Archive | February 12, 2012

Learning of History, a continuation of Fae Apoc for the Giraffe Call (@inventrix)

Scrounging for History (LJ)
Digging through History (LJ)
Delving in History (LJ) and
Bringing Home History (LJ)
Singing down History (LJ)

Part 5 of ~7.5
Fae Apoc has a landing page here on DW and here on LJ

Karida let out a whoop as the creature they were fighting landed in a puff of dirt and dust, and then a quiet whimper as the sight of blood and, worse, bone caught her eye. “Shit,” she moaned, and stepped back. She didn’t want to faint into the pit. Dropping yourself on your enemy was a poor tactic.

“Got you,” Amalie murmured. “Here we go. Jasfe tlactl Karida,” she murmured, and sang the rest, “jasfe tlacatl Karida-my-kin, jafse tlacatl βραχίων.”

“Jasfe,” their captive murmured, and the air rang. “Jasfe tlactl?”

“That’s it,” Amalie hummed happily. “There you go, Karida, good as new. And seems our new sister is a healer.”

“Wonderful.” She flexed the healed arm and muttered a quick repair on the sleeve, as well; she wasn’t that good at those Words, but good enough to not have the cloth flapping around. “So we have something in the pit, do we? Dor?”

“I’m working on it. There’s some pretty impressive invisibility Workings going on. I didn’t know monsters could work.”

“Some monsters snarl/ and some monsters hiss,” Amalie hummed, “Some monsters know/the way the world is.”

“That’s one of Mom’s,” Dor complained, and then, with an oof, sat down on the edge of the pit. “Come look.”

“Coming.” The four of them looked over the edge of the pit together, at the image Dor was slowly forcing into existence. Foot-long claws. Tusks, like some sort of goblin in the old stories. A long tail like a dragon, lashing back and forth angrily. Hooves like a goat.

Fiery was the first to speak. “Witch,” she grunted. “Witch-woam.”

“Witch,” Amalie hummed, getting the feel of the song. “Tell me again, Fiery-sister?”

“Witch-woam,” the girl repeated. “Sundown.”

“Sundown,” Amalie repeated. “There we go. The witch, they said, lived in the dusk/ the witch they need but cannot trust./The witch who brought their water clear/ the witch who kept their lives so dear.”

“Nasty people,” Karida swore. The creature in the pit was, fangs and tail and hooves aside, a woman. A witch, perhaps, an Ellehemaei. But was she monster or foe? “They traded services with her?”

“That’s the tune that’s singing to me,” Amalie confirmed. “Sundown, you better beware/If I find you’ve been sneaking ’round my back stair… Mmm. I see.”

In the pit, the witch hissed and snarled.

“Some monsters hiss?” Dor offered. “If she was doing Workings for them, she can’t be feral.”

“And probably isn’t a monster.” Karida looked down into the pit. “If you don’t fight us, we won’t fight you. We aren’t looking for a war.”

“Nasty humans,” the witch-creature spat. “Let me out.”

“Human?” Dor laughed. “No more than you are.” He muttered the beginnings of a working, shaping stairs into the pit. “Did they kick you out, the way they kicked Fiery out?”

“What do you care, scrounger trash, trash-scrounger?”

He stopped the Working, stairs stepping down but ending above the woman’s reach. “If you don’t care, then I don’t either,” he answered tightly. “But it seems the sort of thing that our company might take note of… scrounger trash or no.”

Getting Over History (LJ)

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Unexpected Guest

For [personal profile] lilfluff‘s prompt

Evangaline modern-era.

Evangaline had spent a nice afternoon talking with Janelle and spoiling Anna Marie with love, explaining some of the more-explainable strangenesses of the family to her sister-in-law and reassuring her that no, the aunties and cousins didn’t hate her and yes, Aunt Beatrix really had known what she was doing when she gave her that silk negligee, and, yes, lavender silk would look lovely on her and Owen would love it, and, just for good measure, repeating her willingness to babysit.

