Archive | April 2011

Drabble: Collateral Damage

From dailyprompt: “Stunt Double.”


Three Word Wednesday,
foolish, mercy, relish.

Fae Apoc.

“Do you think we were unwise?” Jackie twisted to look at the unconscious man-boy in the back seat; shirtless, rain-drenched, unconscious, he looked even younger than he had cowering in the corner.

“That sort of mercy is always foolish,” Anne answered, but, seeing the expression on her sibling’s face, relented a little. “But I’m sure we can work something out for him. He’s kind of a nice little rabbit, isn’t he?”

“Mm, more of a ferret?” Jackie mused. “Or a mink.”

“He does have sharp teeth.” Anne rubbed her arm ruefully. “But I thought we weren’t going to skin him.”

“Otter, then.”

“Good, I’ll throw him in the water. So, basically, you think he’s a weasel. And yet you saved his life.”

“Well, he’s a cute weasel. Not quite a weasel. Marten. Like that pine marten we saw last week. And it wasn’t his fault, really.” She glanced back at their captive again. “Okay, the biting was his fault, and he really seemed to relish it when he kicked me in the shins, but I guess I can’t really blame him.”

“I can,” Anne muttered. She glanced in the rearview at the boy, and then further back. “Is that a tail?”

“No, they just pulled on at the last exit. Just an asshole.”

“Throw a blanket over the kid anyway, would you? I don’t want someone calling the cops.”

“I’m sure the cops are already looking for us.” She tucked the blanket around the unconscious boy anyway, trying to ignore the double twinge of maternal-like concern and assassin-like homicide. It wasn’t the kid’s fault that the target had had a stunt double. It probably wasn’t even his fault that he’d attacked them; he had a bit of a brainwashed look to him, conscious. But he did look exactly like the man they’d left dead in Detroit, down to the mole on his cheek and the way the dyed-red curl in the front hung enticingly over his forehead. Someone had to have shifted him at some point; even twins didn’t look that similar.

“We almost killed the wrong guy,” she muttered.

“We almost killed an extra guy,” her sister corrected. “Do you really think we would have failed to notice when he fell over with lead bullets and didn’t get back up?”

“If he did,” she countered. “Are you sure he’s human?”

“What makes you think he’s not?”

“The way he went catatonic when we killed his Keeper.”

“Keep… oh.” It was rare she got to see Anne taken aback; she relished it a little bit even while making sure the guy behind her was, indeed, just an asshole. “You think he’s an Owned halfbreed?”

“He certainly was acting like it. I mean, enough mind control could do it, too, so I guess we’ll have to wait until he wakes up.”

“Speaking of which, he’s not likely to do so before we get to a safe house, is he?”

“Nah.” She tapped the boy’s forehead lightly. “He’s out. Human or fae, he won’t be waking up until I want him to.”


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Designing a towel shawl @inventrix


So, from what I recall from my Douglass Adams, the nice thing about a towel isn’t just that you look like a respectable creature, but that it serves as:
* clothing
* blanket
* and, of course, a towel.

So a towel shawl should be of appropriate dimensions to be minimal clothing and blanket. On me, that’s about 5 foot by 25″ (chin-to-floor by half shoulder circumference). It needs to be towel-absorbant, and not a lacy pattern, or at least not primarily lacy, although one could probably get away with a pattern down the center.

This looks like a good base to work from

I’m picturing a wide seed stitch border around all 4 sides, fringe on the narrow ends, and possibly a lace or texture pattern down the long center for knitting and visual interest.

Now! Rainbow. The easy way I can see to do this nicely is wide stripes of color transitioning in Fibonacci narrow stripes to the next color.

Yarns, quick options:

3 Weeks for Dreamwidth, aka “where’s the stuff?”

Dreamwidth is doing a three-weeks-for-Dreamwidth thing, so there are a few posts that will appear only on Dreamwidth, on purpose, rather than being xposted, as I normally do.

