Archive | July 10, 2011

First Planting – Fae Apoc, Apoc, @ClareKRMiller’s Prompt

From [personal profile] clare_dragonfly‘s prompt: “Fae-apoc: the first planting.” Fae Apoc, clearly. Hob, I swear I got Dree from your name. (It’s actually Adriana Moreau, “dark one/little dark.” Um, she’s a bit dark. 😉

Dree surveyed the ruins of the city with a critical eye. Most of the people had left when the gods started fighting overhead. Of those who hadn’t, most had trucked out when the power plant had gone offline, or when the food stopped coming in. Dree and her small crew had lasted through that by building their fence up the moment trouble started, boarding up their windows when things got really bad, and moving into a nearby apartment building when the fires ruined their old neighborhood.

The winter had been hard, and they’d done their share of covert cheating to keep alive. The building hadn’t originally had a chimney, but who was left that knew that? A city of over a million now had maybe three hundred inhabitants, a good third of those refugees from larger nearby cities who hadn’t made it any further. They knew each other, their tiny conclave, only by what they chose to share, and, in Dree’s case, as in many others, that was precious little.

They’d made it through the winter on willpower, burnt furniture, and canned goods, but now the frost was gone, and something you could call spring was here. The yard near the apartment building had been a museum, once, and, inside, some art, mostly statues, still remained. But what mattered to them right now was the long stretch of ground which had been unplowed, mowed, fertilized, and well-tended for over a century.

They peeled off the sod, Dree and her crew and their team of fellow refugees, plowed up the lush, fertile soil, and planted scrounged seed after seed, watering with hoses and cans stolen from the houses of the dead and gone, muttering Workings when there were no humans to see.

Like the seeds, they had landed in a small corner of hospitable land in the midst of a burned-out wasteland. Like the seeds, they would grow and flourish. Like the seeds, they would live.

If I haven’t written your prompt yet, have no fear! I’ll be finishing them through the next few days!

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/75333.html. You can comment here or there.

Three Inches, unknown

This is from @Inventrix’s prompt for “a Pookah;” @DaHob picked species and name. Um, I might have just put pookah in Planner ‘Verse.

The world looked different down at 3″ from the pavers. More importantly, to Cynthia’s point of view, SHE looked different to the world at three inches from the pavers.

If she wasn’t careful, what she would look like was dinner, but she could work around that. Work under it, really; her small form was very good at burrowing, and there was a lot of space where the dirt was bare, space that, from her dim memories, would have been covered over, the last time she was through this city.

She’d eaten her way through a book, once, that had in it voles that really had to be called supervoles. Giant creatures that could dig through anything. While she wasn’t quite that impressive in her small form – she was under a foot long, after all – she could make mincemeat of loam or even hardpack clay.

And once she was there, under the lines of the wild gangs, under the places where the dirt tasted unhealthy and smelled like poison, she could pull back up, dirty and tired after an entire day but safe, into the small gardens at the heart of the city. She could pop her head up, and then the rest of her, traverse the rose garden while still tiny and furry, and then, with a shake to dislodge the dirt, she could stand.

The other girls in the chief’s harem wondered why she was his favorite. She was, they said, mousy (she didn’t correct them), small and a bit stout and brown. Her nose was pointed. But she, unlike them, got information to the chief that nobody else could and, while she lived, he would pamper and protect her, for that.

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Waiting Vigil

I’m taking prompts ’til 6 tonight; this is [personal profile] lilfluff‘s prompt”The beach, overnight in winter.” Unknown ‘verse.

It had been snowing, so June and Tyler bundled up, layer after layer, then wrapped up together in a blanket.

They pitched their tent on the edge of a beach nobody went to. Once, it had been busy, overpopulated, but there wasn’t anyone living in the city areas nearest anymore, and so it was empty in the summer and totally abandoned now, the shortest day of the year, the longest night. They weren’t going to get driven off. They weren’t even going to get noticed, even with the fire they’d lit.

That suited them. This vigil was a private thing, between the three of them. They set the tent as the sun began to fall beneath the edge of the lake, brushing the snow out of the way so that they were staked out on sand – just as cold, but less wet – then lit their fire and wrapped up to watch.

“Do you remember…” Junie started, once or twice.

“Mmng,” Tyler would answer, and she’d fall quiet. But she knew he remembered. The scenes were acid-etched behind her eyes; how could they be any less behind his? Besides, what else were they sitting out here for, but a memory?

