Hidden Mall 65: Ignoring the Right Advice

“So all the people who have come through here,” Abby swallowed.  She was feeling very parched again, as if the ghost mall had taken longer to get out of and taken more out of her than she’d guessed or anticipated.  “All of those people, and only three of them were us.  Where did the rest of us go?”

“I think you know-” Yadira stopped herself again with a small huff.  “The practice of being obscure is a hard one to break. I apologize. I think that many, many Abigails have died, and that while not as many Olivias have died, many have been stranded.”  She paused, and then admitted, so softly that Abby could barely hear her, “That magic is new. The fact that only pairs – and only specific pairs – can travel the malls is very new. So much has happened since the curse came down.  It’s changed everything about this place, and none of it for the better.” She looked between them solemnly. “How did you come to this particular place?”

“Ignoring advice we’d been given,” Abby admitted. Continue reading

Haunted House 46: Further Plans

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
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“You don’t – you can’t – you would – what would you-”  Mélanie caught herself and focused very carefully on her breathing for several breaths.  “Sir. Jasper.” She looked at him with wide eyes and found that his grin had stuttered into something of a worried expression.  She patted his shoulder, not wanting him upset, and cleared her throat. “I’m sorry you, you, ah, you caught me by surprise. What did you mean – what-”

“Oh, Mélanie, my sweetness.”  Jasper pulled her into a tight hug, rubbing her back until she could breathe again.  “I didn’t meant to upset you, I didn’t. Why does this- what upsets you?”

She peered up at him from the confines of the hug.  “I don’t want you to risk yourself. I was so upset when the  – when those thugs had you, and I, if you got caught, it would be horrid.  I don’t want something like that happening to you!” Continue reading

Running in the Bear Empire 43: Home

First: Running in the Bear Empire
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“You know, we could probably live here pretty comfortably forever.”  Carrone looked at the door of the cabin and back to Deline before setting his pack on his shoulders.  “I’d get better at hunting eventually.”

“I’m not sure you’d say that in winter.”  Deline smirked at him, although she could guess easily enough what was going on in his head.  They were leaving, which meant they were going to the capital. When they got there, everything could change. Continue reading

Blog Post: Here, kitty, kitty

I asked on Discord what I should blog about this week, and the suggestion that came back way my cats.

Okay, I can talk about them pretty much endlessly!

… crap, what do I say?

🙂

If you’ve missed it, T. and I have three cats.

The slightly-older two are white-and-grey fluffbucket Norwegian Forest Cat mutts.  They are loud, they are affectionate, demanding, and they chew on everything.  Furniture.  Firewood.  They commonly eat their way out of cardboard boxes.  Sharp teeth!  Oli (Oligarchy) is a bit bigger, longer-furred in the “ruff” and “pantaloons”, more likely to be demanding in the food department.  He sleeps on my feet at the beginning of the night and usually by my shoulder when he thinks I ought to be getting up. Continue reading

Been to Middle Earth; Do you speak my language?

Okay, this is entirely because DaHob sent me the link to Talk Nerdy to Me

Woman Elf: Medium Skin Tone on Twitter Twemoji 12.0

When Nat first saw the ads shouting  “win a trip to Middle Earth,” she assumed it was just another studio amusement park, like “spend a weekend in the Wizarding World” or “Cruise on the Black Pearl.”

It wasn’t until she was lured by a clickbait article that she caught a clue as to what was really going on.

“Portal trips to other universes: are they as safe as they seem?”

It turned out that the answer was a firm no, something hammered home as Nat’s native guide physically moved her out of the way of a swinging mace and dropped her onto the back of a sturdy pony.  “Tourist gold, they said,” he muttered.  “Bringing fresh eyes and fresh treasure to Middle Earth!  Nobody said they’d be idiots without the sense to come in out of the rain!”

“Hey!”  She shifted on the pony and let it carry her away from the orcs.  “Let’s see you come to my world and see how you do in a strange place with strange dangers, hunh, Gladrin son of Gladuil?”

“Maybe I will, maybe I will,” he retorted.

“Good!  I look forward to it!”

Then, because she didn’t want to be the reason that the Ugly American trope was carried to another universe, she added, much more politely, “thank you for saving me.  Do you think, for the rest of this trip, you could perhaps show me the things that you like the best about your land?”