Those posts can be found here:

Now, mind you, I’m also just having a slow week, so there’s not a lot there, either; there’s just not a lot of stuff in general coming out of me this week. Not *writing* stuff, at least.

Drabble: Keeping a hold on things

From [community profile] dailyprompt: “knowing where your towel is.”

Autumn/Stranded world, goes along with Enclosed

“The shawl is a new look for you,” Anja commented over tea.

Autumn plucked the edge of the rainbow-hued garment in question, tucked around her hips like a skirt. “Always know where your towel is,” she explained cryptically. “Besides, Aunt Happy knit it for me.”

“Aaah.” Autumn’s Aunt Happenstance making something was reason enough to hold onto it; she was a Weaver. But Anja still tilted her head. “Hitch-hiker’s guide? I didn’t figure you for a fan – and, besides, your towel’s a bit prettier and a bit more handcrafted than Ford’s.”

“Well, it’s also more socially acceptable.” She smoothed the cloth, feeling she owed her old friend more explanation. “The book has a couple good points, even if I’m not a fan. And, face it, I live an essentially itinerant lifestyle. A multi-tasker that I never have to leave behind is a pretty useful thing to have around.”

She should have left it at “Aunt Happy.” Anja, no fool, raised one questioning eyebrow. “Autumn, what happened?”

She slumped a bit in the patchwork Queen Anne chair. “Someone stole my van last month at Rhinebeck.”

“Oh, god, the poor thing! What did you do with the body?”

Autumn glowered over her scone at her friend. “An, my van does not eat people.”

“No, no, of course not, but it’s been known to chew on them.”

“Only a little, and only when they really deserved it.”

“So, I repeat, what did you do with the body?”

“I drove him to the hospital,” she admitted in a mutter. “But it took me three days to find him – and the van.”

“Aaaah.” And the lovely thing about friends like Anja was that they really did understand. “Thus the sudden connection to portable belongings. Where are you hiding the tent?”

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“…or both…” the third 200-word request, for @Inventrix

There was a hole in the universe. Autumn stared at it, curious and a little bit horrified. Sometimes the strands split a little bit, letting things leak through from one world to another, but this was a genuine hole, visible not just in the stranding, but to mundane sight.

This couldn’t be good. And yet, it could be very interesting. She eyed the edges of the portal thoughtfully. It was just a bit wider than her shoulder-span, maybe three feet tall, and glowing blue around the edges. She could step through it easily. (Anyone could step through it easily; it was hanging out there plain as day).

She ought to call a weaver to seal it. And she would, right? She grinned wickedly to herself, feeling more wild than she had in years, as she stepped through the portal.

She had been standing in a hayfield; she tripped as she stepped through onto a mountainous cliff. Strange; the world-holes she’d stepped through before had been mirror-worlds, not all that different in the broad details. This didn’t even feel like home; the strands were different, the air was different. She took a steadying step forward.

Ahead of her, a proud-looking woman hailed her in an unfamiliar language. She was, it seemed, astride a very tall, broad-backed, saddled… goat?

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10-minute fiction: Holiday – Rin & Girey

From [community profile] dailyprompt: “Mandatory Holiday.”

Rin & Girey/Reiassan, to [personal profile] inventrix‘s request 2. Written in 10 minutes on Write-or-Die, with distractions.

After Heroics and before View-Point.

“This really is gorgeous.” They sat overlooking a long valley as the sun rose orange-and-pink, the clouds tiny fluffy things stained as pink as the sky. Breakfast was sweetened with a recent purchase of honey, and their tea was hot and fresh. “I haven’t seen anything like this since I went on vacation with my parents, when I was a boy.”

“There haven’t been any holidays since then?” Rin sipped her tea and watched her prisoner thoughtfully. He was loosening up; she wondered how long that would last.

“Nothing like that. State trips. Visits to other cities. And then war came again, and that was everything. And then you.” Girey looked at her sidelong, smiling.

