Archive | November 12, 2011

The family kudzu – The Aunt Family – for the Giraffe Call

For the_vulture‘s prompt.

This is in the Aunt Family setting, which has a landing page now here (and on LJ).

I imagine the speaker to be one of Evangaline’s nieces or cousins.

“Your family is insane.”

“My family is prolific. My family is also insane, but the problem you’re dealing with right now is an entirely separate one.”

“What is this thing?”

“Cheat sheet. It’s not going to help, in the long run, but at least you’ll have some idea what you’re getting into.”

“How do you keep track of all this?”

“I really don’t. I remember a couple salient points – Anshabet, there, just had a baby, so that’s important to remember – and my mother keeps me up to date on those sorts of things, but mostly I just smile and nod and listen to the ‘eee you’ve gotten so big.'”

“You have… four aunts and three uncles.”

“No. My mother has four sisters and three brothers. They’re all married, so double those numbers. And then there’s their kids, and my mom’s the youngest, so some of those kids are old enough to be my aunts and uncles themselves. Add in my mother’s mother’s family, that’s another six aunts, two uncles, then the ones married in, and then there’s my grandmother’s family.”

“Okay, you said prolific. I didn’t think you meant…”

“That’s why there’s the chart.”

“What do you do when you forget a name?”

“Smile and hope to death they’re going deaf and didn’t hear me mess it up?”

“And you’re going to introduce me to all of them.”

“That’s why the chart, yes.”

“Is it too late to elope?”

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Talking it to death – Unicorn/Factory setting, for the Giraffe Call

For YsabetWordsmith‘s prompt.

This is in the Unicorn/Factory setting, which has a landing page now here (and on LJ)

“You’re not old enough,” her father protested weakly. They all knew it wasn’t true. They all knew it didn’t matter if it was true.

“You’re not well enough,” her mother protested, more strongly. They all knew that, too, was not true enough to matter.

“It should be me,” her brother muttered softly. “Tisa, it’s not safe.”

“It’s never safe, Farold. It’s never safe for any of us.”

She slapped her hand over her mouth the moment the words were out, but it was too late. All of them – her parents, her older brother, her younger sisters, her maiden aunt, especially her maiden aunt – reeled as if she’d hit them.

She supposed she had, in a way. She only had to bear it, and die, or not. They had to live with sending her, and live with whether or not she came back. Watching her friends’ families, she wasn’t sure, truly, which was worse. Watching her friends who had come back, she wasn’t sure which she wanted.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered, and hugged them all, first Farold, who was the most stung, Farold who had always protected her from everything, then her parents, and then, and perhaps most importantly, Aunt Eunice, who had come back… who had, at least, come back in body. “I’m sorry, all of you,” she said, more loudly this time, as she hugged her little sisters. “I’m just scared.”

“We’re scared, too,” her mother admitted. “We’re frightened for you, Tisa.”

“I know.” She rubbed her wrists under the tooo-short sleeves of the ritual robe. “But there’s no use in it. I’m scared, you’re scared, we’re all scared and angry. And…”

“And there’s nothing we can do but talk,” her father agreed. “So let us talk.”

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For natalief‘s prompt.

After Generations, and on LJ, written for this Call as well.

Chandra had never been quite certain about her grandmother’s misapprehensions about her mother, but she had been content to leave things as they were, for fear of rocking a boat that had been sailing uncomfortably for longer than she’d been alive.

It wasn’t until her daughter [daughter] was ready to go to Addergoole, along with her half-brother and her uncle, and her mother was back home, disconsolate and miserable after another relationship had gone to hell, that Chandra decided she needed to intervene. For one, she’d realized that her mother and grandmother’s relationship was barely older than her. For another, now in her thirties, the under-two-decades between her and Megan didn’t seem like such a wide gap.

She cornered Grandma Shira first, while Mom was out in the Village shopping, uselessly.

“We need to talk about Mom.”

“She’ll be done flighting around in a week or two and settle down, once Marco is in school,” Shira answered her tiredly, “and we can get back to life as usual.” She set her head against the window tiredly. “My other kids turned out all right.”

Chandra sighed. “Your other kids weren’t abused, Grandma. I did okay in Addergoole, and Carrig had me watching out for him, and our kids will have each other. But nobody knew about any of this back then, did they?”

“Megan never said anything…” Shira murmured.

“You know better. They still call your cy’ree the support group. You know why Kept who aren’t happy don’t say anything,” Chandra pressed. It wasn’t the same reason she hadn’t said anything when mom had gotten out of line, but it had its similarities.

