Archive | October 17, 2011

Hell Night – #Addergoole Years 1, 4, 7

For Bovidae‘s prompt.

Faerie Apoc, Addergoole – landing page here (or on LJ)

This happens before/after the storyline of Addergoole, and stars the school’s invisible librarian

Commenters: 8

Year One of the Addergoole School: Hell Night

The idea, Wysteria was willing to admit, had merit. Stress had been proven to accelerate the Change and, it could be assumed, in some cases pushed a Change where otherwise the Ellehemaei would have remained Faded.

On top of that, it was rather fun to ghost invisibly through the hallways, playing poltergeist, making things float and poking students who were managing to be too blasé about the whole thing. There, that lovely girl Dita with the excessive assets; Wysteria whispered some nonsense in pseudo-Latin in her ear, and was rewarded with a wonderful jump.

Scaring the students could be fun!

Year Four of the Addergoole School: Hell Night

The First Cohort had taken over the scary parts of Hell Night with gusto and, by now, the Second and Third Cohorts were joining in. There wasn’t any need for the staff to don scary faces anymore, but this year, Wysteria felt as if she should watch.

The gauntlet was scarier, darker, more horror-movie and less haunted house than the staff’s version. And her son was out in it (all their children had been out in it; that was part of the malice of Regine’s plan).

A scream cut the air, and the librarian drifted to investigate. Hell Night, indeed.

Year Seven of the Addergoole School: Hell Night

Wysteria frowned repressively (and invisibly) at the two Sixth Cohort students working their way through the History section. Her Library was not supposed to be part of their bloody hazing ritual. She was supposed to be left out of it.

And the child with them? A Seventh, a skinny boy, blindfolded, bound, and bruised. They were getting out of hand again, and nobody seemed willing to stop them.

She waited until they had dumped the boy in a blind passageway, and then Wysteria began to show the miserable little monsters what a true Hell Night was supposed to look like.

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Inside the Walls

For Lilfluff‘s prompt.

Planners ‘Verse, in the after-the-apoc by about 10 years. Planners have a landing page – here (or on LJ)

Commenters: 8

It seemed safe out past the walls, but Tess knew it was an illusion. As the junior elder at the Library, it was her job to take the stories of the refugees they let into the camp between the inner and outer walls, and the far fewer students they let into the inner sanctum. She knew from those tales that even now, ten years into what they were calling The Collapse, things were hard out there, and dangerous, and the bandits were only getting worse; with all of the country to gather in, they still had more refugees coming to their growing-cramped camp than they could handle, and the story was the same from every Family outpost they could reach. The world was a dangerous place, outside of their forts.

Tess wondered, as she took the long stairway down from the wall into the inner courtyard, if the elder Elders would make the decisions they did if they heard the stories she did. She was haunted by those stories, by the expressions on the faces of the refugees, by the injuries they would show – and the ones they would only hint at. She was haunted by the violence she sometimes saw just outside their walls, when those that weren’t allowed inside tried to set up camp, and the marauders were feeling brave.

“We should expand,” she’d told the elder Elders, and “we don’t have the resources,” they’d come back; “we’re already stretched thin with the farmland inside the walls. Maybe when the marauders aren’t such a threat.”

By then, of course, it would be too late for so many hundreds of refugees. By then, the ghosts haunting Tess’s nightmares would have doubled or quadrupled in number.

“Elder Tess,” the guard called, as she reached the bottom of the stairs. “We have more refugees than we have farm work, and the others are asking for something to do.”

Like that, it fell into place. “Do you have a few guards to spare?”

“Yes, ma’am.” Ma’am, from a man probably old enough to be her father. Rank had its privileges. “We are over full strength right now; everyone wants to join the guard.”

The guard got full rations and a better place to sleep, and the test wasn’t as hard as becoming a Scholar. “Take those that want to out about two hundred feet beyond the outer wall, and begin prepping to build another wall. I’ll send an engineer with a plan while you get them gathering rocks and clearing the ground.”

If they didn’t have enough room for more refugees, the answer was clearly to build more room.

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Fears – Dragons Next Door – for the Giraffe Call

For kelkyag‘s prompt.

Dragons Next Door Verse. DND has a landing page – here (or on LJ)

Yes, I do have an idea what an erbiss looks like.

Commenters: 7

Juniper was surprised, when she came to visit Baby Smith one Saturday morning, to find the Smith house in what her mother would call an uproar, although nobody was roaring, and, indeed, there wasn’t even any shouting.

But there was a lot of tail-jerking, and Jimmy’s scales were the wrong color, and the lanky erbiss that they had instead of a dog wouldn’t stop whining. (Dogs, Cxaidin had told her, both could not be trained to deal comfortably with dragons and did not have the suitable skill set. Juniper was still trying to figure that one out, but the erbiss, in the meantime, was adorable, clever, and liked having its fur brushed.)

