Archive | February 2012

Early for Roses – A story of the Fae Apoc for the Feb. Giraffe Call

For moon_fox‘s prompt.

Fae Apoc has a landing page here.

They’d decided, after a great deal of discussion, to call themselves “Early for Roses.” It had the proper air to it, and suited Selina’s sense of the ironic.

Once they had a name, they needed a look, since they already had a sound. Selina liked lace, long, dripping lace that covered the fact that she was too skinny, far too skinny. Ashton was fond of the same, for the same reason.

Dallas, on the other hand, like denim and flannel, was wedded to the denim-and-flannel, slept in the denim-in-flannel. In the end, Selina ended up sewing a black-and-grey flannel jacket and Ashton bought black jeans, lots and lots of black jeans.

They looked, Ashton had to admit, like exactly what they were. Which, in this day and age, wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

They had their first performance the day that Houston fell, their second the next day. By the fourth performance, they were moving on to bigger venues.

Nobody knew what to expect. But, as Ashton pointed out over a bottle of Patron, if there was going to be a soundtrack to a faerie apocalypse, it might as well be a bunch of fay fae.

And thus Early for Roses was perfectly positioned to be the house band for the end of the world.

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Encyclopedia Draconis – A Summary of Sentient Hunters of Other Sentient Species in Dragons Next Door

From The Setting Piece Poll for the January Giraffe Call new Donor-New Prompter perks. Please vote, if you haven’t, to tie-break for 2nd place, as there will be a second piece.


As long as there have been humans with spears, there have been hunters; nay, as long as there have been creatures on this planet, there have been hunters.

For many centuries, the various sentient races on this planet hunted each other with no consideration for the feelings or culture of the others; although it is nice in this modern age to pretend that it was, for instance, only humans doing the hunting, or only ogres, the truth is that there are, in the closets of all thinking races, skeletal remains of other thinking species.

The “hunters” we concern ourselves with in this article, however, are another sort indeed. They cannot, as our ancestors could, hide behind the shelter of ignorance or cultural bias, as flimsy a protection as those offer. Nay, those hunters work in the modern day, and they know exactly what it is they are doing.

Who are they? They come primarily from the medium-sized races, although there have been the occasional report of pixie hunters and one rumor of a dragon hunter. They are human, dweomer, elkin, harpy… and their reasons fall along a wide spectrum, but can generally be divided into the categories: the religious, the profiteering, and the sportsman.

The Religious
There are still sects of religion in almost every race’s temples that say that some other race, or, perhaps, all other races are apostate, evil, demons, minions of chaos, bringers of temptation. And there are knights, champions, sword-bearers, assassins for each of those religions, people of one stripe or another whose violence is sanctioned by their temple, whose life goal is to eliminate threats to their religious purity.

Of the three kinds of hunter, these are the most dangerous. These hunters cannot be bargained with, can rarely be reasoned with, and are very difficult to stop. In addition, they normally have the resources of a large organization behind them: not only are they well-armed and well-financed, but they are usually also well-educated on their targets.

The oft-misquoted “Fear the day you come against an honest man,” could be better phrased, in the world of hunters and hunted, as “Fear the day you come against a foe of faith.” They will kill you without a second’s hesitation nor a moment’s remorse.

The quote I was misquoting: From Here:

“…So hope like hell your captor is an evil man. A good man will kill you with hardly a word.” ~Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms

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What they Needed

For Friendly Anon’s prompt.

Addergoole has a landing page here

About 15 years before the current storyline: 1984

Maybe what they needed was romance.

Ambrus watched the women sitting in Mo’s Tavern, drinking beer and looking at each other – and the other men in the area – uncomfortably and uncertainly.

They knew what they were there for. Regine’s invitations were nothing if not explicit, her contracts even more so. But it was one thing to sign a paper, especially for a liberated woman who wanted a child without a man, and another to be staring at a tavern full of other egg-or-sperm donors, full of strange people with strange bodies, and think that you would be, by someone else’s choice, going to bed with one of them. It was like a key party with someone else arranging all the keys.

This was, of course, nothing new to Ambrus, but for these women, he imagined it had to be different.

When he had first come here, he had simply done what – and who – he was told to, plying his powers to make things a little smoother. And after that debacle with Rachel, he’d stopped really even talking to the women, beyond what was needed to arrange the act.

There’d been four more women and two more children, as far as he could remember, since that debacle, and, looking at these miserable women, he had to do something. If it blew up in his face again… well, then it blew up in his face again. It wasn’t as if any of these women would be sharing custody of his children with him anyway.

“Who’s up on my dance card?” he asked Maureen quietly. She consulted her book of such things, one eyebrow raised at him in question.

“You’ve got Adelberta – with the owl markings? – Jacqueline, over there, with the pointed ears? – and Saatchi, with that lovely dark skin and equally pointed ears. And Ké, of course, although we both know that’s never going to happen.”