Some days she thought that the family had Aunts to provide a nanny for the endless children produced by all the other siblings.

She finished cleaning up after tea-and-baby, and sat down with her knitting for her self-allowed hour of evening TV before she got back to cataloging and figuring out the mess the last three Aunts had left of the house (just yesterday, she’d found an entire box of haunted mousetraps, each one carrying around a tiny mouse shade).

She was only twenty minutes into NCIS when the first of the wards around the property told her she had a visitor. Sighing – she’d asked the family, time and again, to call first, to come up the front way, but they did what they’d do – she paused the TV, set down her knitting, and listened for the second set of wards.

When the presence went for her barn and not for the house, she began to get suspicious. She picked up the baseball bat Owen had given her when she first moved out, and the glass globe that had been Fallon’s gift, focused on the pitch of the wards – they had to be not-too-sensitive, or they’d go off every time a raccoon wandered through – and headed carefully for her barn.

Unlike older Aunts, she had no need of a horse, no need of a milk cow, no need of chickens, so she’d done basic clean-up to make sure nothing would fall over, and left the barn for the next year. Thus, piles of old horse blankets and unknown family detritus still filled most of the stalls.

And, uncomfortably huddled in one of those stalls, a teenage boy looked up at her, nervous, uncertain, and trying to make himself even smaller.

“I’m not doing anything wrong,” he muttered.

“No,” she agreed. At the moment, at least, he wasn’t. “But I think you should come inside.”

Next: Followed me Home (LJ)

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The Silver Road, a story of Unicorn/Factory for the Giraffe Call!

For [personal profile] skjam‘s prompt

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

There was one road, between the villages and the Town.

There were paths, and cart routes, and packed-dirt trails wending back and forth through the areas that was called, by the townsfolk, “the villages,” and by the villagers a hundred different names, depending in which particular clump of houses you were standing. There were small streets going crosswise through the bigger villages, and the well-beaten paths that went down to the River.

But there was one road, one thing smoothed and graded and wide, and it made its way through the Town and out to the Villages, one long chain holding them all together, and it was called Silver Road.

Newcomers to the town, those from bigger towns and cities further down the mountains, perhaps, or those from other areas, thought, generally, that the road was called that, poetically, because of the greyish silver color of the stone used to pave the more-traveled areas, or because it had cost, as some of the Townsfolk joked, buckets and buckets of silver to build it. But the villagers, the older ones, at least, the ones who told tales by the fireside, they remembered the truth.

“There was no Town,” they would say. “Not in my grandmother’s time. There was a village there, of course; it’s a prime spot, by the place that the River splits, and the road comes up around the pass. But then they built the factory, and the workshops. And when that happened, they needed…”

They never wanted to say it, so they said other things, and their children and grandchildren didn’t like those either, so that what the Town and the workshops had needed originally was lost in generations of guilt and squeamishness.

“…they needed stuff from the Villages. Food. Labor. But the small farmers and the small craftsmen didn’t want to give up their lives to go into the Town. They didn’t want to deal with the smoke and the dirtiness of the factories. So they kept destroying the road, flooding it out, digging ditches through it.

“It got so every month, the Town people would have to rebuild the road, and they were getting really, really irritated. And when you irritate the Town, they make you pay, they do.”

Everyone knew that. Everyone knew the prices paid when the Town was too irritated.

“So they built their road again, with…”

Nobody wanted to say it. But they all said it, because it was the truth.

“…with blood, unicorn and human. The blood ran silver, the way it does, you know.”

They all knew, or they’d all heard. When Unicorn and human touched that way… yes. It ran like moonlight, like mercury. Like silver.

“and it stained the road, and the land under it. It stained all of us, Town and Villages alike, and still does, to this day.

“And it chained us together, villages and towns. It’s silver with blood, the Silver road, and silver like a chain, because that’s what it is – our lifeblood, and our prison.”

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