“And then me,” she agreed, but she couldn’t help but return his smile. His face looked better that way, younger, and she was surprised to find that he had dimples. “It’s been a while for me, too.”

“The war?” he asked sympathetically. “Your people grow really good tea.”

“The war, among other things. But now…”

“Now we have tea and honey,” he teased, “and beautiful sunrises.”

“I guess we can think of it as a mandatory holiday,” she joked.

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15-minutes of Fiction: Fertility (trigger warnings)

From [community profile] dailyprompt: “ancient fertility rite.”

Warning: implied sexual violence. Also? Weird. Written in 15 minutes on Write-or-Die, with distractions.

“Come on, Jen,” Isaiah coaxed, tugging her hand, trying to urge her up the strangely symmetrical hill. “It’s an ancient fertility rite.”

“Do you really think we need fertility?” she complained, even as she gave in to his tugging. The path seemed to spiral the hill, though it looked, upon closer inspection, to be circular paths joined by short stairways. Everything looked ancient, like Isaiah’s mythical fertility rite, and yet nothing was falling down, the stairs were level, the paths smooth.

“Well, we’ve been trying,” he pointed out, “and trying, and trying…”

It had only been three months, but, instead of getting into it (again), she put on her best teasing expression. “I thought you were having fun with the ‘trying, and trying, and trying?'” And, just in case he thought she was complaining, she added, “I know I was. Am… are we going to try again here?”

“Something like that.”

She eyed him thoughtfully; over the last four weeks, he had been getting increasingly weird, squirrely, hiding things from her. At first, she’d thought it was another woman, or that, since he’d been complaining so much, the “pressure” of having a baby. Not that there ought to be pressure; she was only twenty-four. Time was not exactly running out.

“Ise, let’s just go home, please?” she tried. “It looks like it’s going to storm any moment now.” The stairs were getting steeper, and this was a lot more real exercise than the treadmill at the complex’s gym.

“If we do it right, it will do more than storm,” he murmured. Really frightened now, Jen tried to pull away, but his grip was implacable, and he’d gotten to full-out yanking when she dug her feet in. “Come on, Jen, don’t get stupid now, of all times.”

“Of all times? Ise, what are you talking about?” She let him yank her to the top of the hill, where the conical shape leveled into a slight depression, with a smaller cone of stone protruding from the top. That obelisk was maybe six feet tall, if one could gauge from the height of the frightened girls tied to either side of it. “Isaiah!”

But he was throwing her down on the ground, on a spot where, from the way the ground was indented, others had done the same, and the storm was beginning to open up as he pushed her legs open. “I’m sorry, Jen,” he muttered, “but I really, really, need that baby now.”

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My dreams are awfully derivative…

So that was a strange dream-fragment. Not a story option as presented, because it stole heavily from other things, including my own settings, Star Wars, Wen Spencer, and a Sherri Tepper book, but interesting.

Just a vignette. A tall white-skinned woman with a physical resemblance to Ventress,but with hair (more on that later) was walking with another person, mentioning that “I think, when I head home, we’ll just raid some men from another colony who might have some spine…”

Background “known” by the viewer:
* As in the Wen Spencer’s A Brother’s Price, there was a very high woman-to-man ratio; the dream said 12:1, and the “men” were, as in my Tir Na Cali and to paraphrase a David Brin novel pallid sires who father a pallid race. Pampered, spoiled pets.

I think that, as in Sherri Tepper’s Sideshow, the white-skinned women with their pampered bois lived in one settlement on a planet that had several different subspecies of humanity, and that they were going to raid men from one of those… not certain, though.

The hair thing was neat: the women had black head hair which grew in essentially giraffe spots; some women in their clan-sister arrangements shaved it short, to show the white lines between the black fuzz, while others grew it long and braided each spot individually in long thick braids. I don’t know if the men had spots.