Archive | December 19, 2011

Enlightenment, possibly of Fae Apoc, for the Giraffe Call

To an anonymous prompt.

This could be Faerie Apoc, which has a landing page here on DW and here on LJ.

“Are you sure you’ll stay, then?”

Shea hadn’t been looking for the underground facility – hadn’t been looking, at least, for this specific, deep-cavern-system underground facility, with its refugee population hidden there since the Catastrophe. But, having found it, and, more specifically, having found them, Shea couldn’t leave without doing something.

Some of the refugees, some ancient, a few teenagers, three mothers of infants, had agreed to leave; Shea knew a place where they could be safe and learn to adapt to the world outside. But the Elder, and most of the rest of their group, were adamantly refusing to budge.

The Elder in question shook his head at Shea one last time. “I’m too old to find out what a post-Catastrophe world looks like. And many of the rest of the group were born down here. They’ve never seen daylight, never tasted un-filtered air. They wouldn’t survive the brightness.” He gestured at the dim emergency lighting that had sustained them all this time. “None of us can handle the greenhouse lights without protective gear anymore.”

Shea nodded. “I’ll be very careful with those who come with me. And for those of you that stay behind…”

The Working was complex, but Shea had grown used to strange and weird Workings while exploring the ruins of fallen civilizations. The trick was to make this one last, not a couple days, but as long as possible, ever changing.

After a small eternity, twenty or thirty minutes, Shea turned back to the Elder, a glass jar in hand. From the jar, a faint glow, barely brighter than the emergency lights, emanated. “This is my gift, a seed of a sun. It will grow, slowly, mimicking the effects of a real sun, although it will never be as bright as Sol. It will adjust over years, so that you have time to adapt to its light. Hang it in your largest cavern, and, in twenty years, grass will grow there.”

The Elder cradled the tiny sun-seed, tears coming to his eyes. “Thank you,” he murmured.

“I came here for enlightenment,” Shea answered dryly. “It is only fair that I leave some in return.”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/202448.html. You can comment here or there.

Sweater Set, a story probably of the Aunt Family for the Giraffe Call

For [personal profile] clare_dragonfly‘s prompt.

The Aunt Family has a landing page (and here on LJ).

Everyone, Nelia had decided, had to have one relative they dreaded visiting, especially during the holidays.

In a family as wide, varied, and spread-out as Nelia’s, she wasn’t surprised that she had more than one – two uncles and an aunt, to be specific – that she really wanted nothing to do with. And she wasn’t surprised that Fate dictated she see all of them at least fourteen times a year.

The Friday before Christmas was, traditionally, what her mother called Visiting the Aunty Aunts time. The “Aunty Aunts” were four of her father’s aunts who lived together, along with two husbands and three ailing Chihuahuas, in a giant farmhouse that had once belonged to their parents. Rumor had it that Aunt Edna and Aunt Elspeth had never left the house and its surrounding property at all, not once in their ninety-or-so years of life.

They must, Nelia had decided, get the yarn trucked in. Every year, for every niece and nephew they had, Edna and Elspeth knit sweaters and mittens of thick, itchy wool in thick, complex patterns. The sweaters could stop a bullet or a hailstorm, if you could stand to put them on (they poked through up to three layers of under-shirt, and who could stand wearing three undershirts under a sweater a half-inch thick on its own?), and were the warmest pieces of clothing Nelia had ever owned. Only shrinking them “accidentally” in the wash got rid of them, and family tradition demanded they all Must Be Worn at least once a year around the Aunties.

She wriggled into last year’s baby-blue version, the cables making elaborate wave designs up the torso and seeming, in what had to be an accident, to wrap around and frame her small breasts. “Ready, Mom,” she sighed resignedly. “Keep the AC on in the car?”

“Of course, honey.” Mom was wearing her own pastel-pink version, hers covered in tiny flowers; Nelia’s brother Cam was wearing one in butter-yellow with train tracks on it and just as squirmy.

“Dearies.” Edna and Ethel greeted them with gentle hugs and tissue-paper cheek kisses. “You always look so warm and snugglie in our sweaters. It makes me sad,” Edna added, “that we didn’t knit this year.”

“Didn’t knit?” Cam, Nelia thought, looked almost disappointed. What was wrong with him?

“No, no, honey. We’re getting too old for all that knitting, so we saved it for the babies this year. Besides, if we’re supposed to be fairy godparents, we should, once in your lives, give you something you’ll use.”

