Archive | January 30, 2011

100-word ficlet: Runaway #weblit

Things were getting hot on land, so they took to the water: they stole a small pleasure yacht from an unguarded marina and vanished into the ocean before their pursuers could catch up.

The sea was cruel, but they were fast, and when they couldn’t beat her, they could trick her. She tried to kill them with her wild waves and sharp winds, but they clung to her back, like a cowboy on a bull. She bucked and kicked, but they held tight; in the end, she gave them what they’d come for.

Their pursuers never found them. Nobody did.

Based on eseme‘s prompt: “the Ocean!”

Um. 🙂

Care Package, a ficlit of necessity #weblit

Based in the same ‘verse/on the same planet as Friday’s 15-minute ficlet, this is from akatsuki_2007‘s prompt:

The cave system had a great deal of several things. It had water, in streams and dribbles and the occasional waterfall. It had light, coming down from always-maddeningly-inaccessible holes high above or from tiny holes in the more reachable rock, and it had bats.

Bat-like creatures, Becky corrected herself, although Vas wasn’t there at the moment to scold her. (She would have welcomed his scolding, if it had come with a rope long enough to get out of the caves). Apparently mammalian winged creatures who preferred enclosed spaces, ranging in size from large-mouse to small-cat.

They were edible, although they tasted, no matter how she prepared them, something like doom and something like starving-might-be-preferable, and were, as they seemed to have little fear of her, amazingly easy to catch.

They were still, barely, more tasty than the bugs that were the other life form around, and she needed the calories they provided.

After two days of waiting in one place for the rescue that didn’t seem to be coming, Becky had been on the move, marking her trail with fluorescent blue paint that would not be easily mistaken for anything natural to this planet, and surveying her route as best she could, with most of her tools still up in base camp. It was slow going, but it was the job she’d been sent here to do, and it was better than waiting to die.

It was also cold going, the caves only a few degrees above freezing in many places. She burnt a lot of energy simply staying warm. The balaclava her mother had slipped in to a tidy care package kept her face warm; the Bulgarian wool socks kept her feet from freezing. And the things-like-bats gave her the energy to burn, and motivation to get out of the caves and away from them.

She tried stewing the things; they made mush. She tried frying them in their own fat; they made jerky. Roasting them did the best, but it was time-consuming. Served tartar, they had a bitterness that made the meat even more inedible. To add insult to injury, it seemed as if she was allergic to their fur.

She had some Benadryl, due to the same care package (she’d given up spare boots to balance her weight book; she had not once regretted the lost of boots, and thanked her mother wordlessly for every time she dug into her pack). She couldn’t take it often; it made her too drowsy to properly map her route, and the once she’d tried, she’d forgotten to blaze for nearly half a mile and mixed up north and south three times in a row. Still, it helped her sleep.

Only the Bovril in the bottom of her bag had gone unused. The salty meat paste had been a childhood favorite, and her mother had never really gotten the memo when “Yay, Bovril” had turned into, “crap, not Borvil again?” There it was, the heaviest thing in the care package, wrapped in her last remaining wool sock.

In desperation, eight days of stewed bat into her spelunking, Becky tried mixing the two, stewing the bat in a solution of Bovril and stream water, with a few cattail-like-plants roots cut into it for texture. To her surprise and relief, the resultant mush was not only edible, it was palatable. A little experimentation proved to find the ratio that was actually tasty.

Becky sent up another silent thank you to her mother, light-years away in her London flat, as she fell asleep for the first time in days with a contentedly full stomach. Now all she had to do was find a way out of the caves before she ran out of Bovril and Benadryl.

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Worldbuilding passing thoughts

Today’s question for which I have yet to come up with an answer:
Are the gods of Reiassan real?
If they are real, how active are they in their worshipers’ lives?
(On a loose scale between New Testament Jehovah and Greek Zeus)
How much like their worshipers think they are, are they?

I think that they’re real, they actually exist.
We were bantering about the idea of yearly 1040ez’s for the gods
(bureaucratic deiocracy!)

But, as T pointed out, if you have gods that come down and say This is the Way Things Are, you’re less likely to have religious wars over interpretation: “If the Blue God comes down every Thursday, then if people start a war over what you’re supposed to sacrifice to him on Monday, on Thursday he’s going to be like, ‘what are you people doing? No, no, cut that out.'”

So. The gods are real. Perhaps the avatars they choose to portray themselves vary?

Edited to add:

They each show up, once a year, on their holiday. They take a non-human form at that time, and where they show up is … seems to be random, although it it not really. This is the time they communicate in any fashion with their followers.

Thinking the Blue have the most organized theology and the best records of these visits.

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