She thought from the expression – the beard made it hard to tell – that she’d surprised Gladrin.

“That I will, little human,” he consented.  “That I will.  And perhaps we can return you to your land intact, mmm?”

Hidden Mall 64: Selling for Information

Abby was about to step in front of her friends when she found ‘Via stepping in front of her.  “You leave her alone.  We’re not selling anything, we’re not buying anything, we’re not giving anything.  We’re just passing through. That’s it.”

“Oh,” the woman clucked, “but I have information.  And I am willing to give it in exchange for something – if you have something you want to sell me.”

“That sounds-” Now Olly, too, was in front of her “-a lot like buying something, and we don’t want to do that.  Not here.”

“And that’s wise.  It is always wisest to never take anything that seems like too good a deal at the moment.  So let’s see. Well, or too dear a deal, of course.  If you want information-“ Continue reading

We Meet Again (Strangers in the Stream)

For my birthday weekend, I challenge(d) people to leave me prompts that would be fun for me to write and also that the prompted would enjoy reading enough to give me fun feedback on. 

Tall order, right? 🙂

🎂

“Shit, Dorian.”  Gianne eyed the bank of the overflowing river and then stumble-skipped down it, holding on to every branch and rock study enough to be a handhold; Dorian, an oversized golden retriever, stood at the top of the bank and barked helpfully.  “Shhh.”

The river was flowing fat and high, clearly over its normal banks, full of detritus, but none of that was what had caught her attention. The black hair with the single streak of white and the ashen face under it, barely held out of the water by the fork of a branch; it could be a corpse.  She was hoping it was still alive enough to save. Continue reading

Haunted House 45: Plans and Present

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
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“Listen.”  Jasper leaned forward towards Kearney. “In about a week, I’m going to have a job.  It might be tricky and it might be dangerous, but I’ll be watching your back, and I’ll pay well. I can’t tell you more right now – but can I find you if I come around here?” 

The kid shifted a little from foot to foot.  “Old barn, about a mile out of town that way,” they gestured.

“Okay.  I won’t show up unless I have some work for you and I won’t invade your space, but I might have something I need help with.  One thief to another, as it were.” Continue reading

Running in the Bear Empire 41: Discovery

First: Running in the Bear Empire
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Carrone was staring at Deline.  She didn’t care; she had a whole pack to go through. “Seriously,” he complained,  “why are we looking for a pebble in our packs? Do you know how long I’ve been carrying this pack?”

“Possibly as long as I’ve been carrying mine?”

“Probably longer!  What are you looking for?”

“Something larger than a pebble that isn’t something you packed,” she reiterated.  “Carrone, I will go through your whole pack myself if I have to.” Continue reading

Camp NaNoWriMo – Autumn Lightning

As I described last week, my Camp Nano project is a continuation/hopeful finishing of the Autumn Lightning project, a story about (three-people-in-one-body) following Leo around, sometimes accidentally, throughout the years after the apocalypse.

While one of the appeals of this story was being able to bounce around – it’s actually something like 40 connected short stories – I’m still on Cabin in the Woods.  This is part III – where Leo and Nathan (At this point being steered by The Other, the protector-face who uses They pronouns) go to get Leo’s weapons back from the slavers who’d captured Leo – and to deal with said slavers, too.

 

A man fell with a thump at the Other’s feet. They looked down at the man and then back up at Leo, twice, before deciding that Leo was done with this one.

They’d reached the third floor of the place and left it christened in death. Leo moved like a panther; three times the Social One had needed to remind the Other that they were not there just to watch, because Leo seemed to move like he required an audience, like the world itself said he should be watched.

You’re not normally this poetic. Are we killing this one?

The Other looked down at the man at his feet, back up at Leo, who was toying with a woman who didn’t realize she was being played with, and down at the man. “Slaver?” they snarled, quietly enough that it shouldn’t interrupt Leo.

The woman yelped as Leo caught her by surprise. The Other smiled broadly.

The man gulped and tried to scoot backwards, although he seemed dazed, one of his legs broken. “N-no, No, of course not. I’m – I’m-”

Lying, Social offered, as if the Other couldn’t figure that out for themselves.

Words so far this month: 7690

Goal thru yesterday: 7400