“Fairy…” The look on Mom’s face stopped Nelia dead. Mom wasn’t amused, or hopeful, or worried about senility. She was horrified. “Aunt Edna,” Nelia tried carefully. “What do you mean?”

“She means,” Aunt Elspeth picked up, “that someone has to look after you kids, and the sweaters only do so much. So this year, well, we tatted up something different. This is for you, Dorotea.” She handed Nelia’s mother a small box. “With this, you will always know where your children are, and if they are all right.”

Let her be kidding. Let her be kidding. The last thing Nelia wanted was for her mother to know where she was all the time.

Aunt Edna picked up where Elspeth had left off. “For you, Cambrian,” she handed him another small box. “A place to store and order all your plans, so that you don’t forget them.”

Her little brother clutched the box to his chest with a wicked grin. “Thanks, Aunts Elspeth-Edna!” Nelia began to wonder what he was up to, that he needed something like that.

“And for you, Cornelia.” Elspeth handed over a third box. “That you always know when people wish you ill.”

Looking at the small box with a nervous and sinking heart (and the sudden feeling that Cam was plotting against her), Nelia suddenly wished for another sweater.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/201685.html. You can comment here or there.

Trojan Gift, a story of Addergoole Yr 9 for the Giraffe Call

For [personal profile] wyld_dandelyonprompt. This is set in the Addergoole ‘verse, whose landing page is here on DW & here on LJ, in year 9. Sylvia the Otter-girl is the character in the icon, by @Inventrix, shown here:
.

Third week of year 9 of the Addergoole school.

“You’re going to need this.”

Gar had no idea where the girl had come from; he’d been walking down a back hallway when she’d stepped out of nowhere in front of him.

He knew her from a couple of his classes, a slender, quiet girl with whiskers and paws that reminded him of an otter. Sylvia. She was pretty, but in a room full of aggressive beauties, she’d always faded into the background.

Garfunkel knew the feeling. He was, to quote his ex-girlfriend, “just a guy.” Just a guy, now, who seemed to shoot off crags of red stone when he got upset, like a particularly rocky porcupine version of the Hulk. Just a guy who, he was told, was very good at some odd magical words that made his tongue tingle.

And who, at the moment, was being faced with an otter-girl with some sort of necklace, no, collar, some sort of collar in her paw.

He shook his head, backing up slowly, holding up his own why-did-he-have-paws. “No, no thank you,” he said hurriedly. “I’ve seen all the collars around since, whatdy’acallit, Hell Night. I’ve seen everyone all hangdog and upset. I don’t need to join their ranks.”

“This is different,” she insisted. “It’s still a collar, but it’s different.”

“And why should I believe you?”

“Because I don’t lie, and I promise you I’m not lying to you. You are going to need what this collar gives you. I have a very strong feeling about that.”

“I have a very strong feeling about not becoming a brain-washed zombie,” he answered dryly.

“You won’t.” Sounding hurried and a bit irate, she added, “just put it on. It doesn’t mean anything without the words.”

“The words?” Her stare was rather unnerving; despite himself, Gar found himself taking the collar-thing from her and putting it around his neck.

“’With this ring…’ that sort of thing, the words your hang-dog friends said,” she hedged, and then, in his mind…

I Belong to You. The Fourth Law of Keeps states that one Ellehemaei –

Elle-?

Ellehemaei, the people of Ellehem, of the land that is not Earth. The fae, the Fair Folk, the Departed Gods. You.

Departed?

The answers flooded into his mind as the questions appeared, images and explanations, a tone in the mental voice that sounded like the otter-girl. When he opened his eyes, finally, there was one phrase on his lips. His mind full of what it meant, he still couldn’t help but say it.

“I Belong to you, Sylvia.”

“Yes,” she smiled, looking pleased. “You do.”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/201427.html. You can comment here or there.

Giraffe Call still going strong, still open

Good Monday morning!

The Giraffe call for prompts is still open – here on DW & here on LJ. It will remain open until I have written 1 prompt for every prompter, or until Christmas Eve, whichever comes first.

The linkback stories are here on DW & here on LJ. The poll was a bit inconclusive, so there’s a bit of anything. If you link to the Giraffe Call, please leave a comment there so I can add your 50 words/Link.

The Donation Ticker is $20 from the next incentive level!


And now I begin writing again! While you wait, check out the Giraffe Call: Result tag here on DW & here on LJ for things I’ve written so far!

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/200831.html. You can comment here or there.