Something in her voice had gotten her grandmother’s attention. “There’s something you’re not saying, isn’t there? Something else. Not just Shadrach the monster, may he rot.”

“Not just my father, no.” She emphasized “my,” and watched her grandmother’s eyes narrow in understanding.

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For ankewehner‘s prompt.

Shira Pelletier is a professor in Addergoole, whose youngest daughter Megan (a 1st Cohort student, and thus no longer in school in Year Five, when the story starts) is a constant disappointment and frustration to her. Chandra and Carrig are Megan’s children.

For more on these characters during Year Five, see Motherhood

Addergoole, Year 21
Shira had had one year of quiet, true quiet, in her house.

Megan came and went, flitting back and forth to her mother’s house when the latest job or boyfriend or get-rich-quick scheme failed, when her father got sick of her, or when she just wanted to hide and cry. Her children stayed with Shira, growing up into, she hoped, decent human beings despite their mother’s choice in fathers for them.

Chandra was seventeen when she “left” for Addergoole, moving out of her grandmother’s house and into the school next door; when her brother left two years later, he was sixteen. Shira’s granddaughter, who had learned to be responsible very early, struggling against Megan’s flightiness, managed to stay childless for those two years, and Shira, for the first time, had spent some private time getting to know her quiet, introverted grandson.

As much as she’d enjoyed that, she’d reveled in the quiet. Megan had moved into her house like a whirlwind after school, her two young children and all her trains of drama in tow; for sixteen years, Shira had worked her life around the stranger she’d given birth two and her children. She couldn’t help but celebrate the peace and quiet.

She held parties. She invited over new lovers and old, including a couple former students who, now in their thirties, were reasonably safe lovers for her (she wasn’t VanderLinden, to sleep with children. She’d never stoop to that. Thirty, thirty-three, that was a different matter, never mind when they were younger than her daughter). She’d managed to get pregnant, again, something she’d been fairly certain she’d never do.

She was staring at the stick (try technology first, then ask Caitrin. No need to alarm the nice Doctor if it was nothing but a mood swing out of nowhere) when her youngest daughter pounded on the door, a tiny son in her arms.

She was balancing her latest grandchild – he had a lovely head of curly black hair and, although Megan was staying mum on the topic of fathers, his name at least wasn’t Shad or Chad or anything like that. Marco she could live with – and talking quietly with Dr. Caitrin when Chandra came home early for their Sunday dinner. She had that pale green-tinged look that Shira recognized from the mirror.

Seven months later, juggling a daughter, a grandson, and a great-granddaughter, Shira decided that peace was overrated. For the first time in her life, she also decided to hire a nanny.

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Giraffe Call: running behind on the linkback poll

I didn’t get the linkback poll posted last night (I went to bed at 7:30, soo…) so I’m going to hold off posting an incentive story until the polls have a few more respondents.

I currently have one linkback (Anke).

Fae Apoc was, when I checked, winning with 3, with Tir Na Cali following with two

the polls are here:


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November Giraffe Call Open!!

The call for prompts is now CLOSED!

The Summary is here on DW and here on LJ.

For the next 25 hours, I will taking I have taken your prompts on the theme of Family.

I will write (over the next week) at least one microfic (150-300 words) to each prompter. If you donate, I will write to all of your prompts,

If you have donated, I will write to every prompt you left.

In addition, for each $5 you donate, I will write an additional 500 words to the prompt(s) of your choice.

I’m playing with my incentives again.

For every linkback I receive, I will post another 50 words on a story (See the poll for setting here on DW and here on LJ

If I get three new commenters or one new donator, I will write a setting piece (setting chosen by poll).

And, of course, donations are always well-received:

If I reach $35 in donations, I will post an additional 1000-2000-word fic on the subject of the audience’s choice.

If I reach $65, I will write at least 2 microfics for everyone, whether or not they donated.

If I reach $95, I will write to every prompt I get in the next 24 hours (limit 4 per person) – or third prompt for each original prompter. At this point, please allow up to 5 weeks for the writing to be completed.

If I reach $120, I will record a podcast of an audience-choice story and post it for everyone to read. Also, everyone who tipped will get double wordcount.

If I reach $150, I will release an e-book of all of the fiction written to this call and the last one. At this point, please allow up to 6 weeks for the writing to be completed.

I’m still saving up for the giraffe carpet, which will be installed the first week of October November December (still can’t find a plumber, sigh)!

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