Archive | May 9, 2011

15 minute ficlet: Hey you Kids get off my lawn!

Originally posted here in response (well, it was supposed to be in response) to the prompt: “The fight’s begun, but not yet won / And I won’t become one more casualty.”

Fae Apoc, Apoc era.

There was a wounded godling in Nila’s back yard. This close to the city, you got the fights overhead sometimes, the wild aerial battles that looked like something out of a pre-gods movie. Sometimes you got debris falling nearby, telephone poles in the road, the occasional falling corpse or near-corpse, so Nila always kept the kids inside, just like when they’d lived out in tornado country. The way she figured it, godling fights came somewhere between act-of-god and natural disaster. You didn’t get in the way, you just tried to ride it out and clean up the damages afterwards.

But now the damn thing was flopped over like a dying fish, half in her carefully-tended koi pond, half in the flower garden that bordered it. Its wing was torn half-off, and it was bleeding into the pond and twitching, making more damage with every spasm.

“Damnit,” she muttered, peeking out between the shutters at it. “Get up, move on. Get off my yard.” But it wasn’t getting up. If whoever it had been fighting came down here to finish it off, there was going to be a giant battle in her backyard, and her garden would be torn to shreds. She needed the damn godling out of there before it was found.

She grabbed her weapons from the cabinet, sheathed them all except the broom, and shrugged into the reinforced leather biker-jacket. It had been a gift on her eighteenth birthday (that and a Kevlar baby sling); it looked like bravado rather than armor and could stop a bullet and slow down a small godling. This monster looked down and out, but she’d learned before the gods came back never to think that a wounded animal wasn’t dangerous.

She strode out to the pond, ignoring the old ache in her left hip and walking like she owned the place (since, after all, she did). “You,” she said firmly, when she was within easy earshot. “Out of my pond.”

It twisted, its broken wing flapping pitifully, and stared at her, a skinny girl carrying a broom. “Human,” it hissed. He hissed; up close, the thing was clearly male, and, if the part of him not covered in blood was any indication, not all that bad looking.

“Close, but no cigar.” She poked him in an open wound with the rowan broomstick, and was gratified by its hiss of pain.

“What do you want, little human,” he grumbled, shying away from the wood that was poison to his kind. His left ankle was twisted badly, and there was a bone sticking out of his right leg.

“Get out of my pond,” she reiterated.

He barked a laugh at her. “You are in the presence of a god and you worry about your fish?”

“I am in the presence of a fucked-up elf-fairy-alien, and it’s my goddamned yard. Get out of my pond or I’ll move you.”

“Little human…” Whatever else he’d planned to say was cut off by a rowan broomstick to the mouth. Nila played baseball on the weekend to keep her swing in shape; he toppled back into the pool, grabbing at his jaw.

“I keep telling you…” She grabbed his less-injured leg above the twisted ankle and dragged him out of her pond, trying to damage the flower bed as little as possible. “I’m not human.”

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15-minute ficlet: Walking With Him

Originally posted to 15-minute ficlets in response to the prompt “brand.”


Shuna held still while the tattoo artist worked the ink into her beck and back, ignoring, or trying to, her mother’s hovering disapproval.

“Shune-loon,” she began again, resorting to childish nicknames, “it’s a…”

“I know what it is,” she cut her off, the pain pricking along her spine making her shorter than was prudent with Mother Dearest.

Her mother plowed ahead anyway. “It’s a brand, Shuna. It’s marking you as his in permanent ink wrapped around your neck. It’s a collar you can’t take off. Couldn’t you just get a butterfly or something?”

“Hold still, please,” the tattooist murmured, cutting off her frustrated exclamation. She made herself relax, her forehead resting on the face pillow, and tried not to wonder what her mother was up to. She couldn’t even see her feet anymore.

It was the tattoo artist who spoke again, a few minutes later, sounding apologetic. “This glyph, miss, are you sure this is the one you want?”

She knew without looking which one was in question. “That’s his Name,” she murmured in response. “And that’s where it goes.”

“His Name?” The capital N suggested the concept wasn’t new. “That…”

“You see why I worry,” Shuna’s mother put in. “A Name like that and she wants to mark herself as his?”

“Mmmn. I see. But it’s her choice, isn’t it?” There was a challenge in the question that made Shuna smile.

“It is,” her mother agreed grudgingly. “But this isn’t how I brought her up.”

“I hear that a lot, here.” The needle was still working, avoiding the central glyph as the artist continued the pattern down her spine and around the sides of her neck.

“And what do you say, then?”

“I say…” Shuna fought not to jump as the needle hit the skin at the center of her neck, beginning the glyph, “that parents set children’s feet on a road, but it’s up to them where they walk it.”

“Even with him?” Her mother’s voice was getting hysterical as the inevitable was etched into her.

“Even with Death, yes.”


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