegetable and managed three breaded chicken bits.  She should’ve done a sub. That would have been smarter. But no, she’d gotten General Tso’s chicken, because it always made her feel better.

Under normal circumstances.

Which was not what they got to see anymore…

She shook herself.  “Okay. I’m good. Guys?”

“Hold on.” Via dug in her bag and passed over a premixed shake of some sort.  “Here, you drink this. I’ve got a few and they ought to go down easy enough.”

It tasted sort of like liquid chalk with a little chocolate flavor, but it did go down easier than the chicken.  Abby muttered her thanks. She wanted to move on; she wanted to sleep. She wanted to find her other self and punch her; she wanted to believe that there wasn’t really someone who had her face who’d done all this.

She wallowed another miserable noise with another mouthful of shake.  Olly hugged her again, and that just made her made more stupid noises.

“All right,” Olly murmured.  “Let’s find a place to sleep.  Then we can worry about the world – worlds – in the morning, okay?”

Olly could steer.  Abby let herself be directed, her eyes half-closed.  

Want more?