Archive | August 12, 2011

Make-Out Meme

Yoinked from [personal profile] morrigans_eve

Because I, too feel like writing fluff’n’kissing fic …

Pick a pairing from my fandom(s) or ‘verses and come up with a location and/or situation, and I will write you between 50 and 250 words about the kiss that happened in that context.

3 DW, 3 LJ

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To rix_scaedu‘s prompt “Fridmar and Bowen…” in this flash-fiction meme (LJ).

This is Addergoole, current timeline, 2 years later, and 2 years after that.

Short non-AdderHooligan summary: Bowen, at the time of the first snippet, badly-Kept by an abusive Agatha. Fridmar, his Mentor, is known for having as his Students the darker sorts (see Rozen).

Year Five, Week Six
Bowen sat uncomfortably in his Mentor’s office, fiddling with his collar. He had orders about what he could say and couldn’t, but going up against the edge of his orders was sometimes enough; his face twisted and his ears went flat, and people seemed to understand what that meant.

“There’s got to be a way,” he said quietly, not quite begging. Professor Fridmar shook his head slowly.

“Being Ellehemaei about being strong,” he said, in his thick Russian accent. “What doesn’t kill you, et cetera. Find ways to be stronger.”

Year Seven, Week Eight
Professor Fridmar frowned over steepled fingers at Bowen. “Shira has been talking to me.” His tone suggested he didn’t like Professor Pelletier talking to him about anything; Bowen could already guess what this was about.

“Yeah?” Never show your cards.

“She says Adannaya has seemed strange lately. The girl is not complaining…” His look said what they both knew, that Ada wasn’t going to say anything against Bowen. “But Shira does not think she is happy.”

Bowen met his Mentor’s gaze evenly. “What doesn’t kill you, et cetera,” he quoted.

Year Nine, October

Bowen was unsurprised to find his old Mentor standing in his living room. They all knew, by now, that the professors stopped in on their former students, “to be sure they were all right.”

Cybele had let him in, pretty, doll-like Cybele, who ran his house. The Professor was sipping the tea Tanith had brought him, and studying the two women thoughtfully. When Bowen walked in with Kate, one bushy eyebrow rose.

Bowen couldn’t help but grin. The girls were happy, with or without orders. “Stronger,” he laughed. “And better.”

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Finding Comfort

To [personal profile] clare_dragonfly‘s prompt “Rozen/Kai” in this flash-fiction meme (LJ).

This is Addergoole post-apoc, just after Retirement 2.

Short non-AdderHooligan summary: Rozen is, in main timeline, a Big Bad Wolf style bully of the Addergoole school, and Kai nearly becomes his victim. 50 years later, nearly 4 decades after the apocalypse, he becomes her captive and possesion after being starved and poisoned.

Kailani, Dean Storm, came home to her room, locked the door, and dropped her Mask, dropping with it fifty excess years of age, the weight of responsibility, the urge to solemnity.

Rozen was waiting for her, sitting on the floor by the door as if he’d meant to drape himself there, trying to hide with Mask and force of will how exhausted he was. His ribs still showed, his cheeks were still gaunt, but he was slowly filling out. Slowly. Hawthorne poisoning was a horrible thing.

Kai, looking at him, struggled with the conflict between her rage – he had had such a lovely body, and it would take such time to rebuild – and gratitude – every day he had to focus on rebuilding his strength was one more day for the Bond to work on him, make him more comfortable with the status quo and less likely, when he was up to full power, to fight her.

“I brought you broth.” She set the broth on the table, ignoring the small prickle in her spine at having her back to him, then came back, to present him with her hands. “Let me help you up.”

“I’m fine,” he grumbled, as he took her hands.

“I’m sure you are,” she lied. “I like helping you.” That part, at least, wasn’t a lie. She hauled him to his feet and shifted her hold to his waist. “You’re getting further along every day.”

“In a month, I’ll be able to make it to your office,” he quipped tiredly.

“By then, I’ll be ready for you,” she murmured back.

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The Grove – a Sponsored Story

In the Northeast, every city, every town, every blink-and-you’ll-miss-it village has at least one, a grove of trees that will never know the cut of a saw. Syracuse has an extra-wide median full of them, shading the Thruway from one end of the city to the other. Rochester has verdant blocks interspersed with new construction in areas that used to be full of abandoned factories and crack houses.

In Brockport, the grove stands in and around the cemetery, so that the gravestones snuggle up next to the trees. It makes a sort of sense, I suppose, but sometimes it confuses the girls.

We go there, to Brockport’s grove, every Sunday from first thaw until mid-autumn, my daughters and I. I try to make it a fun thing, a family bonding, though I know as they get older, they won’t want to bond, will want less and less to do with their old man. We take a picnic, trying to avoid the mourners, not wanting to diminish their grief, park at the bottom and walk up the long stone-paved path to the top of the hill.

Zel waits for us up there, where the sun shines first in the morning, where the dirt is good and rich, where the big old oak tree shelters her from the bulk of the wind. She’s always waiting, of course, has been for the last five years. She will be as long as I can take the girls up that hill, and for a long time after that, long after the girls are dead, or have joined her there, in the grove.

Today is special. It’s a Sunday, much like any other Sunday, but today the girls and I have decided it’s time for Zel to meet Thea.

It’s legal, of course. Even the Church sanctions it, after a certain appropriate time of solemnities. Zel may have moved on, but the girls still need a mother around, and I, after these long years, find the bed is too empty at night, the breakfast table too quiet in the morning. No-one will fault me for it, not my first wife, not the good people of the town, not the law. Still, it seems awkward and uncomfortable to be walking with Thea up this hill, and I can’t bring myself to hold her hand.