The moon rose, clear in a cloudless sky, and their fire burnt down slowly, to embers, while Tyler grunted his avoidance to any conversation and Junie, without the buffer of words to help, fell into those memories. The sparks brought back visceral images of the last fire, the one that got a capital F, like it was the avatar of flame. The waves lapping against the sand reminded her of footsteps, slowly dragging out into the ice-cold water. A year. Two years. Three years. And every winter solstice, they would come out here.

The night reached its nadir, and they stared, silent, out at the water, waiting for the footfalls. Waiting for Cay to walk back to them.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/74822.html. You can comment here or there.

Devil Deals

I’m taking prompts ’til 6 tonight; this is both halves of Rix’s prompt, asking for Aviv & Rozen post-apoc. This takes part before Into the Woods, available in Tales for the Sugar Cat

Aviv:

There were times when doing what needed to be done meant strange partners and uncomfortable partnerships. He trekked alongside what had once been a highway, chewing over those thoughts. Some people, he’d never have to deal with again: Ardell and Delaney had gone over to the Nedetakaei and, while he would miss Del, he wouldn’t miss the partnership of them.

Baram had died. Ib was off somewhere hunting with Eris, speaking of strange partnerships. The Thornes… He hadn’t seen them in decades. He knocked on a tree for luck at that. Most of the baddies from Addergoole were gone, one way or the other, and yet here he was, weeks from home, looking for one of the baddest.

“You made it.”

And the big bad wolf had found him. He nodded acknowledgement at Rozen. “I told you I would.”

“Things get in the way, sometimes.” His tone said: for other people. Not for me.

“They move,” he shrugged in response. “So, you got my message.”

“I did. Safe haven for the likes of us?”

“Not everyone is as strong as you are. Some of them need protection.”

“From humans.” The disdain was thick; Aviv boggled, again, that this monster was still among the Shenera Endraae.

“From mobs,” he agreed mildly. “From humans.”

“And you’re the guy to provide that.”

“My team can provide that, yes,” he agreed. Stay mellow. He’d learned that lesson a long time ago, when he was far weaker than he was now.

“So what do you need from me?”

“Your hunting range is out of our current zone. Keep an eye out. Send them our way if they need it. Provide safe passage through your territory to those who just want to keep moving.”

“And what’s in it for me?”

This was the hard part. This is where you made deals with devils. “What do you want?”

Rozen:

“What do you want?”

He loved it when it came down to that. Then you got to set the terms of the engagement.

Truth be told, however, Aviv’s plan wasn’t all that bad of one. Not everyone had been gifted by a Change as nice as his, and the hatred the humans had for them was as broad and unthinking as any predjudice. Little things like Mea, like Dita, they had never done anything to deserve the mob hatred.

He smiled, letting the squiddy boy squirm on the hook a little bit. “Ah, now, that’s the question. Everyone wants something, right?” Though he really didn’t want for much. He had a nice set-up here. “So what I want is a hand with a little hunting.” Come down and play on my level, Saint Squid. You’ve never been as good as you thought you were.

Aviv was frowning; good. “Regine’s going to catch you at this eventually, Rozen. You can’t keep farming these people like your own personal crop of entertainment. It’s practically Nedetakaei.”

“Practically, but not. I abide by the terms of our arrangement,” he answered smoothly. “And as for Regine, she never fusses for all that long. She needs me guarding her flank too dearly.”

“Mmfg. So, what help do you need?” Seemed Regine wasn’t the only one that needed him to watch her back.

“They send me girls. But if they truss them up and send them like some sort of sacrifice, everyone cries and the girl doesn’t stop yelling for months. If I track them down in the forest and snatch them… it goes smoother.” And he’d never really liked the screaming.

“So if you kidnap them, they take it better than if their parents sell them?” Aviv frowned cynically. “You know, that makes a sick sort of sense. And you want me to help?”

“Hell, you know you’re good at it. Scare them a little. They’ll run right into my arms.”

This also takes part before Retirement



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Taking Prompts!

…between now and 24 hours from when I began (18:32 EST tonigh), I will write to requests. Anything I can get done in a 10-minute writeordie (approx. 250 words, or a standard flash fic drabble in this journal).

Request away!

Original prompts post (LJ Link); what I’ve written so far:

Joff Gets a Pony (LJ Link)
Bringing Home the Bacon (LJ Link), Autumn, Stranded World
Frying Pan, Fire (LJ Link), Tir na Cali
Coming of Age (LJ Link), fae apoc

I will start working on prompts again in the next hour or so.

Tips are appreciated but not required; as always, a tip will get you more story (300 words per $5)



This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/74337.html. You can comment here or there.