“Luke would kill me. Twice.” Ambrus twitched. “And not in a fun way. I think Jacqueline.” Saatchi was beautiful but a bit intimidating; Adelberta was flat-out terrifying. “So, can I talk you into one of those little chocolate tortes? And a bottle of that sweet port?” The roses he could get from the garden; Valentina wouldn’t mind as long as he asked. And for the gift… a bracelet. One of the new denizens of the village had skill working gold; Ambrus could trade a favor.

He looked at the woman, leaned over her drink as if holding onto it for warmth, and smiled. Maybe what she needed was a little old fashioned romance; roses, chocolates, wine and a little box wrapped up brightly. He could give that to her.

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About the Want

For @inventrix’s commissioned continuation of

Part 6 of 7.5

“You have quite a bit of interesting stuff here,” I countered. “I mean… stuff I’ve never seen before. Languages I’ve never seen before.”

“That is because, my dear, you have never traveled, have you?”

“I went to Michigan on vacation once,” I offered defensively, “and I’ve seen Niagara Falls from the Canadian side.”

“That doesn’t count,” Jordan poo-pooed. “That’s a day trip.”

“You have, I think, seen a great deal where you are. But you long to see wilder things, things that are not so… what is the word?”

“Mundane,” I answered, suddenly tired of it all. “Dirty. Routine.”

Jordan was looking at me strangely. “We have a house. We live with four other adults, two cats, three rats, and a toddler. Three of the adults are in a love triangle, one of them is a performance artist, one is insane, and three of them change gender presentation depending on the day. You work in a museum. Last weekend, we went urban spelunking in the old mental ward. What is routine about your life?”

“We never go anywhere!” I was aware, on some level, that I was having this argument, this argument I’d carefully been not having for years, in front of a complete stranger. But it had been a damn long day, and the argument had been a damn long time in coming.

“We have responsibilities!” Jordan shouted back at me. “We have things we have to do, JJ, and we can’t just be like Ashton and hare off whenever we want to!”

“Why not? Ashton does fine!”

“Because Ashton doesn’t get anything done that needs to get done! Ash isn’t here looking for an AC, Ash wasn’t getting the groceries last week, Ash wasn’t fixing the porch. Face it, JJ, it’s you and me when it comes to being grown-ups, and if you bail on me I’m never going to forgive you!”

“Toni buys groceries,” I offered weakly.

“Toni has a child to feed. You know, it’s not that I don’t want to travel, J.J. I’d love to see Paris. I’ve been saving up for years. But someone has to clean the shit stains out of the toilet. Someone has to be an adult. And I wish for once it was someone other than me…. ma and you.” The last bit was gentle, and a little bit guilty-sounding. I didn’t complain. I tried to be a grown-up, but Jordan seemed to have been born knowing how to do it.

“Mr. Ting knows what you need,” the small man said quietly. “Now, the question becomes… will you take what you need from Mr. Ting’s store? And can I provide it?”

“And can we afford it?” Jordan added bitterly. “Do you like us enough to give us a reasonable price?”

“Aaah.” He took in air in a long sigh. “That is not how my pricing works, dears. Mr. Ting is not about like and dislike. Mr. Ting is not about profit.” He picked up one of the #^^#(275)^, the shiny silver pointed tubes. “Mr. Ting is simply about need.”

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Making new History, a continuation of Fae Apoc for the Jan. Giraffe Call (@inventrix)

Scrounging for History (LJ)
Digging through History (LJ)
Delving in History (LJ)
Bringing Home History (LJ)
Singing down History (LJ)
Learning of History (LJ
Getting over History (LJ)

Part 7 of 7.5

Fae Apoc has a landing page here on DW and here on LJ

“That’s a harsh chance to ask us to take.”

Karida stared down into the pit at the witch, Amalie, Fiery, and Dor hovering nearby, Amalie’s song seeming to hang in the air. The witch stared back up at them, the hope leaving her face.

“So leave me here. Leave me in this pit,” she spat bitterly. “Leave me like everyone else has.”

“Talk like that and I will,” Karida snapped. She didn’t want to, though… but her company’s safety was at stake. “What do you know of what you are?”

“Freak. Monster.” She sat down hard on a pipe, her tail lashing. “I know I can purify water, purify food. I know this happened when I turned seventeen. And I know I don’t get older.”

“Have you ever made someone a promise?”

The witch thought about that one for a moment. “No. Yes. Yes, that I would keep their water clean if they didn’t attack me.” She hissed softly. “And then… then I could not stop. I couldn’t stop helping them, even when they took everything from me. Not until that kid threw a rock at me. I… I see.”

“You’re smart, good. Promise that you mean no harm to us or our company, that you will not betray us, and we will take you with us, and teach you.”

“That’s a lot to ask.”

“This is my family we’re talking about. And you’ve already attacked us once.”

The woman’s tail twitched, and she looked down at her fingers, at a broken claw, at her ragged clothing. “How did you get to learn what you were, to use it? How come you have clean clothes and family, when I have nothing?”