Both the adults were too upset to tell her what was going on, and Baby and Cthannie were snuffling and making little acid-burbles, so Juniper coaxed Tay-tay, the erbiss, over into the sun where Jimmy was trying to pretend nothing was going wrong, and started brushing Tay-tay. She’d figured out this trick recently with her own older brother; sometimes if she sat quietly doing something normal, sometimes Jin would calm down long enough to talk to her.

(To be fair, she’d figured out Jin was doing it to her, first. But it worked both ways!)

The erbiss had calmed down into the rumble-happy noise that wasn’t really a purr by the time Jimmy said something – but Jimmy’s scales had settled into a nice purple, too. “Cxaidin and Tay-tay caught a poacher last night,” the juvenile dragon muttered.

“A poacher?” Juniper had heard that word in a cartoon, but she didn’t know what it meant. Nothing to do with eggs, she was pretty sure.

“A hunter, a dragon-hunter. He was going after the kids.” Jimmy set its head woefully on its paws and looked at her. “They’re scary,” it admitted very very quietly. “One almost got me when I was a hatchling.” It tilted its head and, under the jaw, Juniper could see where the scales were solid white in a circle, like the scar she had on her knee in reverse. “I don’t want my parents to know I’m scared.”

“It’s all right.” Juniper hugged Jimmy’s long neck. “I won’t tell them.”

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At the Movie – Stranded Verse – for the Giraffe Call

For Skjam‘s prompt.

Stranded World and Autumn, though I don’t know just when. Stranded has a landing page – here (or on LJ)

Commenters: 6

The little town had one of those old-style movie theaters with one viewing room, the sort that showed whatever blockbuster they could get 3 months late and stayed alive mainly because the nearest real theatre was over an hour away.

Autumn could accept that; a lot of small towns had business that stayed open that way. The weird part was – well, the weird part began with the movie on the marquis, which was an unpopular horror movie from three summers back. That everyone in the town – and that was the second weird part – seemed to be going to see, at the 3 o’clock showing. The whole town.

Autumn waited until the 5 p.m. showing, paid the bored ticket-taker, and settled in to her seat. She was the only one in the theatre, as the creepy, badly-edited film worked its way around to the first murder, and the second… and then she wasn’t. A presence settled down into a seat next to her, and the film began to change.

A girl in the theatre. A teenager, alone, hanging out in the movies because there was air conditioning there, and it was 90 degrees out and rising.

A wanderer coming through. No-one hears her scream. No-one notices that she doesn’t leave at the end of the awful movie. No-one notices she’s missing for days, and by then…

Autumn reached for the apparition’s hand. “This isn’t the way,” she told the girl. “Where…?”

Behind the theatre was an old hardware store, with a basement no one went into anymore. In the back of the basement, in a barrel full of rusting nails…

“I’ll tell them,” she murmured. “I’ll make sure they notice.”

Slowly, the movie flickered, broke, and went black. Slowly, the apparition faded away. Autumn patted where the girl’s shoulder had been, and headed out to make an anonymous phone call.

Had the town noticed, she wondered? Had they known what they were doing? Or had the girl been calling out for help, drawing them all in, without anyone knowing what was going on?

While she dialed from the town’s old-style phone booth, Autumn drew a small glyph into the crook of her arm. Remembrance. She would take the girl with her – Amy, the fading missing poster told her – she would take Amy with her in her memories, and leave her story to be told by those who loved her – with a little nudge to get them going.

“Hello? I think there’s a body in the basement of the old hardware store.”

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Giraffe Call Update – two other things

the Linkback Incentive story is going along nicely; I owe you (I think) 50 words for Ysabet’s link to the story I wrote for her.

Right now Ninja Kitty is winning for # of commenters, with 8. (LJ)

Tied for second with 6 commenters each are:
Rude Roomates (LJ) and
The Grey Line (LJ)

Whichever story has the most commenters by the end of day Friday, I will write a short setting piece for that setting.

This entry was originally posted at You can comment here or there.

Giraffe Call Update! Wow!

Good morning!

This weekend’s Giraffe Call was very busy (If you missed it, you have until I get to the bottom of both lists to add a prompt – here or here). I’ve written 12 responses so far, over Stranded, Unicorn/Factory, Addergoole, Tir na Cali, and another new ‘verse, and I still have quite a few to go before I even get to the sponsored continuations.

Speaking of sponsoring: I’m $20 from the point where everyone gets a second microfic (if we get it within $5, I’ll fudge it 😉

Off to work-and-writing! You can read all the giraffe call stories on this tag (or this one)

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