Archive | October 18, 2011


For Fayanora‘s prompt.

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

Commenters: 6

There are words a mother never wants to hear. I’ve got a list of them; I keep it in a notebook which is otherwise filled with very boring accounting. I don’t want to give the kids ideas.

“I only set it a little on fire” was one of the first; that was Jin, who was going through one of those phases at the time. “The neighbors invited me over for dinner” was a touchy one when Juniper came up with it.

But the worst so far, knock on wood, was “Mommy, what’s a Rakshasa?”

I lie. That just prefaced the worst one.

“Why do you ask, honey bun?” Please don’t let the Smiths be moving out. Or the Dungans. I have my limits, the sky above only knows, and that could very well be one of them.

“Our Campfire Scout leader is moving out of town and our new leader says she’s a Manushya-Rakshasi. Some sort of Rakshasa?”

“Oh… wild fates, baby.” A flesh-eating monster for a Scout leader. Not a dragon, not even an ogre, somewhere they had found a rakshasa. “Hold on, sweetie, I’m going to make you some special brownies for your next meeting.” Very special brownies. I had something in my black jars that could stop even a cannibal spirit’s appetite. Rakshasa, indeed. What were the higher-ups thinking?

Of course, they’d probably be able to beat up any other troop…

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Cunning Linguist

For The_Vulture‘s prompt.

Thanks to cluudle for the Shakespeare line and Zoe_E_Whitten for the txtspk line.

Commenters: 14

The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary
James Nicoll

He was, he admitted, a bit of a hoarder. He took things because they looked pretty, or because they were a shortcut to what he wanted to say. He shifted, evolving so much he could barely recognize his former selves, except in the random piece of clothing he kept around for nostalgia’s sake. He changed ties at a whim and faces when it suited him, and his clones across the globe did the same, so that they could barely understand each other when the day was done.

Misspellings ached a little in his joints, like a cold day, but he knew, better than most, how spelling would change in time, and so he accepted those as growing pains. New words, too, felt funny around his ears, and he’d been surprised to wake up one day with a few extra digits, but this was, after all, the digital age.

He listened to immigrants (to him, anyone for whom he was not the first language was an immigrant, no matter where they lived or where they were born) sweetly twine him with their native tongue, and he pressed up against Spanish and Russian and French with equal glee; he had always been a polyglot-sexual, and that would never change.

Shakespeare had been a friend, but had a maddening habit of giving him new socks and ties and handkerchiefs and then insisting they’d always been there. Chaucer kept trying to nail things in place, but that had never suited his style. These urban poets, now, did some interesting things with their tongues, moving him in ways he hadn’t been moved since Wordsworth. (and Dickinson, but best not to speak of that).

The texters, now, that was another matter. He glared at one thumb-typer, bending him into strange contortions, bending, spindling, and mutilating him in the name of quicker communication.

“‘Quicker’ is not the same as ‘better,’ my lad,” he muttered, reaching out to touch the phone.

“R u free 2nite 4 a d8?” morphed at his touch into “An it please you, an assignation would be pleasing.”

“The fuck?” the boy muttered, but the reply was already on its way:

“Eeee! ‘Twould please me, aye.”

Giggling, he moved on, touching phones and unfolding himself as he went. He could, with a little work, stretch himself even further. This was going to be fun!

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Heirlooms and Old Lace

For KC_OBrien‘s prompt.

I don’t have demons in any of my settings, so this is misc-verse

When Evangaline’s Aunt died, it fell to her to clean out the old house where her Aunt had lived and, before her Aunt Asta, her Aunt’s Aunt Ruan (family history stopped there, but Evangaline felt as if, if she tracked it back far enough, there would be an unbroken line of Aunts back into pre-history). As a childless Aunt herself, she accepted that the house would now become hers, but not that she needed to keep the piles of accumulated auntieness that filled it.

Tables were put out on the lawn, yard sales and freesales advertised, and Eva took two bright, sunny weekends to pull out of every nook and cranny, every eave and basement cabinet, every shelf and wardrobe, every piece of her ancestral Aunts’ lives.

Some she kept – the kitchen table was her self-imposed space limiter for knick-nacks, the living room itself for furniture (except for the bedrooms. The bedroom furniture she could keep for now; there were seven bedrooms in the old place, some barely bigger than a closet. For an unmarried aunt, it seemed excessive). The rest, despite family uproar (“If you think we should keep it, you’re welcome to come buy it at a family discount.”) went away.

Alone in a much-emptied house, Evangaline drank her tea and studied what remained. Four tea pots and one kettle (she’d gotten rid of seven pots!), one wide, shallow scrying bowl. Three little muslin dolls she’d been afraid to throw out – those would go back in their silk wrappings in their oak casket, and hope that Aunt Ruan or her Aunt had just liked dolly-making. One blue glass rose, and a beautiful matching vase. Three sets of tarot cards.

She’d sent the other six tarot sets to the sale, but these three had felt different to her fingers, tingled wrong, especially the oldest set, the one that was clearly hand-painted, in its oak box.

She’d finished her tea and her take-out pizza, so now was as good a time as any to figure out what it was about them, why these cards in particular had called her. She tipped the case out onto the table, letting the cards fall where they may.

The first thing she noticed was that this was not, exactly, a Tarot, or if it was, it was an interpretation she had never seen before. The second was that the tingling sensation was getting worse. The third was that the cards were moving on their own.

The woman on the card at the front – a blue-skinned woman, tall, dressed in medieval clothing and standing on the edge of a precipice – winked deliberately at Evangaline. Her card was labeled “The Fall,” and it looked like a long one.

As she winked, her card moved to cross another one – a deep, red-lit cave, with two eyes glowing out from its depths. “The Beast,” its caption proclaimed.

Evangaline’s hands hovered over the cards, loathe to touch them but drawn to see what the rest of them were. She reached for another one, just a tiny corner of lush greenness showing under the Beast.

“No, no,” the blue woman tut-tutted. “No, child, one reading at a time.” The cards burst into flames at “time,” the whole table of family heirlooms lighting on fire. “One at a time,” the voice repeated, as Evangaline jumped back from the heat.

The flames died down and vanished, the cards tucked back into their case. On the table, one teapot – that nearest the cards – was covered in soot. Nothing else was harmed.

Carefully, very carefully, she closed the card case and put it in a drawer. Her Aunts’ relics were going to require some careful handling.

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Giraffe Call Update!!

Good morning!

I’ve been very busy on this weekend’s Giraffe Call (If you missed it, you have until I get to the bottom of both lists to add a prompt – here or here).

I wrote 4 more responses yesterday, bringing my total to 16 so far. I have 3 more prompters to get to, and then I will move on to the sponsored stories. People have really been creative with their interpretations of the theme, and it’s been a lot of fun.

the Linkback Incentive story (LJ) is still going; I’ve written 100 more words and think I can wrap it up in 150-200 more words (or 3-4 more linkbacks).

Right now Ninja Kitty is winning for # of commenters, with 10. (LJ)

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

You can read all the giraffe call stories on this tag (or this one)

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