She understands. It was a month ago – on a Saturday – that we walked down the Syracuse median together, her and I and her son Jacob, and talked to Jeremy. I pass, I’ve been told, at least conditionally, but she didn’t hold my hand then, either.

As I said, Zel is planted just leeward of an ancient oak, so old his name has been forgotten by time. The girls always hug him when we visit, and today is no different. He waves to them, and a gentle breeze through his branches, whispering “hello, children.”

“Hello, Old Man Oak,” they say politely, but today they’re too excited about other things to play with him for long. He understands, I think, although it has been a very long time since he was young.

We step around him, and, as every time we do this, my breath catches. It’s not quite a sob; I have shed my tears for her long since, and what’s left can’t really even be called regret. But sometimes I forget, and I expect, because I know it’s her, to see my wife standing there, the lovely woman with the hair just starting to grey and the eyes that always seemed to know more than she told. And… that Zel is long gone.

The maple tree that stands there in the lee of Old Man Oak is, I notice again, growing bigger every year while never outpacing our daughters’ ability to reach all the way around her. That will change at some point, I’m sure, but by that point, the need to hug their mother will, I hope, be less pressing.

Her presence is with us almost immediately, a breeze that isn’t there brushing a hello through her leaves. It hurts, and is beautiful enough to make me sing for it, how much more alive she sounds now. When she chose to put down roots, the cancer and the treatments for it had sapped most of her energy. Now, she is healthy, strong, and beautiful. Now, nature willing, she will outlive the girls and me both, growing old and woody with the Old Man and the others here.

A branch brushes my cheek, and I can tell she’s looking over Thea. “A grove-widow,” the wind sighs. It shows, somehow. “Good, Josh.” A whirlybird, a little two-winged maple seed, lands in my new love’s outstretched hands.

“Take care of my family,” the wind whispers. Now, I do cry, though I try not to let the girls see it. I know what this blessing means. Zel has always been very talkative, very aware for a grove-tree. But we all knew it couldn’t last forever.

Thea cradles the little seed like the infant child it is. “I will,” she promises. There are tears in her eyes, too: she understands.

“Thank you.” A warm wind embraces us, and we lean against her trunk. This isn’t mourning: Zel lives, and will live on. But, even with Thea’s arm around me, even with my cheek against Zel’s bark, I find I still miss her embrace. And Thea understands that, too. There are worse things to build a second marriage on, I think, than an understanding of the cracks the grove trees leaves in one’s heart.

Sponsored from the general tips pool, chosen by poll. If you would like to sponsor another story, the list is here; the donor info page here

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Stories for Sponsorship!

These stories have been written from prompts and are available for sponsorship.

Any piece can be microfunded in increments as small as $1:

Bridged, the “sequel” to Relics, 1100 words, sponsor for $18

It Always Hurts, 1400 words from the lyrics of “the Holly and the Ivy,” sponsor for $23

Holding the Ways, a microfiction of an unconventional funeral, 350 words. Sponsor for $6

The Old Path, from [profile] ellenmillion‘s prompt “the Old Ways” and [personal profile] eseme‘s prompt “…discovering old overgrown [ways].” 4100 words, sponsor for $70

Labyrinth, still in progress, from [personal profile] clare_dragonfly‘s prompt “the path the the labyrinth” & [personal profile] eseme‘s prompt of “bartering.”

The Trouble With Bongong Island, from Inventrix’s prompt “Bananas, Bifurcation, Belittling Bohemian butterflies.” 2111 words gentlemen adventurer tale, sponsor for $35
Keeping the Gods, a story of the fae apoc, from Shutsumon’s prompt “bacchanal, barbarocracy,bathykolpian.” 1500 words of cautionary fantasy, Sponsor for $25

AvariceFrom [personal profile] haikujaguar‘s prompt “Avarice. Anemia. And maybe… appetite.” 1038 words, a story of mixed appetites and dovetailing greed. Sponsor for $20

Afghans for Aliens, a flash fiction sci-fi

Sunday at the GroveFrom [personal profile] clare_dragonfly‘s prompt, this is a tender story of mourning and passing on. 900 words. Sponsor for $15

Revived, a story of the Stranded World, 2556 words. Sponsor for $42

How does Sponsoring work?
You can:

  • Throw money in the general pool. When there’s enough to sponsor a story, I’ll put it up for a general vote.
  • Micro-fund a specific story: donate any amount of money towards a specific story. I’ll post that it’s $Xx towards being completely funded.
  • Sponsor a whole story. If you sponsor a story, I will immediately post it on my blog for everyone to see, with your name or that of a dedicatee if you wish; plus you get a nonexclusive publication right, so you can post it on your own blog or elsewhere as long as you keep the credits intact. (Some phrasing from YsabetWordsmith’s Poetry Fishbowl).

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State of the Lyn!


First, a passing musing: I am often fascinated by the new meanings typos give things, or, if not typos, my own misreading of things. Sometimes it seems I am alone in this; am I?

The HouseBuying continues to move at a pace but not apace. The USDA going on sudden retreat (not running away, the other sort) has delayed us an indefinite time around but not certainly 2 weeks.

This past Saturday, T. and I went to the Cortland Arts and Wine Festival (and got an estimate on the giraffe carpet, also in Cortland(*))… loads of fun, as it always is. Drank lots and lots of wine, bought a little, giggled a lot(**).

I don’t actually know what we’re doing this weekend. Perhaps garage/freesale-ing. Writing, I’m sure. Rest. Rest would be nice.

(*) About an hour north and east of our apartment.
(**) I giggled. T. does not giggle.

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