Archive | August 19, 2011

Story beginning?

Originally posted May 4, 2006

The landscape was grey, dusty, blasted, and uneven, juts of broken concrete block impeding her
passage, but still Lydia ran, her feet barely touching the ground. Someone ran with her, someone
else just behind her, and something full of malice was chasing them, never getting any further
away, gaining a little bit of ground every time the landscape jumped up to meet them.

The dream came often, and she knew how it went. There would come a point where she – they –
could escape through a door, around a corner, something, and rest, but until that brief interlude,
she would have to run. The consequences of not running were… unthinkable.

They came abruptly to that corner, turned it, as she knew they would, and found themselves
suddenly falling, falling through a forest that ran up both sides of the hole – canyon, it was a canyon,
lined trees, and they were falling that abyss, the sides rushing past them with a terrifying

Suddenly, a voice in her head, a patient voice with no apparent gender (or maybe it was simply
letters written on the air) told her “It is time to Change, child.”

“Just like that?” she wanted to demand, but she found that she was already changing, and the
canyon floor slowed its rapid rise toward her.
The trees below were no longer threatening, but simply a comfortable place to land from her little

She twisted, catlike, in the air, to be sure of her companions, and found that they were already
Changed, already waiting for her.

A noise awoke her, or the sensation of a noise, pulling her out of the dream. She opened her
eyes, despite every desire to roll over and go back to sleep, blinking in the pre-dawn darkness of
the room.

Someone was sitting on her bed, crouching, their back against the wooden footboard, looming over
her. One of Nora’s friends? She glanced over at her roommate’s bed, to find it not only empty,
but missing, as if it had never been there. “What…?” A wave of terror pushed at her, screaming
to be let out – to flee! – but something kept it down, locked inside her, and the breaths she drew
were even and slow.

The man – it was a man, it had to be a man – at the foot of her bed tilted his head, looking for a
moment like nothing but a giant crow sizing up something bright. His voice, though, banished
that image. It was low and rumbly, gravel and ancient places. “Time to wake up,” he told her.
“This place isn’t ready for you yet.” He made a sweeping gesture with his right hand, and she felt a
sudden shift in air pressure.

She awoke with her ears popping, swallowing hard even before she remembered why she was doing so,
and found her self suddenly, entirely, awake. She was normally a slow waker, preferring to take
an hour or more to luxuriate in the warm softness of bed before letting her eyes open. Today,
she blinked herself into consciousness in a matter of seconds, staring in slight disbelief at the
foot of her bed.

Nothing. No possibly-human man crouched there, no suggestion that he’d ever been there, not even
a slightly indented place in her blankets. So it had been a dream after all. She sighed –

– and quickly glanced to see if Nora’s bed was where it belonged. It was, with all its mess, one
long arm of Nora’s hanging outside the sheets. What’s more, Nora was alone in bed this morning.

House musings: under da stairs

Thing I want in the house, but only in a for-fun way and would probably never actually do:

A mural of the cupboard under the stairs, on the stairwell, hiding hidden, well, cupboards.

Alternately, turning the area under the stairs into a tiny guest room ([personal profile] eseme 😉

More reasonably – there’s this page of ideas (the wine cabinets are a great idea but I dislike the execution; the bathroom’s awesome but the stairs are right next to the extant bathroom.)

A remarkably similar page of links: aquarium!!!

Several plans for storage under stairs.. I like the one that looks like library stacks.

And speaking of beds under the stairs: how about this?

This is nice, if practical

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30 Days Second Semester: 15, Climbing.

For the 30 Days Meme Second Semester, for the prompt “15) prompt: ascension.”

The stairs twisting up the side of the mountain are a metaphor for the way my people came to their feet from the water below, climbing to ascendance. They are a defense against intruders, who must fight their way up the stairs against massed defenders. They are a meditation and a history book, our stories carved into their walls, an allegorical journey as well as a physical one.

To my “guests,” however, they were a very long set of stairs, over a mile of ascent and half again that much for the way they twist and turn, an exhausting climb after their ordeal. I wondered when they had last eaten, and how well; I wondered, with more concern, how physically unfit they were. Their ordeal here would tax them, and they would need all of their strength. If they weren’t up to it, it would, in the end, come down on me. I’d picked them.

That would come later. For now, I guided them into a landing, where a fountain bubbled fresh water. “We can rest here for a while.”

I was not, myself, feeling the climb; nor were the guards, who walk these stairs every day. The stairs from the great dining hall to my tower bedroom were nearly half the height of the great stairs, after all, my people are built for endurance. You can not swim the flood if you can’t manage stairs.

I sipped the sweet water and watched them pant, worrying for their future.

As I chewed over this story, I had setting after setting going through my head. Then I said, “hey, I have a setting involving a giant stairway already!”

This is a reboot, not a new scene, for the Flood setting I used to write

The List:
1a) the story starts with the words “It’s going down.” (LJ Link)
1b) the story starts with the words “It’s going down.” (LJ Link)
2) write a scene that takes place in a train station.
3) the story must involve a goblet and a set of three [somethings]
4) prompt: one for the road
5) write a story using an imaginary color
6) write the pitch for a new Final Fantasy styled RPG (LJ Link)
7) prompt: frigid (LJ Link)
8) write a scene in the middle of a novel called “The Long, Dirty Afterwards” (LJ)
9) prompt: mourning dead gods (LJ)
10) write a story set in three different time periods. (LJ)
11) Write a movie trailer style trailer for a story, existing or not-yet-written. (LJ)
12) prompt: sweet iced tea (LJ)
13) re-write a story that everyone knows (LJ)
14) write a vanilla story dealing with kinky subject matter (LJ)
15) prompt: ascension

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