“Just lucky, I guess,” Dor answered, the spite out of his voice. “But you have a lot of life ahead of you. You can have all that, too.”

“Guys,” Amalie interrupted, “we still haven’t found anything to bring back to the company. Not enough, at least. We need to move on…” She hummed quietly. “We need to find the feast/to twist ‘way from the beast/to bring to large and least/to give to each, to each.”

The witch looked up at them. “I can help with that,” she said, with the faintest hint of a smile. “I can help you bring something to your company. If you let me out. And I can help you avoid the real monsters. The beast. I know this city. I’ve been living here for… for a long time.”

“Swear it,” Dor said sharply. “Swear that you mean us no harm.”

The witch sighed. “I, once-called-Sana, swear that I will do no harm to you four, to your company, to your family, unless you first harm me. I swear I will not betray you, if you let me out of this pit.”

“Good enough?” Dor asked.

Amalie frowned, humming. “I… Family and kin/under the skin/buyer beware/move forth with care?”

“Tricky,” Karida sighed. “We may have to try something else, but for now we can simply be careful. Once-called-Sana, what do we call you now?”

“They call me witch,” the woman answered, as Dor made stairs down to her. “I call myself Nightwalker.”

Next: Trusting in History (LJ)

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Need a Fire Icon, or burning things for fun

So, I haven’t posted about the house in a while, my bad.

We’ve been not doing a whole lot as it’s winter enough to keep from, say, painting, which we have a lot of to do. We finished framing in the bedroom window, and now can’t find the cordless drill power cord (heh) to install the shade in the window. *rolls eyes* it’s been like that a lot lately.

BUT! We have a wood-burning stove installed and it’s AWESOME!

The house isn’t really set up well for wood heat – it’s probably why there’s a chimney at both ends – being a long rectangle, more or less:


(yay houseplan. There’s stairs in the dining room)

And the wood stove is in the Living room, on an awesome granite-tile pad Spouse!Man built.
So the Living Room is TOASTY, the dining room is nice, and the kitchen is a bit chill during the day.

We burn the stove from ~11 to ~11, then let the boiler take care of the night time into early morning. but the cool part is (to me) what we’re burning: deadwood from the yard, grapevines from the yard, a little semi-green stuff we cut out of the yard (yes, we’ll have the chimney thoroughly swept come spring), and 1/3 of a very old barn we freecycled and had delivered to us.

Yes. We have 1/3 of a barn (more like 1/6 now) in our garage. And it burns beautifully.

I <3 freecycle so hardcore.

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Productive, a story of the Unicorn/Factory for the January Giraffe Call (@anke)

After The Grey Line (lj), for [personal profile] anke‘s commissioned Prompt. Part One of ??

Unicorn Factory has a landing page here on DW and here on LJ

Administrator Guilian had found the unicorn foal a very light burden, barely heavier than a small child, so light he could almost, if it weren’t for the horn pricking at the side of his throat, forget it was there.

But his assistant’s reaction, now, that reminded him fully why he was there, and why he was carrying this small burden. He advanced slowly on the man, watching Antheri’s hands. He was reaching for something in his drawer… that couldn’t be good.

“The unicorns, their touch can kill you,” Antheri repeated nervously, as Guilian kept closing on him.

“That is what I’ve heard. And yet, I’ve also heard that their touch purifies. I’ve heard that their touch can do other things, as well…” The images he’d gotten didn’t really count as “heard,” and they hadn’t been all that clear, but he’d gotten some interesting bits here and there.

“Kill. Their touch can kill.” Antheri whipped out his revolver, pointing it with shaking hands at Guilian. “And you’ve brought one of those monsters in here, you madman. After everything I’ve done to keep them out. After everything we’ve done to cleanse the Town of their taint. What were you thinking?”

“I was thinking that it was time for a change,” Guilian told him, his eyes firmly on the gun. He set the foal down carefully; he couldn’t see it, he wasn’t that pure, but he could feel it, and feel where its legs were shakily settling onto the ground. “I was thinking that the Villages hate us, And wondering why that was.”

“They’re backwards. Ignorant. Spiteful. They cling to their old ways.”

“What happens to the waste from the factory, Antheri? That part of the tour kept getting put off. I imagine you would delay it until I was replaced, am I right?”

“If goes into the river,” the little today spat. “Where else would it go?”

“In other Towns, in other Factories…”

“And their production is not nearly as high as ours. It goes into the river, Administrator, because it halts the reproduction of these monsters. And with less of the pests around, the factory workers focus better, and produce more. And there are none of those pesky filters, no water recycling back end, no stupid swamp tanks to clean out and nursemaid. And we produce, Administrator, more than Any. Other. Factory. And that is what they pay me for.” The toady stared wildly at Guilian, waving the gun with no clear purpose. “And now you will die, and they will send me another fool.”

next: The Governors (LJ)

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