Archive | February 2011

15 minute ficlet: Through the snow

From another 15minfic prompt, this one a photo. It insisted on being FaeApoc. And I kept writing for 2 more paragraphs after where it wanted to end. You’re welcome. 😉

Ken stumbled, caught himself, and stumbled again. He was exhausted, no past that. Exhausted had been several miles, or at least a long time of walking, back.

He was freezing already; if he fell, the falling snow would cover him, and he would be a corpsicle for a long time before anyone found him, if anyone ever did. But there were lights in the distance; if he could get there, he could get help.

He wasn’t dressed for the weather; they hadn’t been expecting the dragons in the sky, or the wyrm-creature that ripped up the highway. They’d hit the grocery store and been on their way to the mall. Now Sarah was dead, and Aisha…

…well, he’d bandaged her wounds the best he could with his T-shirt, left her wrapped up in the back seat with his coat and hers covering her and the easiest-to-eat of the groceries. He’d taken one bag for himself, the one with the candy bars and, stupidly, the lightbulbs. Couldn’t eat lightbulbs. Then he’d started walking, looking for help.

The roads were chaos, the area near the highway a mess. No-one wanted to help; all they wanted to do was get away, get as far away as they could from the monsters, from the strange godlings in the sky fighting the monsters, from the lightning bolts and fireballs being thrown like bad CGI come to life. No-one worried about one skinny college kid. He wondered if they’d listen more if they could see behind his Mask, or if they’d just kill him on sight, assuming he was another monster.

He stumbled again, tripped, and fell. The snow was cold, but it was so soft under him, and he couldn’t bring up the energy to stand. He had to stand. He had to be found, or they’d never find Aisha. He reached for the last candy bar, ate it in two gulps, washing down the sickly-sweet sugar taste with mouthfuls of snow, and tried to bring himself back to his feet.

He made it four feet, maybe four yards, before his foot caught on a rock and his ankle buckled beneath him. The groceries caught his fall, the lightbulbs spilling out over the snow.

Lightbulb. He blinked groggily at the twist of glass. His feet might not move anymore, but maybe he could find a little more energy…

“Tempero hiko,” he muttered. The body had electricity in it, right? He could control it. He could…

The bulb lit, flickered, and stayed lit. Ken put his head down on the ground and tried not to fall asleep.

The world was cold, so very cold, when he heard a voice say, “hey, hey kid. Wake up!” the hands brushing the snow off him felt like they were brushing off his skin; he tried to scream and found that he had no energy for a voice. “Oh, thank god,” the voice said. “He’s alive. Come on, kid, let’s get you inside.”

“Aisha…” he muttered, as strong hands lifted him from the snow.

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15 minute ficlet: Who’s Right, Who’s Wrong, Who’s Left

From Ty’s prompt here, written in 12 minutes.

“These sort of things just polarize the group more, that’s all I’m saying, Anna. And it doesn’t seem like a good idea.”

“But having a debate is a calm, rational way to work out differences over an issue.” Anna sat on the kitchen counter and kicked her feet despondently, half-heatedly peeling carrots while Cassie seared one of their last slabs of meat. “I don’t see what the problem is.”

“The problem is that you’re expecting humans to act calm and rational. That only works now and then in the best of circumstances, and, really, hon, you can’t say this is the best of circumstances. Are you done with the carrots yet?”

“No, Mom.” She peeled the carrots with more alacrity, stashing all of the peels in their compost bin before moving on to slicing the potatoes. “I don’t get it, though. Back in school, they were really big on ‘man is a rational, thinking being.’ So why can’t we act like it? Why do you and Aunt Sarah and Uncle Todd seem to think that we’re all going to turn into ravening monsters is we sit down and discuss an issue?”

“Well, because ‘thinking being’ is all well and fine, but are you telling me you’ve never seen an argument boil over?” She pinched some hoarded spices into the pot.

“I guess, yeah, but, like, kids. Or, I guess, Uncle Jack and Dad after they’d been drinking. Or you and…”

“So yes,” Cassie cut her off. “People argue. Tempers flare. And when it’s an issue like this… well, everyone’s invested, aren’t they? This isn’t like your high school debates, Anna, where the subject really didn’t mean all that much to anyone. This is life or death for every person here.”

“Which is why I think we ought to actually discuss it! Not leave it up to the mayor. Not just do some secret ballot. But actually sit down and talk about it and figure out, between all of us, what the best option is.”

“Honey, it’s not going to happen like that. I’m sorry, but this isn’t the sort of situation where people are going to calmly go over their options; everyone already has an opinion.The bunker is already divided pretty clearly; staying quiet about it is all that lets people live this close to one another. If you bring it out in the open, if you polarize it, then everyone has to live with the fact, actually face up to it, that they disagree fundamentally with someone living three feet away from them.”

“But it’s all so complicated! Open the door or don’t. Send one person through the lock, don’t send anyone, we all go. How do we know what the right answer is if we don’t talk about it?”

“Honey,” Cassie sighed, “debate doesn’t tell you who’s right. It just tells you who’s loudest.”

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Wordlbuilding – stealing from other languages fail.

When figuring out what to call the shirt-garment worn by the Callanthe people in my Reiassan setting, I decided to name it a qitari, since it was a combination of a Chinese qipao and a Turkish entari. I was pronouncing this kee-tar-ree

Something we were watching on TV yesterday had a qi word, pronounced chee- something. And I said, “am I pronouncing my made-up word wrong?”

A little Googling later, I determined that yes, yes I was:

So it’s a chee-tari.

Cool. 🙂

P.S. There will be writing here again soon, I promise.

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What makes you awesome?

Heard this on the radio and it was too cool not to share:

Tell me, what makes you awesome? What about you makes you a cool human being?

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